Yes, our students are really finding jobs! Our recent public history graduates have accepted positions around the southeastern United States, including the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Atlanta History Center, Georgia Humanities, Chieftains Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Country Museum Hall of Fame in Nashville, the Southeastern branch of the National Archives, the Georgia Archives, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Center for Puppetry Arts, Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, and Rome Area History Museum. Some of our alumni have ventured as far away as California, Wyoming, and Nebraska to work in museums and National Park Service sites.
Our program offers students opportunities to build their resumes through class projects, internships, and Center research projects. Public history faculty take time to help students build a strong resume and to advise them in searching for positions in the field. We maintain a list-serve to keep students updated on jobs, conferences, internships, and other opportunities for professional growth.
How to find a job
What exactly can you do with a degree in public history? Where can you learn about job opportunities? Here are some sources that might help you answer that question. These sources are taken from History News: Technical Leaflet, a publication of the American Association for State and Local History. The Public History faculty at West Georgia also maintain a bulletin board with job announcements and opportunities and a list-serve for past and present public history students.
- AASLH Dispatch Online: http://about.aaslh.org/home/
- AAM Online: http://www.aam-us.org/
- SAA Employment Bullentin Online: http://www.archivists.org/employment/index.asp
- National Council on Public History -Employment Opportunities: http://ncph.org/Jobs.htm
- ALA: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/
- Museum Employment Resource Center: http://www.museum-employment.com/
- Global Museum: http://www.globalmuseum.org/
- Museum Jobs: http://www.museumjobs.com/
- Archives of Museum-L: http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archives/museum-l.html
- Museum Resource Board: http://www.museumwork.com/
- H-Net Job Guide: https://networks.h-net.org/
- Mary Washington College Job Guide: http://academics.umw.edu/academicservices/finding-a-job/
- Preservenet: http://www.preservenet.cornell.edu/
- National Trust for Historic Preservation Forum Online: http://forum.savingplaces.org/home
- USA Jobs: https://www.usajobs.gov/
- Monster.com: http://www.monster.com/
Where students are working
- Laura Caldwell Anderson is the Assistant Archivist for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This position involves maintaining the collection, working with researchers, helping to plan new in-house and traveling exhibits, and publishing stories gathered in the Institute’s on-going oral history program.
- Justin Arrington, who earned a Public History Certificate and an M.A. in History at West Georgia, works for New South Associates, a cultural resource management company in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
- Stephanie Aylworth earned the Museum Studies Certificate in 2009 and served as the Main Street program manager for the City of Douglasville, Georgia.
- Teresa Beyer Sherwood, who completed her M.A. in History and the Museum Studies Certificate in 2004, works as the curator at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State History Site in Laramie.
- Erin Brasfield Rose, who completed her degree in May 2004, is Curator of Education at Fort Casper Museum in central Wyoming. She has worked as an interpreter at Manzanar National Park in California and interpretive supervisor at the Brinegar Farm site on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and she interned or worked at several other NPS sites, including the NPS Southeast Regional Office, the Carl Sandburg Historic Site, Andersonville Historic Site, and Kennesaw Battlefield National Historic Site.
- Mick Buck is the Curator of Collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Melissa Buchanan indulges her interest in military history by serving a collections manager at Patriot's Point in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Mike Bunn, who earned a Museum Studies Certificate from UWG, is the curator at the Columbus Museum of History and recently published a book entitled Battle for the Southern Frontier: The Creek War and the War of 1812.
- Amanda Corman is the Museum Curator at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlfield Park.
- Nik Fields has moved all the way to Maui, Hawaii, to work as a visitor use assistant at the Haleakala National Park, where he also helps with interpretation of the Hawaiian Natural History Association.
- Mark Barron, previously an historian with the Georgia Department of Transportation, works for a cultural resource management firm in Texas. He is completing his PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland.
- Heather Bostwick Howell is assistant director of the Bandy Heritage Center at Dalton State University. She previously worked at Kennesaw State University in the Civil War Center, where she organized conferences and assisted with a variety of activities. Heather was formerly a registrar with the Atlanta History Center, a registrar at the Booth Western Art Museum, and Special Collections librarian at the Rome-Floyd County Public Library.
