Eric Halsey – History Careers Outside of Academia and the U.S. (10/16)

Talking History (4/9): Kerri Kline, “UMW History Training and the National Museum of the U.S. Army”


Career Night This Thursday (2/5, 5-6 pm): Meet Marissa Allison


Career Night

Marissa Allison

Thursday Feb. 5th, 5-6pm, Monroe 210


Come hear advice from an alumna about how to find a career

A graduate of UMW in 2010, Ms. Allison has gone on to become a highly regarded Middle East consultant. After graduating with a history degree and a certificate in Middle East Studies, she has held several DC-based research and analysis positions including working at the prestigious Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm. Ms. Allison has recently accepted an offer for the Head of Technology for HSBC’s new Financial Intelligence Unit in Dubai.

For all History, American Studies, Political Science, and International Affairs Majors!

Rebecca Erbelding (’02) Featured in Washington Post Article

Rebecca Erbelding, UMW History alumna (class of 2002), was recently featured in a story entitled “Holocaust Survivors Reunite with the Woman Who Cared for Them After the War,” by Emily Langer (25 December 2013).

The story offers touching portrait of Martha “Manna” Weindling Friedmann, a German Jew who cared for Holocaust refugee children in England after the Second World War, and two sisters, Tatianna and Andra Bucci, who’d known her as a beloved caretaker at that time. Years later, Rebecca would accompany those sisters as adults on a tour of the Holocaust museum and its archives. The story also shares the two sisters’ recent, warm reunion with “Manna,” as retiree in the United States. For the full, heart-warming story and the complex history it invokes, see the link above.

Careers: Caitlin Murphy, Digital Native (’12)

Caitlin Murphy ’12 knew she was prepared for a job that combined her history and digital studies degrees and thought a position at PBS would be the perfect fit.

Caitlin Murphy '12 works at PBS in Washington, D.C.

Caitlin Murphy ’12 works at PBS in Washington, D.C.

Not long after she submitted her application, Murphy got a call from the internationally renowned public broadcasting network. They had reviewed her resume and delved into her online portfolio, which she developed while a student at the University of Mary Washington, and it wasn’t long before she had the job.

“When I applied for the position, they said my online portfolio was one of the main reasons they had contacted me,” Murphy said. “It really helped me get a foot in the door. I don’t think I would have gotten called if I hadn’t had the portfolio I did.”

Murphy is a program associate at the PBS headquarters just outside Washington, D.C. She screens upcoming programs, like “Masterpiece Theatre” or “Foyle’s War,” to make sure they meet PBS’ standards.

The position requires an eye for detail and the ability to research, skills Murphy said she honed while a student at UMW.

“Caitlin took full advantage of the liberal arts experience at UMW,” said Jeff McClurken, chair and professor of history and American studies. “Not only was she a history major who wrote a thesis that earned her departmental honors, but she also crafted a second major in digital studies, anticipating our development of the formal digital studies minor by nearly two years.”

Murphy's online portfolio, which she developed as an undergraduate, includes work from her classes and her internships.

Murphy’s online portfolio, which she developed as an undergraduate, includes work from her classes and her internships.

Her digital studies major combined her passion for history with her love of technology in a multi-disciplinary way, combining classes in English, art, history, computer science with ds106, UMW’s open online digital storytelling course.

Murphy’s portfolio, which she shared during her job interview with PBS, included work from her classes and internships, as well as her work on the James Farmer Lectures project.

“She co-produced a site making the words, sounds and images of Civil Rights leader James Farmer available to anyone,” McClurken said. “She then took an assignment in my class to create a digital portfolio and ran with it, producing an amazing site featuring her projects in several classes in multiple departments.  It’s no surprise to me that PBS hired her based on her work.”

Now, all incoming students have the opportunity to create an online presence like Murphy, through the Domain of One’s Own initiative, launched in August 2013. The pioneering project provides free, personal domain names and web hosting to help students take responsibility for their online identities, as well as explore the implications of what it might mean for them to take control of their work and manage their own portfolios.

“Mary Washington does a really great job of providing opportunities for students,” said Murphy. “A lot of departments are working really hard to integrate digital media into day to day classes and projects. The integration of creating a website, blog or video project to create content that is still valid and historical really provided something a traditional class didn’t.”

This article by Brynn Boyer was originally published at the EagleEye Newsletter on October 31st, 2013, and is republished here by permission.

Internships: Dana Puga, ’02

This summer, we’ll be introducing History and American Studies students and alums who are currently engaged in internships or who have held internships in the past. The series will answer simple but important questions: Where are they interning? What kinds of projects are they exploring? And how have internships helped students build a career after college?

We’re happy to have Dana Puga, Class of ’02, lead off with her own story:

“I attended MWC from 1998-2002.  As a budding history major, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in museums.  As Freshman year drew to a close, I wrote several museums in Richmond to see if they had any summer jobs available.  One museum, the Valentine Richmond History Center, called me back and offered me a position as a camp counselor for a day camp they ran with two other area museums.  I worked at the camp every summer of college and I became the camp coordinator during my third summer.  This experience opened the doors for me to explore museum education and I had the opportunity to help install an exhibition during Spring Break one year.  My contacts at the Valentine gave me a network of museum professionals to call on and provided guidance on how to get my start in the field.

During the Spring semester of my senior year I was accepted as an intern at the National Museum of American History in the Photo History Collection. Every Tuesday and Thursday I woke at 5:30 to catch the VRE up to DC and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.  My intern advisor became a career advisor for me and taught me about curatorship and collections management.   When I graduated I applied for anything and everything museum related.  A couple of months after graduation I interviewed for the job I have now as Prints and Photographs Collection Specialist at the Library of Virginia.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my internships helped me get this job; especially my Smithsonian internship.  They wanted someone with a MA, but because I had hands on experience with photographic collections, I got the job.”

Dana (Angell) Puga ’02
Prints and Photographs Collection Specialist
The Library of Virginia
Richmond, VA 23219

Image from the Valentine Richmond History Center