Young Alumna Wins History Award

September 15, 2017

Rachel Santos ’17

Since graduating in May, Rachel Santos ’17 has secured a position teaching history at Attleboro High School and the Laska Award from the New England History Teachers Association.

The grant stems from research that Santos conducted for her senior thesis under Associate Professor of History Linzy Brekke-Aloise, who nominated her for the Laska Award.

Under Professor Brekke-Aloise's mentorship, Santos showed outstanding promise as a graduating history teacher committed to revitalizing and innovating the teaching of history in secondary schools.

“Rachel flourished in Stonehill’s strong programs in history and education and was an absolute joy to mentor.  She stood out in a crowded field of students from all over New England. An innovative and empowering educator dedicated to equity and social justice, she exemplifies the very best of the Congregation of Holy Cross' educational tradition. She is one to watch," said Professor Brekke-Aloise.

Valued at $2,000, the grant will help to underwrite Santos' travels to different states, historic sites and museums to learn more about the histories of injustice and oppression. It will also allow her to better facilitate conversations with her students about the link between studying history and social justice work.

“By understanding the social dynamics of the past, we can begin to understand the present more, and hopefully create a world that is more equitable and inclusive," said Santos.

"I’m focused on showing my students the importance of using history as a tool for empowerment and change, and that we must create a diverse and inclusive narrative when referring to the past,” she added.

An honors student at Stonehill, Santos studied history, art, and dance in Italy, taught a Yoga and Indian Philosophy Learning Community with Professors Anna Lannstrom and Kristy Kuhn, and was active in addressing social justice issues.