Alyssa McQuirns

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Bradford

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Alyssa McQuirns took London by storm as she interned at Westminster Archives. Alyssa was in charge of preparing showcases that were open to the public with the ultimate goal of teaching them about their local history. She became fully immersed in the history of the section of Westminster and also the city itself. Alyssa was able to have hands-on experience with history, specifically collecting and repairing artifacts. This gave her a great idea of what British history is all about and let her know that this is what she wanted to do as a career. She received greater confirmation of this during her time spent in London. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, only the second in history, and the preparation for the 2012 Olympics created such a magnificent and unforgettable experience for Alyssa. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, and she consequently witnessed London at its finest and proudest moments. Alyssa was also able to travel outside of the city which granted her access to an almost entirely different set of cultures within England.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Women for Women

For her CEE, Alyssa created Women for Women, a three-month project involving the active participation from the Bradford community. Alyssa and her team visited Bradford Area High School to give a presentation on diversity and culture. The UPB team then asked the students to create a design symbolic of their own diversity and culture. Upon completion, Alyssa and her team constructed a diversity quilt using their own designs and those of the students. They also put together a short documentary of the project and displayed the quilt and video at the cultural festival on the UPB campus in February and also at the VIH luncheon in March. Once the quilt is sold, the money earned will go to Kiva, a non-profit organization that provides micro-loan funding to those in need in other countries.