- Diane Erdeljac is historian and archivist for Piedmont Hospital, in Atlanta, which has been documenting the hospital’s first hundred years and creating an archives of its history.
- Emily Erwin is director of the Capps Museum and Archives at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi. She formerly worked as archives collections manager with the Atlanta History Center.
- Benita Green Duling is an interpreter at the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park, National Park Service, Kennesaw, GA. She had previously worked at the Martin Luther King Historic Site in Atlanta, GA.
- Trey Gaines is director of the Bartow History Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, after serving as its Education Curator for several years. The Museum is currently planning a move to a larger historic courthouse facility in Cartersville.
- Jihan George Bradford puts her oral history and research skills to work at the Social Security office in Atlanta. She is volunteering for the Regional Music Project at the Center for Public History to document African American shape-note singing. Jihan is returning to West Georgia to complete her Museum Studies Certificate.
- Lindsay Gustafson works at the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library in Atlanta, where she helps with registration and curatorial activities.
- Amy Grundhoeffer Reed is the Curator at the Marietta Museum of History, in Marietta, Georgia.
- Ashley Judy, who is completing her M.A. in Public History a UWG, works at the Southeast Regional office of the National Archives in Morrow, where she helps with archival work and public programs.
- Rebecca Lapczynski Hebert is Records Manager for the City of Douglasville, GA. She previously worked as an archivist and records manager at the Alabama State Archives in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Catherine Hendricks is a special projects manager at the Ingram Library at the University of West Georgia, where she helps with exhibits, programming, and other types of community outreach.
- Trevor Lanier is the curator of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Authority Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- Carla Ledgerwood is working in the registration and curatorial areas at the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library, which is in the process of creating a new exhibit.
- Terri Lotti is an archaeologist with the Georgia Department of Transportation. She also currently serves as the vice-chair of the Historic Preservation Committee for the City of Villa Rica, Georgia.
- Penny McMillan, who earned a Museum Studies Certificate, has been a guide at the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center, after working as Curator at Bulloch Hall.
- Sheila Milton Cook, who earned her M.A. and Museum Studies Certificate, is a research assistant and part-time curator at the Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is doing research for exhibits, creating education programs, and conducting and revamping school tours.
- Sally Moreland worked as a registration assistant at the Atlanta History Center, helping with the Military History Collection. Sally, a retired teacher who completed both the Public History and Museum Studies Certificates.
- Amanda Mros is an archivist at the Georgia Archives in Morrow, Georgia.
- Linda Orrell is curator at the Meteetsie Historical Society in Meteetsie, Wyoming.
- Nikki Patterson Cantrell spent two years working as the assistant registrar at the Atlanta History Center, before leaving to go into her family's tourism business.
- Noelle Pearce Totten worked as the Registrar at the Marietta Museum of History.
- Sandy Pollard, who earned her Museum Studies Certificate at UWG, worked as interim director of the Center for Public History in the 2008-9 academic year. She is currently teaching history survey classes at UWG.
- Rick Primuth, who completed his M.A. in Public History and the Museum Studies Certificate, is now teaching survey classes at UWG.
- Jill Sauser, who earned a Museum Studies Certificate, has been working as a museum consultant.
- Amy Storey Simon is assistant registrar with the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. She had previously worked as a registrar at the Atlanta History Center.
- Carey Tilley, formerly the director of the Chieftains Museum in Rome, Georgia, now works as Executive Director of the Cherokee Museum in Oklahoma.
- Sue VerHoef is the reading room manager at the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.
- Arden Williams is a program officer with the Georgia Humanities Council, where she has been coordinating the state-wide tour of the Smithsonian exhibit "Key Ingredient: America By Food." She previously worked as an archives technician at the National Archives, Southeast Region, in Morrow, Georgia
Students can get involved in many ways including volunteer work, which not only looks great on a resume, but also helps students network. Public History students often volunteer locally such as helping to install the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition "Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America" at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center.
Visit our Public History Students in Action page to see a photo album of student volunteers making a difference!