Haleigh DeGrow is a Public History major with a minor in Anthropology. During her three-year career at Ball State, she has been a part of the Ball State Women’s Soccer Club and the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society. During her second year, Haleigh was given the opportunity to present her Middletown Studies research at the Ball State Student History Conference on a panel entitled “Sex, Alcohol, and Society: Gas Boom Muncie in Story Maps and Podcasts.” Haleigh has also been awarded the Jack Walker Scholarship and the Childress Fellowship, both of which are awarded based on sound academic ability and merit. Additionally, she has had the pleasure of being an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow within the History Department. Most recently, Haleigh has been accepted into IUPUI’s Public History Masters Programs, which she plans on attending in the fall of 2021.
The following is an interview with Haleigh DeGrow on her internship through Ball State’s Public History program.
How did you decide you wanted to pursue a degree in Public History?
To be honest, I never thought I was going to end up in history. I 100% thought I was going to be a nurse or something in the medical field. Then my senior year of high school I went on a trip to Germany and visited Neuschwanstein, a castle, where we were only able to see about ten rooms. That infuriated me. It’s a castle! I know there are more than ten rooms to see, and I wanted to see them all.
That got me thinking that if I were to pursue a degree in Public History, I would be able to see and touch historical artifacts in a way that the public is not able to. So, I chose a degree in Public History because I wanted to touch old, cool stuff and get a more hands on experience with the past.
Why were you interested in this specific internship?
Initially, I was not interested in my internship at all; however, after a brief conversation with Dr. Ludwig, who is presiding over my internship, I was enthralled with the topic. This internship allows to me do my favorite part of history, which is to research and learn, while also getting the opportunity to produce an exhibit to bring to the public.
What does a typical day at your internship look like?
Honestly, it’s just a bunch of research! Each week the topic changes as Dr. Ludwig has me filling in any gaps with research, which keeps it interesting, and keeps me on my toes!
What are the most valuable skills you have gained from your internship?
My internship has largely aided me in time management while also improving my ability to communicate and develop concepts with others.
What is the most fulfilling part of your internship?
The most fulfilling part of my internship is knowing once all the work is finished, there will be a completed exhibit for the public to enjoy while learning about the Midwest!