A Summer at the Smithsonian – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A Summer at the Smithsonian

This summer, Kathryn Hackett ’17 completed an internship for the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of 19 museums, galleries, research facilities and educational centers of international renown, located in the District of Columbia.

“I am interested in alternative forms of education that can be found outside of a traditional classroom setting,” says Hackett. “I wanted to find out how the educational responsibilities of a museum or large institution differ from the responsibilities of teachers and educators working within a school system.”

Hackett worked in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as a special events leader within the NMNH Academic Resources Center. Along with planning itineraries for events within the museum, she was responsible for outside group visitations, lunch discussions with various associate directors of the several museum areas, speaking as a back-up orientation presenter, and facilitating and leading tours of the museum’s collection areas.

“My internship was administrative, but I was able to get an inside scoop of the various areas of the museum,” she says.

A history and Spanish double major with a self-designed minor in literature and writing from historical and lingual perspectives, Hackett says that her interdisciplinary studies at HWS were instrumental in helping to secure the internship.

“This internship is geared toward students in the STEM fields, but knowing that I brought strong skills to the internship ultimately helped secure my spot on a team consisting of four STEM students.”

During the academic year, Hackett is a writing colleague, works in the café for Sodexo, a member of the Asian Student Union, and a participant in the HWS Days of Service. She plans to apply for an English Teaching Assistantship through Fulbright to Spain, where she spent a semester abroad and is considering volunteer work and graduate school in the future.

In the photo above, Kathryn Hackett ’17 (right) and colleague Maria Kristina Guillen take a moment for a photo in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, where Hackett interned this summer. Hackett and Guillen were leading a tour through an exhibition that is under construction, and set to debut to the public in 2019.