Dr. Tim Borchers, State College of Peru
Three history students from Peru State College are completing summer internships at museums. Dr. Kathi Nehls, associate professor of history, said, “I am excited to see the excellent internship opportunities that have resulted from the partnerships we have created with various historical societies in southeastern Nebraska.”
Rebecca Hupp, an O’Neill sophomore in history, is working on the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice. She is presenting research on the effect of the Homestead Act on women’s suffrage through social media. Hupp is also working on a physical exhibit at the museum and engaging with visitors.
Hupp said, “I am excited about this experience and the opportunity to get my feet wet in the field of public history. Many museums and historic sites are turning to social media to spread their information, so having the opportunity to do an internship with a focus on digital outreach is amazing.”
Brooklyn Franco, a third-year history student from Syracuse, Utah, is working at the Syracuse Regional Museum in her hometown. She is working on two exhibits and an archive project. Franco explained: “One of the exhibits focuses on RC Willey, the man who started the appliance and furniture company. The RC Willey exhibit will be my summer project complete with artifacts, photography, and extensive research.” She added: “I am also tasked with creating and improving our website and social media pages. I look forward to applying what I learned in my public history courses during my internship.”
Sarah Davis-Kovarik, a sophomore in history from Palmyra, is interning at the Gage County Historical Society & Museum in Beatrice. She has worked on a WWII exhibit and is working to curate an exhibit about the Cosgrove Music Club in Beatrice.
Davis-Kovarik said, “The internship at the Gage County Historical Society and Museum has been extremely insightful about the way museums function on a day-to-day basis. I have been learning a lot of professional skills for public history.”
A new Certificate in Public History offered by the College is opening up opportunities for students from the State of Peru who wish to work in the museum industry. Students enrolled in the program complete 15 hours of public history courses and internships in addition to their core requirements. Peru State College added this certificate program in 2020. The certificate program is designed to help prepare students for any job that includes responsibilities such as historical representation, public relations, curatorship, public policy, or urban planning. Nehls said, “The public history program offers history majors an additional career option and marketable skills. I look forward to seeing the program grow. I was especially excited when our first student completed the program and landed a full-time archival position right after graduation.”
For more information on the History of the State of Peru program, visit: https://www.peru.edu/socialscience/ index.html
Located in the hills of historic southeastern Nebraska, Peru State College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.
Established in 1867 as Nebraska’s first university, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a cutting-edge institution offering diverse and multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.