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Museum Internship Combines Teaching and History


When Jesse Elmer ’21 helped plan Hamilton’s History Club outing to the Seward House Museum in Auburn, N.Y., he didn’t know that the trip would lead him to his summer internship. After the History Club had toured the Seward House in the spring term, a museum docent told Elmer about the internship and, having “fell in love” with the museum during the tour, Elmer decided to apply. “It combined my love for history with my passion for educating the public, and it was almost natural that I worked there for the summer,” he said.

The mission of the Seward House Museum is to preserve the Seward home and educate the public about William Henry Seward and other Seward family members. Seward served as a prominent politician in the nineteenth century, working as a senator, governor, and the Secretary of State. During his internship, Elmer gave guided tours of the museum, aided with general maintenance and museum research, and developed and completed a research project on Seward’s legacy.                                                                           

About Jesse Elmer ’21

Major: History

Hometown: Camillus, NY

High School: West Genesee Senior High School

read about other student internships

A history major, Elmer hopes to eventually teach high school social studies. His internship with Seward House has reinforced his career aspirations and gave him the opportunity to apply his historical knowledge and interest in education. As part of his final project, he mapped Seward’s travels and created a lesson plan for sixth graders, furthering his teaching skills. Elmer also said that visitors’ excitement over history has encouraged his pursuits. “Whenever I felt the guests’ passion for learning about history, my desire to be a social studies teacher was affirmed,” he said.

However, Elmer noted that working at a museum has given him, as his director would say, “the museum bug.” He enjoyed his work with the museum and thrived in an environment that combined history, education, and public interaction. “I’d like to give a big thank you to the Hamilton Career Center and its donors for supporting museum and library careers,” he said, expressing appreciation for those who helped him afford his internship opportunity.

“… Keep a look out for History Club emails in the fall,” Elmer concluded, promoting the club that brought him to his internship. “We party like it’s 1789.”

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