Museums and Heritage Seminar Travels to D.C.

Ten students in the HON 2515 Museums and Heritage Studies seminar visited Washington, D.C., over fall break as part of their work for the course. This seminar was taught by Dr. Heather Waldroup, Associate Director of the Honors College and Associate Professor of Art History. In addition to visiting a number of museums and cultural sites in the city, the students had a variety of new (to many of them) experiences, including staying in a youth hostel and meeting travelers from all over the world; navigating and exploring a large city using public transportation; and trying new and different foods.

Click here for a video about the seminar trip to D.C. by Honors Sophomore and nutrition and foods major Amy Perkinson.

Photo collage below by Honors Junior and communication sciences and disorders major Maggie Steranko features various aspects of this Honors experience. 


Together the students visited the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Renwick Gallery, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Library of Congress. Students also toured museums and sites on their own, including the monuments of the National Mall, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Natural History. Their experiences included a discussion with a scholar of the Holocaust after touring the exhibits at the Holocaust Memorial Museum; witnessing a tarantula feeding at the Museum of Natural History; and a guided tour on the theme of heritage with a docent at the Renwick Gallery.

Photo below by Honors Junior and polical science major Jared Mark features Honors Junior and criminal justice major Vincent Perez-huet. 


Photo below by Honors Junior and psychology major Bailey Bosso of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Photo below by Honors Junior and chemistry major Rose Rossell of Maggie Steranko at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


The trip served as the International Education experience for the students enrolled in the course. Reflecting on their experiences of stepping outside their everyday lives, students noted the occasional frustrations of using public transportation, the adventures of navigating an unknown city, and their interactions with travelers from other countries. Two of the students also participated in a sign-language tour of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Other students made connections between course readings on the display of human remains in museums and an exhibition of Egyptian mummies. Maggie Steranko noted, "Even if I had not enjoyed the various museums and monuments, the trip would have been worth it for the random experiences and late night bonding moments in the hostel. The trip bonded the class as a whole, and now our class time might be more interactive because we know each other as people and not just as peers."

Photo below by Rose Rossell shows students in their D.C. hostel. 


Top photo by Dr. Waldroup shows Honors Junior Maggie Steranko (right) with a docent giving the class a tour at the Renwick Gallery.

Story by:  Garrett Alexandrea McDowell, Ph.D. and Heather Waldroup, Ph.D. 

Published: Jan 24, 2018 10:17am