YSU history graduate student receives national recognition

Research conducted by Louis Gallo, a Youngstown State University graduate student, has recently caught national attention at the annual Associate for Documentary Editing Meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Gallo’s research concerning the Sutliff family — a Trumbull County family heavily involved in an antislavery movement during the 19th century — was recognized as the best poster presentation out of six major historical editing projects. Gallo received special recognition from the ADE for being the only graduate student involved in the session.

Gallo, who originally hails from Chester, West Virginia, began his love for history early on.

“At an early age, my grandmother introduced me to history by taking me to nearly every local museum. I was instantly hooked,” he said.

Gallo attended West Liberty University in West Virginia, receiving a bachelor’s degree in History. Upon further pursuit of his admiration of history, he enrolled as a graduate student at YSU, turning his focus toward historical

Under the direction of Diane Barnes, professor of History at YSU, Gallo works as a research assistant on the original Sutliff family letters and papers which date back to the 1830’s and 1840’s. Barnes, who has had Gallo in several of her classes, said his research on this began with a paper he did for her.

Barnes said that she hired Gallo because of his dedication to his research and his “strong interest and aptitude for historical editing.” Barnes said Gallo has what it takes to continue contributing groundbreaking research.

“Louie is amazingly dedicated and especially curious. He showed a quick interest and strong desire in research,” said Barnes. “His enthusiasm for editing and desire to follow through with the tasks of identifying local individuals, events and providing context and historical background make him a diligent and exceptional student.”

Gallo is currently knee-deep into his Master’s project, which focuses on abolitionist congressman, Joshua Giddings. Gallo will digitize, transcribe and annotate 4-6 letters from Giddings to put on an interactive webpage.

“I am creating a webpage because the Internet is a fantastic medium for making scholarly research more accessible to a larger audience,” he said.

After graduation, Gallo hopes to continue pursuing his love of history and his new-found love of documenting it by working on a major editing project.

“In the short term, I would love to join a major editing project after I graduate in December 2013. The process of documentary editing has become an interest and a passion that I am absolutely obsessed with, because it assists me in my journey to understand the past,” Gallo said. “Ideally, I hope to start on my doctoral work soon, but I am just taking things one step at a time.”

Barnes noted that she is very proud of Gallo and all the intense work he’s put forth while working a fulltime job.

“His self-motivation has really paid off,” she said. “His research is receiving national attention and he truly represents a YSU success story.”