As a History Major with a minor in Art History and Religious Studies, Elizabethtown College student Hannah Ciocco has found a way to create a project that combined all her interests over the summer. We talk to Hannah about her project and where she is going with it.
Describe the genesis of the project. How did you come up with this idea?
This project was the result of Dr. Newton emailing me about an opportunity to apply and ultimately receive a summer enrichment grant that would sponsor student research during the summer. The idea to travel to different museums came to me fairly quick because I combined my two favorite things, traveling and museums. So, I created a proposal to travel through Canada and the western part of the country in order to experience and study the different museums found in those regions.
How did you see your work in religious studies (as well as other disciplines) help you in this endeavor.
During my research this summer, my work in religious studies and other areas has helped me understand and see how exactly each museum is important to its community and the world. With my religious studies background, I was able to connect the cultural and religious aspects that allowed me to fully understand the subject matter. Because all of the museums that I visited were specific to the region in which they were located, it was also helpful to have a historical understanding along with knowledge of art history through the cultural and regional influences on the pieces of art.
What stood out you about seeing people live out some of the things you hope to do professionally?
Being able to see museum curators in their working environment and experiencing their work was truly wonderful. Seeing how much effort and love for the museum they all had was amazing. This experience made me realize that this is exactly what I want to do in the future.
What surprises/challenges came up along the way?
The only challenge that occurred along the way was museum workers being nervous about me interviewing them. A lot of people get nervous when you ask them to answer a few questions while you are writing down their answers, but after a little reassurance, they were all very informational and did great! All of the museum workers I had met and interviewed along the way were very welcoming and helpful.
Did your work with Sowing the Seed prepare you at all for this project? If so, how?
My previous work with Sowing the Seed has undoubtedly helped prepare me for this project. This project was a lot of writing and reporting, something that I practiced extensively while writing my two blog posts for Sowing the Seed.
How do you think you could put your own personal touch on the museum world?
Hopefully, in the future, I will achieve my dream of becoming a museum curator and while working, I hope to engage and encourage visitors to become life long learners, not only in the subject matter of the museum but in all subjects. This hunger for knowledge is something that I continue to have and hopefully I can add that personal touch to my future museum.
What’s next for you?
This semester, I am studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Maynooth University and I couldn’t be more excited! I hope to experience all that Ireland has to offer and bring some of my new knowledge back to the Elizabethtown College classroom in the future. I also plan on getting a possible museum internship this summer in Washington D.C. to pursue my dream of becoming a museum curator.
Hannah Ciocco ’19 is a sophomore at Elizabethtown College. She is majoring in History while pursuing minors in Art History and Religious Studies. Her blog, A College Student With a Case of Museum Wanderlust, showcases her experience visiting museums from New Mexico to Canada.