History Major, 2000; Honors in History, 2000
Social Media Coordinator and Web Producer, Franklin & Marshall College
At some point during my four years at Franklin & Marshall, I decided that a strictly academic career in history was not for me. Fortunately, my F&M experience included multiple opportunities to explore other options for pursuing my passion for the subject: volunteering at the Lancaster County Historical Society, studying objects in an American Studies seminar and internships at the Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania State Archives and National Museum of American History. Ultimately, I realized that my interests lie in public history—interpreting and sharing stories about the past with a broader audience.
This happened to dovetail nicely with two other interests of mine: graphic design and the Internet. My high school experience with photography and printing led to a student job in F&M’s publications office, and I may be the only F&M student to ever exchange a credit with Millersville University (by way of our art department) for a graphic design class. After my sophomore roommate (and fellow history major) Simon Kendall showed me a website he built, I began learning HTML and fiddling with new software programs that made building websites easier. All of this culminated in my building three websites as part of my history education: two online exhibits for historical societies and one for the Internship Office at the National Museum of American History.
During the final days of my senior year, the director of F&M’s communications office (who oversaw the publications office where I had been working as a student for three years) hired me as the first full-time employee devoted to maintaining the College’s website; for several months, my supervisor, the Web Manager, was a half-time library systems op. Over the years, my work has shifted from coding HTML to helping F&M blaze a trail through a new marketing and communications frontier: social media.
Today, as F&M’s social media coordinator, I manage the F&M “voice” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. This involves writing, photography, video, editing and, best of all, many opportunities to go digging in the Franklin & Marshall College Archives & Special Collections. I see myself as a curator of sorts—acquiring, creating, processing and sharing content that will help tell the F&M story to a broad audience, from high school juniors to our oldest alumni.
I am taking the slow road to finishing graduate studies in American Studies at Penn State-Harrisburg but am eager to see what opportunities will arise from returning to the academic side of history.
"I see myself as a curator of sorts—acquiring, creating, processing and sharing content that will help tell the F&M story to a broad audience, from high school juniors to our oldest alumni."