My name is Sulema DePeyster, and I am the Community History Specialist at the Windsor Historical Society. My job is to engage with the Windsor community and facilitate research projects concerning oral history.
I am eager to discover Windsor’s untold stories and to develop programs that reflect the interests of Windsor’s diverse residents. History has always been a great passion of mine, as I remember visiting the Ancient Egypt exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on the weekends and voluntarily taking notes when I was in third grade. This passion remained constant throughout high school, and upon scoring a perfect five on the AP US History exam, I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in history. As of May 2021, I completed my BA at the University of Connecticut.
My journey through Windsor’s history initially began in the fall of 2020 during an internship with Professor Fiona Vernal. Over the academic year, I collected census data and conducted research on how the demographics of different towns throughout Connecticut, including Windsor, have shifted in the last 70 years. In addition, I transcribed oral history interviews and developed a deeper understanding of how to successfully conduct interviews. As a result of this internship, I received the Sandra Rux Award that recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding work in their major and on independent research projects. I also received the Undergraduate History Excellence Award, which is presented to one or two of the top history majors.
This incredibly rewarding experience is what inspired me to continue my work with oral histories and with WHS as a whole. I very much enjoyed hearing the stories of Windsor’s residents and learning about what drove them to this town. The similarities and differences between their experiences are quite fascinating, and I am looking forward to discovering the personal narratives of other Windsor residents in the near future.