Spotlight

Daniella McCahey, 2017 Public Fellow

History PhD student Daniella McCahey worked with Bowers Museum as part of the Humanities Out There Public Fellows Program in 2017.

I worked at the Bowers Museum of Orange County, supporting their current exhibit on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (better known as the Endurance expedition). For this project,
I developed docent educational materials, a family guide, a K-12 curriculum guide, and student
activities connected to the exhibit. Additionally, I assisted on educational and community
engagement programming, gave guided tours of the exhibit, and forged connections between the Bowers Museum and Ohio State University's Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

As a humanities student, I brought expertise to the project through my skills in research and writing. Additionally, since I study the history of science and exploration in Antarctica for my dissertation, I both brought the exhibit my expert knowledge on the history of Antarctica and widened my own expertise on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and the career of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

For me, the most rewarding aspects of this project was the public engagement. I felt very gratified
that so many people were interested in learning about the history of Antarctica and that they were
so engaged in the exhibit. I think other students should definitely participate if they get the
chance. Frankly, I had never really considered doing a Public Fellowship before I worked at the
Bowers but I had a great experience in nearly every way.

The Humanities Out There Public Fellows Program gives humanities graduate students the opportunity to intern with local cultural organizations. Public Fellows apply and expand their humanities research, writing and analytical capacities—skills developed in a PhD program—in a non-profit setting. The 2017 Public Fellows were supported by a grant from the Luce Foundation, as well as by donor and School of Humanities funds.