Melanie Sheehan, FCRH ’17, is one of just 57 scholars chosen from across the nation to receive a $5,000 fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi this year.

Sheehan, who double majored in American studies and history at Fordham, has been pursuing both interests this summer as a Gilder Lehrman History Scholar. The Long Island native says the experience has allowed her to see New York City in a different light. “I realized that everyday sites like churches, cemeteries, and taverns, which I might have walked past to catch a subway in most circumstances, had served significant purposes during the American Revolution,” she wrote on the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s website.

Though Sheehan was unsure of her major when she started college, she discovered her passion for historical research through Fordham’s Core Curriculum. “There was so much about American history that I had never known,” she says, “and I wanted to learn more.”

As a new Phi Kappa Phi Fellow, she will begin a Ph.D. program in American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall.

Sheehan hopes to become a professor so she can instill that same curiosity in generations of future students.


Alexandra Loizzo-Desai can be reached at [email protected] or 212-636-6536.