Dan Bernardini

Contributing Writer


The philosophy that everyone is unique is an open-minded way to view the world: for Millersville University student Ashley Zerne, it’s a philosophy that has become a passion.

Zerne is very interested in how humans differ and interact. Although she describes herself as “shy,” she understands that humans must interact to figure out what makes each unique. She discovered that this idea of human uniqueness and cultural differences could be studied in the field of anthropology.

Zerne, along with a plethora of other students, are doing research on Native Americans and early settlers in this region during the 1600’s and 1700’s. This part of a research fellowship for Made in Millersville which showcases students’ work on certain subjects. Once completed, their research will be published in a book titled “The Providence Project.”

There have also been talks of this book possibly being turned into a television series. She would be pleased to see a project she worked so diligently on shown to millions of Americans, whether it be through a book or a television series. Working on a project that might get national attention and hits close to home is intriguing.

“I think it’s cool that my name will be attached to a project that might eventually reach a lot of viewers,” she says. Zerne said that discovering the uniqueness of early settlers locally should entice many, especially those interested in history or anthropology and felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase her work for other avid readers to enjoy.

The Providence Project should entice any reader who is interested in learning more about the history of local settlers. The book could be used as an essential utensil in teaching history courses. Also, this is a prime example of what you can do with your work. Her writing and research are going to be published into a book. Therefore, this should be an inspiration to many who want to accomplish something with their work.

Zerne takes pride in working on a project that showcases her writing. However, it also focuses on her home of Pennsylvania and more specifically, the early settlers.

“I think it’s interesting that we live in an area that is so full of history,” Zerne states. “America as a country started right here in Pennsylvania and I’m excited to be a part of a project that will give a voice not only to the founders of this country, but also to the Native people who lived here first.”

The world has a plethora of cultures that makes each human unique. There are a multitude of stories to be told from those cultures. Sometimes the best stories are told not orally, but instead written down for us to read.

Zerne’s project, “The Providence Project,” will give readers a unique look into the culture of Pennsylvania’s own early settlers.