Crystal Whiters, 2007 Colodny Scholar

Name of Graduate Institution:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

How did you become a preservationist?

From 2002-2003, I lived in Oak Park, IL, and worked as a volunteer in AmeriCorps in the Austin community on Chicago's west side in 2002-2003.  Seeing historic preservation in action in Oak Park and the possibilities in the Austin community made me aware of the potential of historic preservation to transform lives and communities.

What is the value of diversifying the preservation movement?

An inclusive movement that reflects the diversity of human history strengthens the preservation movement, and makes preservation much more universal and attainable to a diverse array of people.

How did you become familiar with the National Trust?

I found the Mildred Colodny Scholarship while researching scholarships for graduate school.  Because of the scholarship I learned about the National Trust.  Later, I learned more about the National Trust in the historic preservation courses at the University of Illinois.

What did you think of your experience as a Diversity Scholar/Colodny Scholar?

Through the Colodny Scholar Program I met great individuals in the Preservation movement, and I had the opportunity to do field work and research.  I am thankful for the opportunity to work with an organization that provides a diverse array of services to the preservation movement. 

Final thoughts:

In May 2010, I will receive a master's degree in architecture and a master's degree in urban planning.  Currently, I am conducting pre-thesis research, formulating the thesis question and exploring case studies in adaptive reuse and community development.