Spotlight on Student Assistant Léla Calixte

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 26, 2021

Freshman Léla Calixte reflects on her first semester as a student assistant with the KSU Archives and Special Collections.

This semester, the Museums, Archives and Rare Books Department hired Léla Calixte as student assistant for the KSU Archives and Bentley Rare Book Museum. Léla began working with our department in the Fall of 2020 as a First Year Student Scholar, and in the Spring of 2021 also completed an internship with the Museum of History and Holocaust Education. We’re thrilled her interest in history led her to us!

Post below written by Léla Calixte, KSU Archives Student Assistant.

My time at the KSU Archives and the Bentley Rare Book Museum has been extremely enjoyable. While working this spring, I had many Archives projects that I grew fond of. One of these projects involved answering a research question.

Bellringer magazine excerpt, 1944.
Bellringer magazine excerpt, 1944.
A researcher developing an exhibition about women in aviation was looking for any presence of famous female pilots in our collection. I was fascinated by the topic, which in turn made it much more exciting to work on. In order to complete the project, I searched through the “Bellringer” newsletters in the Bell Aircraft Georgia Division (Marietta) Collection. While researching I found so many interesting articles about the Bell Bomber plant here in Marietta. 

Another project that I thoroughly enjoyed was the creation of the March blog post. In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to share a story of a women who cared for her community. Searching through the many oral histories, I was finding it difficult to just choose one. However, my search ended after I read about Ernestine Slade, a Black woman who worked at the Bell Aircraft plant. After her work at the plant concluded, she turned her focus to helping her community. She worked with the Zion Baptist Church which dedicated its time to uplifting and supporting the black community of Marietta. I enjoyed going through her interview in order to retell her story for others to be able to enjoy as I did. Although the semester is over, I have learned so many things and cannot wait to expand on when I return in the fall.

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