Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Route 66 sociologists awarded federal grant

[Source: CCSU Courier] -- In recognition of their outstanding field work, Drs. John Mitrano (right) and Bruce Day (left) of the Central Connecticut State University Department of Sociology have been awarded a grant from the U.S. National Park Service Route 66 Preservation Program. The sociologists, who have led four CCSU student trips along Route 66 in the past five years, are leading scholars and teachers of Route 66 -- that quintessential highway of American culture. Under the grant, CCSU will administer the development of a Route 66 Curriculum and Activity Educator’s Resource Guide. The state-by-state curriculum for Route 66 can be used in a variety of disciplines (i.e., history, sociology, archeology, geography, community studies, urban development, etc.). In addition, this curriculum will be designed for use in the classroom and in the field while traveling on Route 66.

“Each year we conduct this field study trip, we visit a combination of intriguing new sites and our old favorites,” states Dr. Mitrano. “We are constantly meeting new Route 66 enthusiasts, business proprietors, artists, preservationists, musicians, and authors along the way.” As part of the course, students conduct oral histories and interviews with such Route 66 individuals. To date, they have approximately 75 interviews tape recorded and are in the process of transcribing and indexing them. They will be made available for accessing by scholars and historians throughout the world. “A memorable moment is when we bring the students to spend the night in La Posada in Winslow, Arizona,” says Day. “This restored hotel was built to serve the earliest rail service into the American southwest and is a fascinating example of American history. Stepping into this building gives you the sense of turning back time.” [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: CCSU Courier.]