History Interns • William V. Weinold ’18
This winter, history secondary ed. major William Weinold learned more about the history of his home, and the value of historians, while interning at the Long Island Museum.
Located in the heart of Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum offers three exhibition buildings, gardens, outdoor sculpture, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and other historic buildings. While interning, William assisted in the day-to-day operation of the museum and its permanent and changing exhibitions along with the finest collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
Getting an Edge
"Programs like studying abroad and interning are critical when it comes to creating a transcript that stands out from those of my peers."
"I learned about the opportunity for an internship when attending a counseling session with [history professor] Dr. Fuchs. We were knocking around some ideas for classes for the upcoming semester. I want to be the most well-rounded student I can be, and programs like studying abroad and interning are critical when it comes to getting an edge creating a transcript that stands out from those of my peers.
"[Heading into the internship] my primary goal was to immerse myself in the curatorial workload and to help as much as possible with the completion of their projects; be it with research or simply the 'grunt work' of cleaning displays or moving things around the museum. Ultimately, I hoped to develop a better understanding of how a museum operates and in turn to better understand the profession of historian apart from a teacher or professor. Another goal I had in mind was to better my research techniques and learn more about Long Island history and heritage."
A New Way To Make History
"My main take away was a better understanding of how a historian constructs, comments on and presents an exhibit effects the publics' understanding of particular events. It is not unlike the way a popular history book can give someone an intentionally (or unintentionally) skewed view of the past.
"I always thought it was fun talking about the best way to present a particular moment in history through an exhibit."
"My primary roles were to assist the curatorial staff in researching upcoming exhibits, to transcribe interviews with a prominent Long Island artist, and to aid in regular maintenance and cleaning, pretty much in that order. Sometimes though, we would just sit around and discuss ideas for upcoming exhibits and brainstorm. I always thought it was fun talking about the best way to present a particular moment in history through an exhibit."
The Long Island Museum's Carriage Museum includes eight renovated galleries that tell the story of transportation before the automobile. Grace Darling, a huge, beautifully decorated omnibus, welcomes visitors as they enter the building.
Q&A With William
What did you hope to get out of your time at SJC?
"Aside from a degree and job, I feel like I have already gained so much from my time at St. Joe's.
"From simply making new friends, to studying under professors who challenge my world view, to getting the opportunity to voice my ideas and possibly challenge the world view of others, every day I come to campus I feel like I am getting something out of the experience."
What inspired you to go into your field?
"Being that I'm currently in the US Coast Guard, I'll go with what inspired me to get into studying history. Aside from always enjoying history classes, I see its value in helping people shape a balanced and understanding world view. As a history teacher I think I could help high school students develop into critically thinking, well-rounded adults."
What are you plans after graduation?
"I don't really know. I'm currently processing for the NYPD, as well as studying for the LSAT. I love history, and think I would really enjoy teaching it, but as of now it's really all up in the air."
What was your dream job as a kid?
"As a kid always wanted to join the Coast Guard and I always wanted to be a police officer. I have older family members who do both, and I always thought they seemed like such fulfilling, exciting professions. It looks like I might be fortunate enough do wind up doing both. My interest in teaching history, and now possibly law, is rather new."
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
"I can't credit one person in my life as my biggest influence, as I have been incredibly fortunate to have so many fantastic role models, but if I have to pick one, the first that comes to mind is most definitely my father. I can say ever since I was very young I admired his ability to balance a tremendous work ethic and an ability to put down a project at the end of the day and have a good time. I definitely owe a tremendous amount of my success to his constant support and to the values he instilled in me."