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PS Harrisburg grad school: ‘Set my feet even more firmly on the path into the world of Fraktur’

June Lloyd’s “Faith and Famiy,” informed readers about a type of Fraktur known as Taufscheine, ornately drawn Pennsylvania Dutch certificates of birth and baptism. The York County Heritage Trust converted her master’s thesis at Penn State Harrisburg into this colorful 132-page book. Background posts: The four York County bloggers write; Noted Pennsylvania art historian dies and Want to know more about York County history?

For years, York countians have made the 45-minute trip to Penn State Harrisburg’s campus to take American Studies master’s courses.
June Lloyd, fellow blogger and former head of York County Heritage Trust’s archives, did so. She turned her master’s work into “Faith and Family,” a book on a particular type of Fraktur.
Tom Schaefer, a local historical consultant, made the trip and later wrote “Patterns of Our Past,” in connection with York County’s 250th anniversary in 1999.
I earned a master’s there and turned my work into “Never to be Forgotten,”which also was released as part of 250th anniversary festivities.
Ted Sickler, former York Daily Record/Sunday News assistant managing editor, earned his master’s and is an ABD student in history at the University of Delaware.
And there have been many more traveling the American studies road.
Now, graduate students can continue graduate work toward their doctorate in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg. An American Studies doctoral program information night is set for 6 p.m., Oct. 6, in the Morrison Gallery of the college library.

For details, contact: hbgadmit@psu.edu.
From time to time, I receive calls from history or English teachers in York County with questions about the American Studies graduate program at Penn State Harrisburg.
I enthusiastically congratulate these teachers for seeking a graduate degree in their discipline instead of some degree in counseling or education. David McCullough is correct in saying that one of the problems with education is that our teachers need to sharpen their scholarship.
I tell them this is a wonderful opportunity to study under full Penn State professors and earn a Penn State degree, and the American Studies program in Harrisburg is one of the largest in America. I tell them about the rigorous, yet rewarding experience of working on a master’s thesis under the renowned Simon Bronner.
They sometimes ask for a description of American Studies.
I tell them it’s generally an interdisciplinary approach that includes the study of history and literature and artifacts and just about anything to understand American life and culture.
Sometimes, American Studies scholars choose non-traditional artifacts to explore meaning. In the previous post, Yet another Bury’s hamburger recipe drops into the cooker, I used an American Studies approach. I wrote about the ongoing York-area interest in a secret recipe – for Bury’s hamburgers – to suggest that that red-sauced, onion-topped burger brings people back to a much-appreciated time before supersizing set in.
My weekly trips northward over a three-year period opened up wonderful new doors to me as a researcher, writer – and blogger.
And here’s a snapshot from June Lloyd’s “Faith and Family” introduction about her Penn State Harrisburg experience:

“I learned the meaning of folk art, along with the methodology to do a detailed study, from Dr. Simon Bronner in my first graduate class at Penn State Harrisburg. In my second class in the American Studies program, Dr. Irwin Richman showed me the fascinating and many-faceted world of my native Pennsylvania culture. This combination set my feet even more firmly on the path into the world of Fraktur. That road culminated in a MA thesis, which became the basis for this book.”

And now, researchers can can travel on a close-to-home path to faraway worlds, with a doctorate in sight.
June Lloyd’s “Faith and Family” is available at the York County Heritage Trust, 250 E. Market St., York; 717-848-1587.