‘Field schools are the greatest opportunity to get experience’


Your NDSU experience may take you out of a traditional classroom and into the field where you can practice what you’ve learned. Our students often do work that benefits local nonprofits or North Dakota communities.

NDSU’s Public History Field School is one of those experiences. 

This spring, eight graduate and undergraduate students helped update the Wells County Museum in Fessenden, North Dakota. They organized an inventory of an array of museum artifacts that range from uniforms and wedding dresses to threshers and tractors. They also started digitizing the museum’s historical photographs and documents.

“I enjoy getting hands-on experience in my future career field,” said Kaitlynn Anderson, a second-year anthropology graduate student from Brown Summit, North Carolina. “It’s fun to help a museum better serve its community and future visitors. It’s a great feeling knowing the Wells County Museum will be able to continue to grow and improve.”

The field school is learning by doing, combined with a calling. As they gained first-hand experience, the students also made it easier for museum-goers to connect with the history of the region.

“Sharing with communities how they can keep their artifacts and history preserved for years to come is one of the reasons I went into this field of study,” said Chelsea Olmsted, a third-year public history graduate student from York, Nebraska. “Field schools are the greatest opportunity to get hands-on experience, and it’s really rewarding.”

The field school was led by Angela Smith, NDSU associate professor and public history director.

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