Masters in Making History Come Alive

Anna Reiter, Brianne Roth, Zach Klitzman, Sydney Johnson and Elise Fariello, all candidates for master's degrees in public history at American University, have contributed considerable time and energy to the efforts of the Historical Society during their tenure at AU.

Anna Reiter, Brianne Roth, Zach Klitzman, Sydney Johnson and Elise Fariello, all candidates for master’s degrees in public history at American University, have contributed considerable time and energy to the efforts of the Historical Society during their tenure at AU.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! Today and tomorrow we’ll be posting about local teachers who champion the humanities in general and D.C. history specifically by partnering with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Today we’d like to send out a shout-out to Kathy Franz, assistant professor of history and Director of Public History at American University. Through her program five AU students, all candidates for master’s in public history, have served as staff, interns and volunteers at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. during the 2013-2015 academic years. We were thrilled to see their work – representing many, many hours of on-site sweat equity as well as after-hours research and networking – on display during AU’s Public History Day presentation on May 6.

These five graduate students participate in all areas in which the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. serves. As program coordinator for the Silberman Fellowship, Anna Reiter contributes to¬† the Historical Society’s support for developing new areas of scholarship. Brianne Roth and Elise Fariello, as Library & Collections interns and volunteers, have processed several collections, fielded thorny reference queries, contributed to the Washington History journal, and produced events such as library visits by third grade historians and incoming college freshmen. And for their public history practicum, Zach Klitzman and Sydney Johnson researched educational theory and delved into the Historical Society’s collections¬† to develop individual lesson plans for 12th graders that explore the concept of “Who’s a Washingtonian” through the lens of four identities, those of innovator, spectator, migrant and activist.

Now, we’ll delve further into all of these projects here on the blog as time goes on, but for today we simply want to send a great big thanks to Kathy for her mentorship and for running a program that capitalizes on the myriad public history opportunities here in Washington. And a huge thank you to Anna, Brianne, Elise, Zach, and Sydney for all of their contributions to the Historical Society thus far (and all there are to come). Congratulations on a Public History program well done.

Zach Klitzman and Sydney Johnson present their poster on developing lessons on "Who's A Washingtonian," at Public History Day at American University.

Zach Klitzman and Sydney Johnson present their poster on developing lessons on the theme of “Who’s A Washingtonian?” at Public History Day at American University.

Elise Fariello pulls a photograph collection for a patron, one of many duties fulfilled during her year with the Historical Society.

Elise Fariello pulls a photograph collection for a patron, one of many duties fulfilled during her year with the Historical Society.

Interns and volunteers provide many of the services offered by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., such as helping researchers with reference questions. Shot 11/4/2014

Brianne Roth works with researcher Jim Flack in the Kiplinger Research Library.

Anna Reiter, left, serves as program coordinator for the Historical Society's Curt C. and Else Silberman Fellowship. She also worked on a pop-up exhibit for the Smithsonian Gardens, along with fellow public history students Alexandra Erichson and Anna Snyder.

Anna Reiter, left, serves as program coordinator for the Historical Society’s Curt C. and Else Silberman Fellowship. She also produced a pop-up exhibit on honeybees for the Smithsonian Gardens, along with fellow public history students Alexandra Erichson and Anna Snyder. The pop-up exhibit will be on view Friday May 8 at the Smithsonian Gardens’ Garden Fest!