NORTH BRUNSWICK – A 2017 graduate of North Brunswick Township High School is the newest member of the Elmwood Cemetery Historical Internship Program.
Akash Patel recently completed his freshman year at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Majoring in biology, he is researching the impact of the 1918 flu pandemic on the New Brunswick and the surrounding area.
Patel became interested in the influenza pandemic while taking a First Seminar Program Class: The History of Diseases at TCNJ, according to information provided by Elmwood. The class is taught by Dr. Rita King, a microbiologist who has gathered information about diseases that impact societies worldwide. The pandemic was responsible for the death of 50 million people worldwide; one fifth of the world’s population was affected, according to the statement.
Patel will be analyzing cemetery records to verify the deadly affect the flu had on the community.
“I am studying the immediate impacts of the pandemic within the New Brunswick and Middlesex County community. I am also focusing on the implications and lessons that the disease has brought forward, especially in the current field of medicine,” Patel said in the statement.
Patel will present his findings to the public at 3 p.m. on Aug. 3 at Elmwood as part of cemetery’s historical programs.
“I look forward to sharing my research with the community so that public awareness may be brought to something that has shaped modern medicine and public health practices,” Patel said in the statement.
Elmwood Cemetery’s Historical Programs develop and implement walking tours and presentations that tell the stories of the lives of those who lived in our area. Elmwood Cemetery’s College Internship Program offers college students the opportunity to expand their studies further and explore local history by researching cemetery records and other primary sources to develop programs that inform and educate the public.
Elmwood Cemetery is located at 425 Georges Road, North Brunswick. For more information, visit www.theelmwoodcemetery.com.