Senior Samantha '21 Frost Earns National Prize from Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society

Senior Samantha '21 Frost Earns National Prize from Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society

Oct 18, 2021

History major Samantha Frost’s honors thesis on the gender implications of the homespun movement during the American Revolution has earned the prestigious Nels Andrew Cleven Founder's Prize from the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor society.

The national award is for outstanding papers written by members of the honor society.

Frost transferred to Framingham State from Quinsigamond Community College because of the strong reputation of the History Department and Museum Studies minor. A summer internship at Old Sturbridge Village following her junior year provided her with valuable experience photographing and archiving some of the living museum’s more than 40,000 artifacts. It also solidified her desire to work as a museum curator after graduation.

"It was an incredible experience," says Frost.

Her paper examining the homespun movement began as an assignment in her class with History Professor Maria Bollettino. Frost is interested in material culture and Professor Bollettino recommended homespun, which was part of the Colonies’ resistance to British taxation on goods leading up to the Revolutionary War. Women would create clothing using material available at home, rather than relying on textiles from Europe.

"The clothing these women created had a major cultural impact at the time," says Frost. "It created a sense of communalism and nationalism and it was a political symbol, because it represented the rejection of British goods."

Frost expounded upon the initial assignment for her honors thesis and with the encouragement of Dr. Bollettino submitted it for the national award from Phi Alpha Theta.

"Professor Bollettino has been an incredible mentor for me," says Frost. "I wouldn’t have earned this award if not for her support."

Frost is currently exploring graduate schools, and is interested in studying Material Culture. After that she intends to pursue her dream of working in a museum.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.