CCS Student-Scholars Shine at Oxford in Summer 2022


CCS sends UVU students to a study-abroad experience Oxford University each year. Attendees take courses in Foundations of American Constitutionalism or Civic Thought and Leadership.

In Summer 2022, two Quill Project researchers based at UVU presented at the History and Legacy of the Reconstruction Amendments conference at Oxford. 

Cole: "The Hard Work of Students at UVU"

Nicholas Cole is a senior research fellow at Oxford University and director of the Quill Project, a joint effort between CCS and Oxford’s Pembroke College to digitally model the creation of constitutions and other similar documents. He and UVU students Kiana McAllister and Erica Croft (pictured here) gave a talk at Oxford July 30 at the History and Legacy of the Reconstruction Amendments conference, sponsored by Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute.

When introducing McAllister and Croft, Cole gave his assessment of the research his two UVU colleagues have done for Quill and in preparing for this presentation.

“Anything good that has been done in the detailed archival work, selection, and transcription of the material, that is the product of the hard work of the students here at UVU,” Cole said.

McAllister and Croft: "We Are Better People and Better Historians"

McAllister, of Pleasant Grove, graduated with a degree in Political Science from UVU. She attended a study-abroad program at Oxford and has been a researcher on the Federalism Index Project and is currently working on the Quill Project.

Croft, of Ogden, is also a UVU graduate in Political Science with a minor in Constitutional Studies. She worked on the Quill Project and contributed to the 1895 Utah State Convention Project.

McAllister walked the audience through the process of researching and visualizing the drafting and ratifying of the three amendments. As an example, she showed the first draft of the 15th amendment and traced it from early versions to the final wording.

“We brought together various sources and put them all in one place,” said McAllister. “There was complexity, and we had to be selective with the material. We engaged with thousands of pages and a lot of difficult content. The blatant racism in them was shocking, but it was also illuminating and helped us to be better people and better historians.”

“This Reconstruction was a success,” Croft added. “It gave us the abolition of slavery, the creation and establishment of the rights of national citizenship, and raised the color bar from the right to vote. Building these amendments was an extraordinary project.”

Read more about the UVU–Oxford University partnership here.