2014 NHF Summer Interns Weigh in on Naval History

Last week, our summer interns wrapped up their time here at NHF. Thankfully, each intern took a few moments to answer a few questions about their experiences working with the Foundation. Thanks again to Alicia, Aaron, and Ross (not interviewed) for a wonderful summer!

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Alicia Petersen
Senior
University of South Florida
History/Biomedical Sciences

What interests you in history?
Early Modern Europe, especially the Renaissance and French Revolution; Soviet Russia.

What parts of naval history do you find interesting?
I enjoyed learning about the Navy this summer, particularly since I didn’t have a significant knowledge base prior to coming here. I enjoyed learning about Navy culture and the Navy’s role during WWII (Midway, Leyte Gulf, etc.)

Briefly discuss your internship here at NHF this summer.
I helped Dr. Winkler plan and organize the 10th Maritime Heritage Conference. I also conducted photo research for NHF publications.

What did you learn from your experience here?
I was able to gain valuable research experience and familiarize myself with differnet resources for research (i.e. NARA, NHHC Photo Archices, etc.)

Favorite moment of the internship?
I really enjoyed going to the meeting of the editorial board for NHF’s upcoming book on the Navy Reserves. It was very interesting to see the process of publishing a book. If I enter a career in academia, I hope to be doing the same thing one day.

How can we make history more engaging?
I think what Matt’s doing to integrate popular social media platforms are great. I also think that taking a more social/cultural approach vs. simply recounting battles may be a good idea, but I can certainly say I am biased since I love cultural history.

What are your plans for the future?
I am taking a year off from school and working at a non-profit here in DC before going to grad school to get my MA and (hopefully) a Ph.D. in history. I still need to decide if I want to do early modern history or Russian history. Decisions!

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Aaron McDougal
Senior
The College of Wooster
History

What interests you in history?
The study of history can give you a degree of perspective about current events that one would not otherwise have. History is a flexible field of study that can accommodate a wide variety of interests. It forces one to delve into other fields of study in order to achieve an understanding of historical events/contexts/etc. History therefore acts as a bridge to other fields of study.

What parts of naval history do you find interesting?
I am interested in the development of naval power. In particular, I am interested in naval power and its role in the creation of sates around the globe, especially the creation of the United States.

Briefly discuss your internship here at NHF this summer.
I assisted with historical research, editing, and the publication of a book. I also did general office work and assisted with various things around the Washington Navy Yard with NHF staff.

What did you learn from your experience here?
My editing skills have drastically improved. I have refined the way I do historical research as well.

Favorite part of the internship?
Being able to say that I worked on a publication of a 600-700 page oral history monograph.

How can we make history more engaging?
Highlight its connections to other fields of study/the ability of individuals to study history in concert with other fields of study.

What are your plans for the future?
I’ll be finishing up college. After graduation, I plan to join the military.

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