This blog post was written by Graduate Assistant Emma Whipkey, a master’s student in Baylor’s Museum Studies program.
Everybody says that your time in college flies by (and it does!). I found this to be doubly true for my graduate school program. As I rapidly approach the end of my master’s education here at Baylor, I have been reflecting on my time here. The things I have learned, the people I have encountered, and the experiences I have enjoyed have proven invaluable. As I look back, I would not change a thing.
I have had the pleasure of working as a Graduate Assistant at the W. R. Poage Legislative Library for my entire time at Baylor. I had some archival experience prior to joining Poage, but I was very excited to expand my archival knowledge. I began working on Clark Thompson’s papers. Thompson represented Texas’s 9th district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a veteran of both World Wars. His papers focused primarily on his final years in office during the 1960’s. After finishing the physical processing of the collection, I composed the finding aid. A finding aid is a tool to communicate important information about a collection, and usually includes things like a biography of the subject, a summary of what types of materials are in the collection, and an inventory list. Writing a finding aid was something I had never done before, and it turned out to be a fun challenge!
While completing archival projects like Clark Thompson’s papers have been my primary focus at the Poage Library, I have gotten to wear several hats! There is currently a new permanent exhibit in the works for the foyer of the library, and this past summer, I helped find physical materials in our collection to use for the exhibit. As a Museum Studies student, planning exhibits is something I really enjoy. Last summer, I also had the opportunity to help plan and facilitate an educational civics camp called iEngage. We used photographs, correspondence, and other materials to create different activities that required the students to think about what it means to be an engaged citizen.
My time at Baylor is quickly coming to an end. With everything else going on in the world right now, I have a lot of emotions about finishing up my degree and my time here. I am excited for what the future holds, a little sad to be leaving Baylor, and anxious for what comes next. But above all, I am proud of the work I have accomplished in my classes and at the Poage Library. I will always treasure what I have learned.