jessica eichlin discovers the Monitor

Jessica Eichlin (‘14) discovers the Monitor

CNU’s inclusive community offered Jessica the chance to make the most of her college experience, both in and out of the classroom. A history major, she was a member of CNU’s Honors Program and Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed national service fraternity, which led her to volunteer at The Mariners’ Museum Library, the largest maritime collection in the Western Hemisphere. After working in the Library for over a year, she moved to the museum proper and began an internship at the USS Monitor Center conservation lab, an opportunity she received through the Department of History’s Public History Program.

Katie Fisher discovers the Ronson

Katie Fisher, (‘15) discovers the Ronson

Katie, a history major, holds a cow skull (circa late 1740's). While interning at The Mariner's Museum, she discovered it in boxes pertaining to the Ronson, an early 1700's colonial merchant ship.  According to Fisher: “I have gained immense knowledge and I now have a stronger idea of where exactly I want to take my career. I would strongly recommend this course for any student interested in public history or to have a well-developed background in all aspects of history related careers. This internship has allowed me to put my foot in the door, so to speak, of the museum world. I have made connections with influential people and they have given me knowledge that I am truly thankful for."
emily martin

Emily Martin, ('08) "Amazing Experience"

"During my Junior year at CNU I participated in a practicum (HIST 491) at The Mariners' Museum Library and Archives.  My work consisted of inventorying and creating finding aids for different collections. I had the opportunity to work with documents from the 19th and 20th centuries. It was an amazing experience as I pursued a career in the public history field.  In graduate school at George Mason University, I used my experience with The Mariners' Museum Library and Archives to get a job with the GMU Special Collections and Archives.  I truly believe that the work experience I received from the practicum with CNU helped me to obtain the job at GMU."

Emily is now a photo researcher for the US Naval Institute where she locates photos for Proceedings and Naval History  and compiles pictures for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps.

September, 2014
Chris McDaid visits CNU to talk about student internships at Fort Eustis, working in archaeology.

Full Transcript
Dr. Tom Hall conducts brief interview with Dr. Chris McDaid from Fort Eustis. Dr. McDaid answers questions about CNU students working in internships at Fort Eustis.


Dr. Hall asks: How many CNU students have worked with you in the past?

Dr. McDaid responds: We have had 2 CNU interns in the last spring semester. They did a fine job of helping us examine 17th and 18th century archeological sites at Fort Eustis.

Dr. Hall asks: What specifically were they doing?

Dr. McDaid responds: They did a wide variety of things. They identified artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries, they conducted some archeological field work, plus shovel testing, and excavating some archaeological test units.

Dr. Hall asks: How helpful were they to your organization?

Dr. McDaid responds: They were very helpful. They helped us do a project that we had on the back burner because their abilities allowed us to get to that project and they picked up skills of excavation very quickly.

Dr. Hall asks: So, is it important for CNU students to get internships to help them find jobs after they graduate?

Dr. McDaid responds: Yes, it is because one of the things that will separate applicants for a job is practical experience. How much do I have to teach them about doing the job? How much can I say, "Go do this..." and trust that they're going to go execute the job completely.

Dr. Hall asks: What is your name, and title, and organization?

Dr. McDaid responds: I’m Chris McDaid. I am the installation, cultural, resources manager and archaeologist for Fort Eustis, which is a section of joint base Langley Eustis.

It is a true privilege to be a part of a program that works closely with public history agencies in Hampton Roads.

Student interns engage in community service and make a meaningful impact on the public’s understanding of history. Many nuanced and exciting projects originated from these internships that are worthy of attention.

New in 2016 is History in Action, an undergraduate public history journal that showcases students’ service-learning research exhibitions with local museums, archives, and the like.

The impetus for creating this publication was to celebrate students’ hard work and creativity, as well as their dedication to making a difference in their community.

History in Action aims to distribute knowledge gained through traditional historical methods (by reviewing manuscripts, books, and artifacts) to the public using innovative approaches. For example, students use virtual exhibitions as a cutting-edge tool to communicate historical findings. These exhibitions feature artifacts and/or archival collections that have been largely hidden from public view.

Students shed new light on these collections with photos and detailed written descriptions, and most importantly, explain the historical significance based on primary documents and scholarly sources.

Our public history interns now have the unique opportunity to use their research skills from the classroom and bring history to life for a broad audience, making a lasting contribution on the Hampton Roads community and beyond.

View PDF versions of History In Action:

Birds, Bugs, and Blooms: Naturalists in the Galleries of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg,
Volume I: Issue 1 April 2016
Featured Student: Sally Meyer, Class of 2015