Catherine Gaggioli’s passion for learning can be traced back to the most influential person in her life, her father Dan. “It is inspiring how interested he is in everything,” she said.
With such a role model, it is no surprise that Catherine has always been driven to succeed in all academic endeavors. This summer, she participated in the Pioneer Scholars program, in which 10 teams of students and faculty are selected to conduct one-on-one research projects. She and mentor Dr. Scott Hendrix, assistant professor of history, were the first Carroll team chosen to conduct their research abroad. They went to England for their project, “Popular Resistance, Popular Participation: Rioting in Seventeenth-Century England.”
Most historians believe that the 17th century incidents of violence in England were related to the issue of the English Civil Wars, but Catherine and Scott believe these acts of violence were instead riots of political protest. Catherine believes this study can have importance far beyond the bounds of English history, by allowing us to understand riots and civil unrest better, especially in the Middle East today.
Catherine said England was amazing except for the constant rain. Some highlights include researching in many libraries and archives, seeing “Henry V” performed at the Globe Theater, and seeing Hadrian’s Wall. “Climbing Hadrian’s Wall and looking across the wild-looking Scottish countryside, just as a Roman soldier would have thousands of years before, was breathtaking and a memory I will always cherish,” Catherine said.
Scott taught Catherine a lot about research, English history and how to travel. “We had a really great time wandering around England, talking about books we’ve read, places we’ve seen, and the fascinating things we had come across in our research,” Catherine said.
Catherine’s advice to other students is to not pass up opportunities like Pioneer Scholars and not to be intimidated by your professors because you never know what you will learn and experience.
After graduating in December 2012, Catherine plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in archives management and history. She plans to move to the East Coast and work in archives. “I could spend the rest of my life elbow deep in old papers and books and be perfectly happy,” she said.
An avid knitter, Catherine also loves to read and spend time with her mom Breda, dad Dan, and two younger sisters, Margaret and Emily.
Written by Rose Rementer ’12