Iona University Student Presents at UPenn’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Michelle Chuchuca ’24 travels to Philadelphia thanks to Iona’s Institute for Thomas Paine Studies

Michelle Chuchuca ’24 presenting at UPENN.

Michelle Chuchuca ’24 presenting at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies conference.

New Rochelle, N.Y. – Iona University senior Michelle Chuchuca ’24 recently presented research at the University of Pennsylvania’s 15th annual McNeil Center for Early American Studies conference, exploring how the gender roles of women were transformed during the America Revolution.

Leveraging access to the McNeil Center’s primary sources and experts, Chuchuca’s research, entitled Women and Gender Roles in Revolutionary America, concluded that the war helped women embrace new roles and identities in early American society.

The opportunity was made possible thanks to Iona’s Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS), under the guidance of Dr. Nora Slonimsky, ITPS director and associate professor of history, and Dr. Michael Crowder, public historian.

“The McNeil Center not only allowed us opportunities to analyze primary documents, but also make connections with other experts in our field of study,” said Chuchuca, a political science and history double major. “I am truly grateful because I got to be able to have first-hand experience in how professional conferences work, and it allowed me to play a part in it.”

During the conference, Chuchuca not only presented, but also had the opportunity to connect with fellowship mentors and other experts in early American history. Her experience further involved a student-led panel and networking sessions with scholars from across the New England area.

“My fellowship mentor gave me so many different ways in which I can further develop my paper and new perspectives I hadn't previously considered,” said Chuchuca, of Norwalk, Conn. “I am grateful to Dr. Slonimsky and Dr. Crowder with the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies for allowing me the opportunity to develop and present my work.”

Dr. Michael Crowder, Michelle Chuchuca ’24, Hannah Parisi ’24 and Dr. Nora Slonimsky in front of the McNeil House.

Left to Right: Dr. Michael Crowder, Michelle Chuchuca ’24, Hannah Parisi ’24 and Dr. Nora Slonimsky.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.