Alumni of COPLAC-sponsored and -funded distance digital liberal arts seminars have gone on to do incredible things, taking their course experiences with them.
After completing COPLAC's Century America project, I went on to graduate with a self-designed Bachelor's degree in public history from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. I am currently using the skills I gained through Century America working at a local museum, doing everything from giving tours of a ship and a mansion, to conducting oral history interviews, creating exhibits, sorting and digitizing historic ship images, helping with events, and working as an assistant to the archivist. I am also working under a short-term grant at a university archive. There, I have archived a collection of nearly 9,200 technical drawings of ships. The next steps in the process are creating an online searchable database and writing articles. In my free time, I enjoy playing folk instruments, taking photos, gardening, and visiting with friends from around the world.
Shortly after participating in COPLAC's Century America project, I graduated from the University of Montevallo with an undergraduate degree in history. The following fall, I continued my education in the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree program at the University of Alabama, where I was fortunate enough to explore my interests in the area of archival studies. In November 2015 I relocated to Seattle, Washington, where I accepted a position working for University of Washington Medicine. In my current role within UW Medicine’s Records Management Services, I serve as a Database and Content Analyst, and I am involved in the management of a variety of public records. The experiences that I had working with historical records during the Century America project directly inform my understanding of the evidential, informational, and historical value of the records I work with each day, and the skills I gained building my Century America website continue to help me in my work as an information professional.
Soon after completing the Century America project, I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography and with a certificate in GIS. I have since been working as a contractor for the federal government in the DC area, and while I work in the IT field, I have been able to apply many of the skills I acquired from Century America. Much of my work relies heavily on writing documentation for a variety of processes, and I have been able to apply what I learned about using appropriate language for the audience at hand. Additionally, since I manage many of my projects' databases, I have referenced what I experienced regarding the function of historical archives to more effectively organize our digital files. Even though I do not work in a history discipline, I have been able to translate much of what I learned in the Century America project to my everyday work in the technology industry and am incredibly grateful for the experience.