Southeast Missouri State University

Passionate Preservation Major Creates Historic Building Walking Tour

College of Liberal Arts (Department of History)
Stephanie Schwartz

Southeast Missouri State University historic preservation major Stephanie Schwartz is interning with the Historic Quincy Business District in her hometown of Quincy, Ill.

There she is working on a walking tour of 34 historic buildings. After selecting the buildings, she researched them, organized a binder of their photographs and information, and planned the walking route. She is currently writing information scripts for the tour’s podcasts as well as a grant proposal for the project.

“I think that this internship will help me with my future success because it is not only giving me knowledge of processes and real world situations, but it is also giving me practical experience and allowing me to get my name out in the field. It is helping me build a network of colleagues that will help me in my future endeavors,” she said.

Stephanie has been gaining experience on campus as a member of the Historic Preservation Association. She has served as president and treasurer of the organization, which hosts volunteer projects, banquets, guest speakers and field trips to regional sites so members have a chance to interact and experience the area, people and profession. It also provides resources for higher education and job opportunities.

To complete a requirement for her architectural design minor, she designed and helped build a house for the Cape Area Habitat for Humanity, of which she is an active member. She is also involved with four different honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Alpha Theta, Sigma Pi Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout college. She credits the faculty in the Department of History with helping her achieve success.

“Without the knowledge of my professors and their guidance, I would not be prepared for any preservation job. They have gone above and beyond to help the students be more than prepared for whatever a job in this field would throw at you. My time at Southeast and the classes I have taken have given me experiences that have made me more than qualified for any job I seek in the preservation field,” she said.

After she graduates, Stephanie is considering pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania or Ball State University.

In her spare time, she said she enjoys watching movie marathons, walking, drawing, taking building tours, crocheting, dancing, reading, sports and hanging out with friends. She said each hobby gives her happiness and allows her to relax. She also loves to travel, especially to her ancestors’ home in Italy, where some of her relatives still reside.

“They have such a beautiful country, including the people, landscape and food. Not only this, but they have such a deep history and amazing preservation through their ancient buildings. This is actually where I began my passion for preserving architecture at a very young age,” she said.

Stephanie plans to visit more places with a rich history in architecture, including London, Chicago and New York.

Stephanie offers the following advice to future Southeast students: “Manage your time well, but don’t forget to take time for yourself, because if things get hectic, it may be the only thing that will keep you sane. Also, be true to yourself and act responsibly, because it could change how you are perceived by others.”