History is for Everyone

August 24, 2023
Jennifer Seiter, BA ’20

Jennifer Seiter, BA ’20, finds magic in the world of history. As a classroom resource specialist at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Seiter shares her love of history by connecting teachers directly to records of the life and legacy of Washington and the era of the Founding Fathers.

“Our resources range from lesson plans to primary sources and interactive content — we’re constantly improving what we have and creating new materials for schools to use,” Seiter said. “I also lead the Mount Vernon Teacher Fellowship Program, which allows teachers to visit the estate and work with our experts, sites and collections to create educational resources. ”Of course, when looking at our nation’s history, it can be hard to reconcile our past with our present.

“When we talk about history, we have to talk about all of it. During the summer we actually have a ‘teaching hard history’ day,” Seiter said. “We acknowledge that Washington was an enslaver, and we’ve also gotten the opportunity to recognize the individuals who were enslaved people and highlight the resources we have that point to them.”

Seiter brought up how she loved learning about Baylor’s work to highlight Rev. Robert Gilbert and Barbara Walker, the first two Black students to graduate from Baylor.“We’re always working to move toward the right direction here at Mount Vernon, and I think Baylor is too,” Seiter said. “History is important, and I hope that as we move forward, we reflect on these topics and acknowledge the humanity behind the history.”

Working closely with history educators across the United States has only made Seiter more grateful for her experience at and connection to Baylor.“I believe that a good teacher at any grade level can change lives,” Seiter said. “Education is so important, and this role makes me even more thankful for my public school teachers and the wonderful professors at Baylor.”