Shelbyville resident and Ball State University history student Emma Brauer will run an entire museum for a day as part of her capstone internship.
From January to April, the senior is interning full time at the Henry County Historical Society Museum in New Castle, Indiana, fusing her myriad academic focuses: a major in history, concentration in public history, and minors in anthropology and historic preservation.
At the museum, she’s busy coordinating Museum Day, which is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and grants visitors free admission from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 4. Brauer also is building a professional presentation to showcase in front of the historical society board members, and preparing for the museum’s March annual opening, which will include a new Henry County music exhibit and entertaining events.
Most exciting, Brauer is in training to run the museum during opening hours for a day nearing the end of her internship. As part of her internship final, she’s building an intricate historical narrative about Catherine Winters, who was 9 years old when she disappeared in New Castle, Indiana, in 1913. She was never found.
“To transfer my skills from Ball State to the museum I’m so passionate about is rewarding and invigorating,” Brauer said. “I’m further growing as a historian and learning more than I could have expected.”
While Ball State and the museum are developing her passion, her love for history ultimately started thanks to a special teacher at Triton Central High School: Doug Johnson. He taught her that history is the basis of humankind and motivated her to travel to the places she was studying to observe history up close.
“Both professionally and personally, I’ve been empowered through my past and now my present by studying what I love,” Brauer said. “I hope the results of my passion will inspire and motivate people.”
The history buff’s dream includes working at an Indiana museum before pursuing a doctoral degree. She’s striding closer to those career goals through the internship in her final semester at Ball State.
“I’m so grateful for the various Ball State classes, empowering professors, and immersive learning experiences that have led me to this point in my career,” she said.