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                PHIST major Tyler Wagner spent his internship splitting his time between the Historical Society of Baltimore County and the Hagley Museum in Delaware researching the history of gunpowder.  Tyler got to experience the entirety of a long term research project from narrowing the topic to learning about every aspect of gunpowder. In spending so much time at the Hagley, Tyler met many new people like the Head Archivist, Lucas Cawsen. Lucas was instrumental in getting Tyler’s project off the ground by doing the preliminary research that narrowed Tyler’s search. Tyler enjoyed reading personal letters and looking at primary-source maps of Baltimore County’s Robert E. Lee Park. At the conclusion of his internship Tyler considers himself to be one of the leading experts on gunpowder in the world. 

  PHIST major, Matt Swisher completed his internship with Dr. Johnston at the Historical Society of Baltimore County. Matt focused on interpreting the Molz collection of legal documents which dates back to 1794. Matt used Adobe to digitize the files and to create a finding aid for the collection.  Matt admitted that at times it felt like he was putting together a jigsaw puzzle because some of the documents needed to literally be pieced together. After several months of working with the collection, Matt found it easier to read the elegant handwriting of the 16th century scribes. Matt enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of working at the HSBC.He iked the “slow days” at the HSBC because he seemed to get more work done. The only real problem that Matt encountered during his internship was that he and the copier didn’t get along. These battles him in the beginning but eventually he and the copier became “good friends.” During the course of the internship, Matt learned that he doesn’t want to work at a Historical Society, but that he does like to do what he refers to as “grunt/volunteer work.”

Kacey Martin & the BMI

 Recent PHIST graduate, Kacey Martin (pictured) came to History Forum to talk about working at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Kacy was offered a  job at the BMI as a part time-educator after completing an internship for the PHIST program. Recently, Kacey accepted an offer to be the BMI’s Programming Coordinator. Kacey is now in charge of the three facets of programming at the BMI:  kids programming, family programming and public programming. Within the facet of kids programming, Kacey organizes programs like History Alive, the Immagrant’s Trunk, and City Builders. Kacey also coordinates public programming events like the annual Easter Bunny Breakfast, a print workshop, wine tastings and Mother’s Day tea and crafts. And birthday parties, scout programs and vacation day workshops fall under Kacey’s jurisdiction of family programming.  Kacey explained that PHIST majors need to be alert to any potential job opportunity and she is the perfect example of how a single internship can affect your career path. Kacey encouraged anyone interested in museum studies or education to apply at the BMI because the museum is always in need of volunteers.

For employment opportunities:

James Keffer



PHIST major Korin Judge spent her last semester at Stevenson University in SU’s Archives with history professor, Dr. Johnston. From January until April of 2011, Korin spent her time interpreting the History of Stevenson University and the surrounding Greenspring Valley area. Korin took part in editing audio files for the Stevenson Story*, compiled an inventory of objects in the Archives, entered data into PastPerfect**, and processed acquisition forms****. By editing audio files, Korin developed an appreciation for the art of story telling. Korin admits that during everyday conversations she now finds herself scrutinizing the way people speak because of her editing work. For Korin, her experience in the archives reinforced that she does not want to work in an archival setting. Korin learned that she would rather do field work or be involved with a career where she can interact with people on a regular basis. Korin also learned how to prioritize in a professional situation. Korin encourages organized, detail oriented, majors with type-A personalities to do their internship at the SU archives. Korin also left the majors with departing word of advice: “Don’t just take history at face value, ask questions.”

*An oral history project sponsored by the university to document interviews with Stevenson/Villa Julie alumni
**A computer program used to store data on objects; usually used in a museum or archival setting
***A process that transfers ownership of donated objects to the SU Archives

WIMSA Memorial

This summer PHIST freshman Emily Trotter will be volunteering at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Since its opening in 1997, The WIMSA Memorial has been working to preserve the names and experiences of the women who fought to protect the United States. The memorial tells the story of women’s roles in the armed services from past wars to the modern day War On Terror. The memorial is located in the Arlington National Cemetery; so many visitors enter the memorial thinking it is just another part of the Cemetery. As a volunteer at the memorial, Emily will begin by greeting visitors at the door when they enter the memorial and explaining the site’s mission. Emily will help visitors to search the database of listed servicewomen and she will guide the visitors to the specific names’ location on the memorial. If a visitor cannot find the name he/she is looking for, Emily will help him/her to register said name in the database. Emily is very excited for this opportunity, because her mom served in the Air Force and Emily is currently doing a report in her HIST 209 class on the history of women in the Air Force. If you ever make a trip to D.C. to see the monuments or the Arlington National Cemetery, be sure to stop by the Women in Military Service for America Memorial and ask for PHIST major Emily Trotter to give you a tour.

Korin on leftPHIST major Korin Judge (pictured on left)is not the person to talk to if you are on the fence about Study Abroad at Stevenson, because after talking with her for 5 minutes you will be ready to board the plane. Korin spent a semester in Hamilton, New Zealand at Waikato University (WU) and she loved every minute of it. Korin explains that WU is about 5 times bigger than SU and there are plenty of things to do on campus. Korin enjoyed the variety of course topics. She took 4 classes: History and Politics of India, Te Reo Maori (Maori language), Conflicts and Crisis in the Middle East and Digital Preservation (Public History). Korin liked New Zealand’s attitude about encouraging students to “learn on your own terms”. At WU students are not required to attend lectures, turn in papers, or take finals. Students are just expected to know the material at the end of the course, how they acquire said knowledge is up to the student. The best part of WU’s lenient academic system for Korin was that it gave her ample time to travel around New Zealand. Korin describes New Zealand as, “hands down the most beautiful place [she] has ever seen.” Korin explained that it wasn’t unusual for her and a few friends to rent a car and just drive to various national parks or different places in the untamed countryside of New Zealand. Korin’s most memorable experiences are with New Zealanders she met. She feels that New Zealand is home to some of the friendliest people on Earth and she encourages anyone who travels to NZ to get to know them. Korin is always open to discussing her trip and encourages any PHIST majors that are interested in Study Abroad to contact her at kjudge@stevenson.edu

