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History Sends Senior to Europe



February 06, 2012
Philip Sabelli, a senior from Northboro, had no idea that his love for history would be sending him on an adventure of a lifetime.  

Most interested in Medieval History, Sabelli was recently accepted to one of Europe’s most prestigious centers for teaching and research, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, to complete a master’s program.

Sabelli majored in history at Merrimack. Knowing about Merrimack’s reputation, with 18 members of his family being either Merrimack alumni or current students, Sabelli knew he would also be a future alumnus. It didn’t take long to be impressed by his freshman advisor and history professor Dr. Peter Ford.  When Sabelli shared his additional interest in archeology with Dr. Ford, he was encouraged to pursue that avenue as well as history.

“Dr. Peter Ford’s teaching methods were inspiring and he was the first person to show me how to get involved in archaeology, another keen interest of mine,” said Sabelli. 

In the summer after his freshman year, with the support of Dr. Ford, Sabelli became a volunteer archeologist working along the Alaskan border for three weeks where he actively participated in the daily routine of excavating and cataloging.  That freshman experience has led to a senior internship that began this semester at the Robert S. Peabody Archeological Museum at Phillips Academy in Andover.    

Sabelli’s greatest influence at Merrimack was Lauren (Gannon) Bent who guided him, based on his interest in history and archeology, towards a Study Abroad program at Oxford University in England.  Sabelli had a wonderful study abroad experience and knowing he wanted to get his master’s in Medieval History, he figured there would be no better place to study early British history than back in Great Britain and he chosethe University of St. Andrews, one of Europe’s leading universities.  He was notified in January of his acceptance.

“I will be able to choose my own research topic and I will be working with a wide range of historical sources,” said Philip.

Sabelli will be heading to Scotland late next summer to begin his master’s program.  As a bonus, in 2013 the University of St. Andrews will be celebrating its 600 year anniversary and Sabelli will be exposed to history in the making. 

“If all goes well, I hope to someday work with museum collections and maybe teach at the college level,” said Sabelli.  

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I am a former student of Dr. Ford's from the 1960s, and would like to get his email to re-establish contact.
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    "I feel this picture pretty much sums up my reaction to everything that has happened to me during my travels. Utter disbelief." - Phil Sabelli

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