We are pleased to welcome the newest member of The Texas Collection, Brandice Nelson. Ms. Nelson is our new Map Curator and serves as the Coordinator for the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair. Contact her with any map inquiries through the Frances C. Poage Map Room and for the History Fair through their website, Twitter, or Facebook.
My name is Brandice Nelson and I’m the new Heart of Texas Regional History Fair Coordinator and Map Curator. I’ve earned both a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Baylor University. I always knew I wanted to be involved in history and museums, but education was the furthest thing from my mind until I got involved with National History Day. As a homeschooler, approaching history from unconventional avenues was definitely appealing. I competed in the senior individual performance category throughout high school, and even though I didn’t make it to nationals, I learned so much about the topics I chose.
Fast-forward to my junior year of college, I found out that Baylor hosted the regional history competition on campus and jumped at the chance to be involved. If you’ve attended a fair within the last four years, it’s likely you’ve seen me at the information desk, directing volunteers, or judging my own former category. It can seem like an extremely hectic and even chaotic atmosphere, but I absolutely live for those two February days when young historians from across our region bring all their hard work to life.
My main goal for the next few years is to grow the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair (HOTRHF) into both a campus and city wide event. I also want to find ways to ensure that students in low-income districts have access to the research tools and assistance they need to create successful projects. Depending on the cooperation of the 76 school districts in our region, in addition to private schools and homeschool co-ops, HOTRHF has the potential to double in size within the next few years. I want to make that happen.
When not working with the history fair, you can find me in the map room assisting researchers and possibly doing a little research myself. The Texas Collection has a fantastic collection of Texas and Texas-related maps, and part of my job will be to enhance public awareness of this great resource. It’s clear I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m very glad to be part of the team!