Professor SperlingProfessor Christopher Sperling is a prime example of a Public Historian who can do it all: he has a Public History career and he teaches Public History. Professor Sperling is the Field Director for Historic Excavations for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Currently, Sperling’s team is excavating a site in on the Occoquan river in Northern Virginia, which was once a Colonial port town. Sperling explains how his work makes the jump from being an archeological operation to a Public History operation: 3 days a week Sperling and his team take time to educate the public about archeology. The team also has a few interns and they maintain a blog to keep the public involved in the development at the Occoquan site.
Along with his career Sperling is an Adjunct Instructer at Stevenson. He teaches U.S History to 1877. Sperling feels that his class and his career are a “good marriage of jobs” because he can experience all aspects of early United States’ history. Often what Sperling does in the field can be related to what he teaches in class. Whenever he has the opportunity, Sperling likes to bring objects from the site into the classroom because as he puts it, “the stuff makes history real.” Sperling believes that he is able to keep his students engaged in the course with his extensive knowledge of the material. Teaching also helps Sperling with his job at the Occoquan site because he is able to refer back to what he teaches while he is giving tours.
In attaining his undergraduate degree from George Mason University, Sperling was used to a larger university setting, but he sings the praises of Stevenson University. Sperling never knew what he was missing in choosing a larger school. He explains that at Stevenson students are given the one-on-one time with professors that Sperling and his fellow undergraduates could never have with their professors. Sperling also enjoys being able to develop a rapport with his students and being able to go in depth on specific topics that interest his students. For Sperling, teaching is an exciting “release of energy” because he never knows what questions his students will ask next.
Professor Sperling’s advice for SU PHIST Majors:
- Always go for the most advanced degree that you can
- There are always other avenues out there for employment so think outside of the box
- Work hard and then dedication will come easy

Study Abroad: Ireland

PHIST major Carlos Mora (pictured in green) was just looking for something to do during the summer when he enrolled in Stevenson University’s new Study Abroad Program in Ireland, but what Carlos got was a trip that he refers to as the “most fun of [his] life.” The program is based at the American Studies Institute in County Cavan, Ireland, which is an hour outside of Dublin. The program included room and board, four classes, excursions and airfare for around $6500. The classes that were offered this summer were: English, Theater, Photography, and a Leadership class. Of the four Carlos’ favorite was his photography class because he learned how to use his digital camera and he ended up taking over 3,000 pictures during the trip. Carlos’ favorite experiences happened on what the group leader Professor Romas Laskaskus referred to as “Hump-Day Adventures.” Every Wednesday the group went on an excursion to a famous Irish historical site. Carlos’ most memorable “Hump-Day Adventure” was visiting the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway. The Cliffs of Moher are a series of massive cliffs that have been featured in the Harry Potter Movies and the Causeway is the site associated with the founding of Ireland. Carlos didn’t mind not having his weekends free because the group also took trips around Ireland on the weekends. On the weekend trips, the group stayed in various hotels around Ireland while they soaked in the Irish culture. Carlos admitted that with the free time he had, he frequented the town’s pub. But he explained that Irish pubs are not like American bars, they are more of a hangout spot for the locals to socialize and play pool with friends. Carlos had a hard time understanding the locals’ accents and found himself asking the people he encountered if they could repeat themselves and slow down when they spoke. Carlos learned a lot about Ireland’s culture, history and its people and he highly recommends the program to all of SU’s students, especially to Public History majors.

At January’s History Forum, independent financial planner Travis Brown (pictured) explained how PHIST graduates can use the skills that they have acquired in the PHIST program to enter the world of finance. Brown explained that a large part of financial planning is making assumptions about the market’s future based on the market’s past. The ability to be able to interpret historical data and apply it to current and future market trends is something Brown felt would suit a person with a degree in History. Brown made it clear that being a financial planner is not for shy individuals because so much of the work is based on client relations. Financial planning requires individuals who are willing to be aggressive in finding and keeping their clients. Independent financial planning, Brown explained, is similar to starting a small business in the beginning until the Planner builds up a pool of steady accounts. Then the planner’s residual (steady) accounts will constantly produce income. While the average workweek for a financial planner is 40 hrs/wk, Brown admitted that there have been some nights where he stayed up until 2 in the morning and then went to work at 9am. Brown emphasized that how much a person works is based on how much he or she enjoys their job, but that the workweek is directly related to the annual salary of a financial planner (which can often reach 6 figures). Brown encouraged any interested PHIST majors to contact his firm or to bring a résumé to Stevenson University’s Career/Internship Fair on March 3rd , where he will be looking for applicants.

PHIST T-Shirts

The First Year history majors designed the first official Public History Department shirts (pictured) as a project in First Year Seminar (FYS). Each design element is symbolic and was carefully chosen by the FYS. The FYS chose purple shirts because purple is the color of the history graduation sashes at Stevenson and, of course, is the Ravens team color. The fist logo is a play on the Public History Department course identifier, PHIST. The “PHIST PUMP” logo is a nod to the MTV reality TV show “Jersey Shore.” On the show, the characters are frequently seen fist pumping at various nightclubs. The FYS also decided to create an alternate version of the shirt with an  athletic jersey style back. In this version the last name and graduation year are displayed on the back of the shirts. The finished products are another testament to the dedication of this year’s FYS students.

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