History major, Sandra Sanchez, received a paid internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History working under the Director of the Program in Latino History & Culture.
The museum just opened a whole new wing with a focus on how America was created by different people of different backgrounds, so some of her duties are related to taking the exhibit material and turning it into curriculum that k-12 teachers can use to teach students a more inclusive history of the U.S. with a focus on primary sources provided by the Smithsonian. Sandra also is charged with taking various objects related to Latino immigration (like food items, shoes from Bracero workers, photos, or clothes) onto the floor of the museum and engaging visitors in a discussion about immigration. Currently, she is writing a post for the museum's Oh Say Can you See blog (which actually will incorporate bits of her honors thesis from last year) that relates to some prints the museum has. In the end it will be something about how many American Artists found a bohemia in Mexico and were inspired by the art, culture, and people there. Beyond these, she is learning daily about how such a large institution as the Smithsonian works, the different positions in the museum, and seeing a lot of cool behind the scenes work on the exhibits.
Sandra says "It is definitely a rewarding experience to learn not just about history and do research at the Smithsonian, but also to engage in public history, and to reflect on how history can be brought the public--even those that can't come to museums, but might be able to look at the exhibits online. Working here is an experience beyond KU, and one that many history majors should think about doing because it contextualizes why studying history is important and why everyone should learn about and love history."
Sandra even managed to get her picture (above on the far left) in The Washington Post. Here is a link to the article with the picture.