CCDI Junior Fellow Spotlight: Alondra Ceballos

This blog post is the final in a series that features the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI) Junior Fellows from the Library’s 2022 Junior Fellows program. These posts highlight each fellow and the projects they developed. CCDI funded six interns in this year’s virtual 10-week program. CCDI is part of the Library’s Mellon-funded Of the People: Widening the Path initiative. This four-year program provides grants to individuals, organizations and institutions to create projects using the Library’s digital collections and that center one or more of the following groups: Black, Indigenous, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other communities of color. Learn more about CCDI here.

This summer, CCDI’s Junior Fellows used a range of Library collection materials and multimedia to develop narratives and explore concepts relating to the experiences of Persians, Japanese Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans. With the support of Library staff, each Fellow visualized their research in a Story Map, which was published by the Library.

In this interview post, Alondra Ceballos, a 2022 CCDI Jr Fellow, shares her research interests, career goals, and the inspiration behind her project, Vitality in Mexican Colonia: Water Sources for Mexican Settlement in San Antonio, Texas, March 1939.”

A photo of Alondra Ceballos, a 2022 CCDI Jr Fellow.

Alondra Ceballos was a 2022 CCDI Jr Fellow. [Photo by Alondra Ceballos]

Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you to apply for a Library of Congress Junior Fellows internship?

I am a first-generation professional. After teaching for two years in my hometown of Brownsville, Texas, I started a doctoral program with the Department of English at Texas A&M University.  I applied for a Library of Congress Junior Fellows internship to hone my research skills in the field of Latinx studies.

What project did you work on this summer?

I worked on a digital project that showcased a collection of images from the Prints & Photographs Division taken by Russell Lee during the Great Depression. This collection depicts a Mexican community in San Antonio, Texas. I used a Story Map to tell their story and highlight the adversities they faced in the late 1930s.

What inspired this project? How did you come up with the idea?

I read Norma Elia Cantú’s Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera for one of my classes and discovered that I did not know enough about the deportation and repatriation that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans faced during the Great Depression. My digital project uses Lee’s images to depict their access to clean water sources.

What was your experience like in terms of exploring the Library’s materials? What was the most interesting item or collection you found?

In July, I visited the Prints and Photographs Division on-site when I was in Washington, D.C for CCDI’s Summer Fuse event. I found photographs of Charro Days, a cross-border celebration my hometown holds with the Mexican bordering city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

For more information on Alondra’s project, check out her Display Day project video here.

Interested in learning more about the CCDI Junior Fellows’ work? Visit the Library’s Story Maps page to view Story Maps created by this year’s Fellows and Library staff. To hear the Junior Fellows share about their projects in their own words, visit the 2022 Junior Fellow Display Day page.

Apply for a 2023 Junior Fellows Summer Internship

You can also work with CCDI as a Junior Fellow!

The Junior Fellows Program is an annual summer internship program for currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate students. Fellows have the opportunity to explore the Library of Congress’ digital and analog collections, while working directly with Library staff across the institution in a variety of fields, including: information technology, reference, preservation, and more.

Subscribe to the Of the People blog to be notified about the open application period for the 2023 Junior Fellows Summer Internship program. Stay tuned for more details on 2023 CCDI Junior Fellow activities!

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