For students at Simpson, there are endless opportunities to get involved. History and philosophy alum Allie Walker made the most of her time at Simpson as an undergraduate assistant for the Iowa History Center at Simpson College.
“My position includes everything from organizing events for the Iowa History Center to writing and mailing invitations,” Walker said. “No two days are ever the same!”
One of Allie’s most recent projects consisted of organizing a field trip to The Des Moines Historical Society for 375 junior high school students. For two days, the Iowa History Center sent students from Stilwell Junior High in West Des Moines to “Thursday’s Children,” a program inspired by the events of the 1965 black armband protest. This protest led to the landmark civil rights case of Tinker v. the Des Moines Independent Community School District.
The Iowa History Center is using a gift donated in 2007 by alumnus Chuck Brodersen ’57 to help local school districts expand student interest in Iowa history by providing funds for field trips to explore the state’s past.
Walker worked with Maureen Korte, director of special projects and programming in the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, as a partnership between the Iowa History Center at Simpson, the West Des Moines School District and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
“This partnership with the Iowa History Center means a lot,” Korte said. “These young people from Stilwell have had their tuition waived for this event, but busing is very expensive. So that scholarship money meant 375 kids could come who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity.”
The “Thursday’s Children” program involved several different workshops including a mock-trial, dancing, acting and tie-dying shirts along with a musical production.
“My favorite part of working for the Iowa History Center is the involvement,” Walker said. “It’s a really good feeling to know that you helped put together a great event with a great cause.”