Hello! My name is Mia, and I am a first-year graduate student in the Public History master’s program at American University. I moved to DC a couple of weeks ago, and I have enjoyed experiencing the first snow of the year!
I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where I attended Samford University for my bachelor’s degree. During undergrad, I studied French and Global Studies (an interdisciplinary history major), which gave me a lot of flexibility to explore a variety of classes across departments. My university also had an oral history department, and I enjoyed helping them interview people from local communities. I learned so much about Birmingham’s history from their stories, and I was excited to help preserve their memories through the interviews.
After I graduated from Samford, I wanted to find more ways to combine my interests in history and community engagement. I took a break from school to explore public history opportunities. During summer 2019, I worked as an intern at the WBHM radio station (Birmingham’s local NPR affiliate) for their StoryCorps “One Small Step” project. After I completed the internship, I moved to Warren, Ohio to serve as an AmeriCorps member with the Ohio History Service Corps. My host site was the Trumbull County Historical Society, and I really enjoyed planning and facilitating projects with different historical organizations throughout the county.
I am excited to continue learning about public history methodology as a graduate student. After spending some time with historical societies and museums in Ohio, I am hoping to use this opportunity to learn from public history professionals and historical organizations throughout the DC community. I am currently doing a fellowship with the White House Historical Association to conduct research for their Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood initiative.
I have had some experience with digital history through oral history and co-creating a suffrage history website for my AmeriCorps position: neohiosuffrage.org. For the most part, I enjoy learning about new software and figuring out the mechanics of digital programs. However, I still feel uncertain and inexperienced when it comes to creating digital content for a public audience. Although I have accounts on various social media platforms, I have not posted on them in years. Blogging also feels like an unknown resource for me. Through this course, I am hoping to become more comfortable with using digital resources to connect people to their history.
I’m excited to learn from y’all this semester!