Published 08/20/15

Two peas in a (presidential) pod meet on C-SPAN

Even before he graduated from high school, Kurt Deion '16 (Cranston, RI) had visited the resting places of all 38 deceased U.S. presidents. Since then, he's visited every vice presidential burial site as well.

"Bryant has really emphasized to me the importance of primary sources and conducting research."

Deion’s interest in presidents started with a book he read when he was 7. He visited his first four presidential gravesites in 2003 at age 8. The next year, after learning that C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb, inspired by historian Richard Norton Smith, had visited every single presidential grave, Deion decided to do the same.

This year, Deion wrote to Lamb about how he influenced him, and Lamb quickly replied. “It seemed almost as if he was more excited to meet me than I was to meet him,” Deion says.

In early August, Lamb interviewed Deion for an hour. Their conversation aired on C-SPAN’s Q & A Sun., Aug. 23, at 8 p.m., with a rebroadcast at 11 p.m. and on Monday, Aug. 24, at 6 a.m.

The C-SPAN interview isn’t the only highlight of Deion’s summer. He spent 10 weeks interning in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. He learned about the internship through the Amica Center for Career Education. During his internship, he worked on the society’s annual calendar which is filled with facts from 200 years ago. “Most of my time was spent researching James Monroe and the year 1818, for the upcoming 2018 calendar.”

“Bryant has really emphasized to me the importance of primary sources and conducting research,” says Deion, a history major who minors in management.  “What I’ve learned in the classroom about how history is taught will be valuable to me in the future.”

Deion is considering graduate school after he graduates in May, and aspires to one day be a director at a presidential library.