Internship at MOA offers lessons in history

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

My name is Eyricka L. Johnson, senior History Major at Elizabeth City State University. At ECSU, I am the Student Government Vice President of Internal Affairs, involved in the University Choir, the honors program, the history scholars club and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. My mother is an Elizabeth City State University alumnae.

This summer, I was awarded the opportunity to work at the Museum of the Albemarle as a Museum’s Collection Assistant through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. While at the Museum of the Albemarle, I worked on multiple mini projects. Being that education is the field I am pursuing a career in, I spent the beginning of my internship with a different age range of students, teaching them not only about the history of the Albemarle but about history in general.

I also watched three exhibits being installed, which gave me the opportunity to learn about each one of them and how it relates to the Albemarle region.

When I first began my internship, I had very high expectations of completing unrealistic goals, but I quickly realized it was better for me to prioritize my goals, and my biggest goal was to learn more about museums. Coming into my internship I had very basic knowledge on Museums, but I was very interested in learning more about the way in which they work.

I worked heavily in the conservation lab, which was a subject I knew nothing about before. During my internship, I have learned about the importance of conserving and the well-being of certain objects. I hope to apply my knowledge that I have learned on textiles and handling certain objects to projects that are taking place on Elizabeth City State University such as the Principal’s House and the Rosenwald School.

My knowledge isn’t just applicable in this area but also in my future career as a history teacher by teaching my students the core knowledge that I learned. Learning about the importance of the Museum of the Albemarle and how it serves Elizabeth City and 13 surrounding counties — which I was not aware of before. I have also learned about the great contributions from Elizabeth City State University from the library’s archives as well as the archives at my university.

Overall, this experience has taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to work with people who have a different perspective of history. I now have found my passion and my specific area of history that I am the most interested in. Throughout my internship, we are required to take a personal development workshop to help us grow professionally in a work environment. These professional development workshops were very beneficial and the material I learned can be applied for future jobs to come.

I am thankful for this opportunity to internship and I plan on continuing to volunteer at the Museum of the Albemarle.

Eyricka Johnson is an Artifact Collections Assistant Intern at Museum of the Albemarle.