Over the course of the fall semester, Dominique Washington, an Oklahoma City native and history major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, will gain real-world experience in archival practices as a paid intern for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame at Gaylord-Pickens Museum.
The internship focuses on learning professional skills in the software programs and best practices essential to the operation of museums and other archival collections. Washington supports the museum’s archives management staff in the storage, organization and processing of collections, as well as conducting research on hall of fame members and other notable Oklahomans.
“Besides being my advisee, Dominique is the kind of curious, dedicated and socially-conscious student who thrives at USAO” said Dr. Tonnia L. Anderson, associate professor of history and American studies. “As a history major, she fully understands the importance of maintaining a clear record of the past, and this internship will give her skills that can immediately translate into a career or into post-graduate study. I know Dominique’s considerable talents will shine brightly at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum.”
Over the summer, Washington and fellow USAO history major Cora Clegg interned at the Oklahoma History Center to develop better search aids for the Clara Luper Collection, while also serving as research assistants for Anderson and Bruce Fisher, the son of civil rights activist Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher. Last year, Anderson founded USAO’s newest program, the Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing, which has facilitated these internships with the history center.
The Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing builds meaningful and reciprocal relationships that address systemic problems inhibiting social justice. With an interdisciplinary approach that examines how people’s needs and desires connect with the political, economic and social structures around them, the center combines community mentors, workshops and service-learning projects to give Oklahoma’s youth the tools and guidance needed to lead positive social change.
Founded in 1927, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame honors Oklahomans who have shown outstanding service to the state during their lifetime. The technologically innovative Gaylord-Pickens Museum opened to the public in 2007 and brought numerous renovations to the original exhibits, which had been displayed at the Oklahoma Heritage House since 1972. Providing educational programming for students of all ages, the museum illustrates the rich history of the state through the stories of its people.