Jessica M. Lepler

Jessica M. Lepler, assistant professor of history, specializes in the study of the early American republic and in the culture of capitalism. Since she came to the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 2008, Dr. Lepler has taught courses on the industrialization of America during the long nineteenth century and on the intellectual and cultural history of early America. She has mentored many students but had not served as either a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) or Inquiry mentor until she began working with Cory McKenzie. At first, she helped Cory look through primary sources and sharpen his research skills, but when he unexpectedly discovered that nineteenth-century “court clearings” remained an issue of legislation into the twentieth century, Dr. Lepler supported him in applying for an extension to his SURF grant so that he could conduct interviews. This was the first time that one of her students had the opportunity to work with living subjects, and she says that she was impressed with the way Cory bravely interacted with living history. Cory’s research project has allowed Dr. Lepler to “see the power of the Hamel Center’s support for undergraduate research” while writing for Inquiry’s broad audience proved to be “great practice” for a student like Cory, who plans to pursue a career of historical research and writing.