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Area resident honored by Colby College

WATERVILLE, MAINE. Ð MAY 12: Images of ColbyÕs senior standouts Thursday, May 12, 2021. (Photo by Gabe Souza)

Heather N. Jahrling from Chautauqua, NY, has been selected as one of Colby College’s Senior Standouts. Each year, Colby selects a group of graduating students who represent the academic breadth and excellence of the College. Jahrling was chosen because of her focus on the intersection of history, science, technology, and society.

With an interest in 20th-century American urban and technological history, Jahrling doesn’t see a divide between the classroom and the greater community. “My historical lessons inform everything that I do — from the products I purchase to the politicians I support,” she said. “As my advisor, Colby Professor Jim Fleming, often tells students, ‘everything is unprecedented if you don’t study history.'”

Jahrling also completed an honors thesis in astronomy during her time at Colby, conducting research on NASA’s Cooper’s Island Station and working with the former chief historian of NASA. Additionally, since April 2020 she served as the editor-in-chief of the Echo, the College’s student newspaper. “One change I’m particularly proud of is the new equitable pay structure. For the first time in the Echo’s history, contributing writers are paid for their work,” she said.

In the fall, Jahrling will attend the Ph.D program in history at Princeton University, where she will continue her studies in 20th-century American urban and technological history. After that she hopes to return to the classroom as a history professor and science fiction writer.

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