Hannah (Benge) Parks, the marketing and program coordinator at Iredell Museums in Statesville, received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2014. She says her concentration, Applied and Public History, is useful for many fields, including historic preservation, collections care and management, historic interpretation and exhibit design.
At Iredell Museums, Parks has become something of a jack of all trades, doing much more than her title would imply. She not only keeps track of donations and memberships, making sure donors are thanked; she also manages volunteers involved in Gregory Creek Homestead, a living history site, and she helps out with science and art programs for kids. She is researching and developing an Egyptian mummy exhibit set to open in 2016.
Appalachian taught “me (to) think about other cultures and ways of thought besides my own,” she said.
“This has proved invaluable in choosing exhibits, analyzing collection pieces, and interpreting history in such a way that it applies to every visitor despite their age or background.”
Parks said she “absolutely loved” studying history at Appalachian, the backdrop of which reflects such a rich local history that you can’t help but be pulled in.
A course at Appalachian “never felt like a class to me,” she said. “It was always an opportunity to learn something new.”
As for the faculty, they “were all extremely willing to help in whatever way they could, and they were always great to listen to when they lectured,” she said. “They inspired great discussions, and I learned so much from them.”