Historic preservation graduate student Camille Westmont has been named the 2017 Sally Kress Tompkins Fellow by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. This is the first time a University of Maryland student has won this prestigious 12-week fellowship, which affords the opportunity to design and execute a written history of a significant U.S. building or site for the Historic American Buildings Survey’s (HABS) permanent collection. The fellowship is a joint program of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and HABS. Camille will be honored at the SAH’s 70th Annual Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, later this spring and will receive a $10,000 stipend to conduct her research.
Camille will complete a dual master’s degree in anthropology and historic preservation at the University of Maryland this spring; she will then continue her doctoral studies in anthropology. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and political science from the University of Kentucky in 2013. Her research interests focus on the intersection of labor and women’s history in coal company towns in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She seeks to leverage heritage to revive deindustrialized working class communities through community engagement, public archaeology and by fostering of community pride.
Camille secured the Thompkins fellowship with a project that built on her paper for Dr. Linebaugh’s American Vernacular Architecture course, which examined changes over time in company worker housing floor plans of the Pardee Brothers Company during the 1900s. She found that changes in these floor plans encouraged less interaction with neighbors, resulting in a physical and social disconnection from the larger working class community. Camille hopes to submit this paper to a journal for publication.