Adam Carston ’14

Adam Carston ’14 was briefly an education student, but eventually found his true home in USF’s history department. His concentration was modern American history, with a focus on film and popular culture. Imagine his delight when he found the perfect job: he’s an independent contractor with Happy Medium Ventures, serving as a project manager and researcher.

The project he’s currently working on revolves around famous Chicago nightclubs that were owned by brothers George and Oscar Marienthal, including Mister Kelly’s, The London House and The Happy Medium. The project is being spearheaded by David Marienthal, George’s son. The goal of the project is to create an archive and a documentary feature.

“It is a passion project for both of us,” said Carston. “We want to publish a book and eventually release a documentary with the information we have collected. We also plan to donate the material we collected and our oral histories to a Chicago archive once we are done. We really want to preserve this part of Chicago’s cultural history.”

A day at work for Carston varies almost every day. His tasks range from conducing oral histories, to maintaining social media sites, to conducting research, and to maintaining the ever-growing archive.

He was well-prepared for this fascinating work through his involvement with USF’s history department.

“The professors in the department always conducted their classes expertly and challenged the students, while also being supportive. One of the best things they did was to prepare me for the workload of grad school and educate me in the nuances of the history field. Many of the books assigned in their classes were later assigned to me in grad school, and having already read them as an undergrad, I felt like I had an advantage.”

Carston’s most influential instructor was Dr. David Veenstra, who helped him tremendously. Carston took several of Veenstra’s classes at USF and always learned something valuable.

“Dr. Veentra always took his time to help and advise me whenever needed. He is also generous and hard working,” said Carston.

Carston plans to continue to work in the history field with a focus on preserving the cultural and artistic history of America. He would love to work on other projects or museums dealing with America’s cultural history. To current Saints, he recommends “always be of service… be as available and work as hard as you can at any job you get. Putting in an extra effort is key. Show your worth and work hard.”

To find out more about the project, visit, or on social media, search for or