Peru, Nebraska – Three Peru State College history students are completing summer internships in museums. Dr. Kathi Nehls, Associate Professor of History, said, "I am excited to see the excellent internship opportunities that have resulted from partnerships we have created with several historical societies in Southeast Nebraska.”
Rebecca Hupp – a sophomore history major from O’Neill — is working at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice. She is presenting research on the Homestead Act’s effect on women’s suffrage through social media. Hupp is also working on a physical exhibit at the museum and interacting with visitors.
Hupp said, “I am excited for this experience and for the chance to get my feet wet in the field of public history. Lots of museums and historical sites are turning to social media to get their information out so having a chance to intern with the focus being on digital outreach is incredible.”
Brooklyn Franco – a junior history major from Syracuse, Utah — is working at the Syracuse Regional Museum in her hometown. She is working on two exhibits and an archiving project. Franco explained, “One of the exhibits is focused on R.C. Willey, the man who started the appliance and furniture company. The R.C. Willey exhibit will be my summer project complete with objects, photographs, 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 history major from Palmyra — is interning at the Gage County Historical Society and Museum in Beatrice. She has worked on a World War II exhibit and is working to curate an exhibit about the Cosgrove Music Club in Beatrice.
Davis-Kovarik said, “Interning for the Gage County Historical Society and Museum has been extremely eye opening to 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 opportunities for Peru State students who desire to work in the museums industry. Students enrolled in the program complete 15 hours of public history coursework and internships, in addition to their major 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, curation, public policy, or urban planning.
Nehls said, “The public history program offers students in history an additional career option and marketable skills. I look forward to watching the program grow. I was especially excited when our first student completed the program and obtained a full time archival position right after graduation.”
For more information on the Peru State History program, please go to: https://www.peru.edu/socialscience/index.html
Nestled in the hills of historic southeast 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 college, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.