Chandler is tapping Arizona State University students to help research the city’s history.
The City Council has approved a paid internship program for the Community Services Division to allow a student in the spring and fall semesters to assist Jean Reynolds, the city’s public history coordinator.
"What I want this internship to do is give them a real hands-on experience," Reynolds said. "They could be doing something with the museum, or they could be doing oral histories, or they could be doing more traditional history research."
Sophomore Dan Killoren will be the program’s first intern through the Barrett Honors College at ASU. Killoren, who has been doing volunteer research in Chandler, will begin his internship in this month, researching the city’s agricultural history.
"He’s working on researching cotton in Chandler, the growth and development of that industry," Reynolds said. "He’s looking at the Boswell Cotton Ginning Company. They started in California and basically expanded into Arizona. At some point they began operating a cotton gin and began refining it there."
Reynolds said the research will be used for signage planned for the old ginning office at Tumbleweed Ranch in Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQ ueen Road, to help explain the history of the area to visitors. "We’re hoping to have that signage up by the Ostrich Festival in March," Reynolds said. "He’s looking for information or old photographs that can be used for the signage and eventually he’s going to help create an exhibit inside the ginning office itself."
Killoren, a history and English major at ASU, said his work with the city provides valuable research experience.
"Research on smaller topics like this is often a little harder because you have to find it through primary sources such as people who lived then or worked there or through newspaper articles," he said.