Westminster Junior Excited to Be Part of New Museum Studies Major for Fall 2022
Westminster junior Stephen Rogers, ’23 ΦΔΘ, will be one of the first students to choose the College’s new Museum Studies major when it officially launches in the fall of 2022.
Currently minoring in the subject, the Jefferson City, MO, native has been intimately involved in a number of hands-on museum projects, including the Veterans Memorial and Museum in Hunter Activity Center, professional displays for the Callaway County Historical Society in downtown Fulton, MO, and two exhibits with America’s National Churchill Museum on campus.
“It was very much a pleasure to work with a tightly knit group of my peers on projects that made it feel like we were truly making a difference,” says Rogers, who will add Museum Studies as a double major to his current major in History.
Dr. Mark Boulton, Chair of the Department of History, explains that Rogers is a perfect example of a student with a strong interest in history who is motivated to apply that interest in a professional setting.
“Stephen has seized every professional opportunity the Museum Studies program has provided in the last couple of years,” Boulton says, listing a few of Rogers’ recent projects.
Last year, Rogers co-wrote an article on the “Iron Curtain” speech that currently is featured on the National World War II Museum website. Co-written by Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum, the article has been well-received, garnering more than 10,000 likes.
Rogers’ education also has led to presenting original research at a number of professional conferences this semester.
And it turns out that his new major will provide him with even more opportunities.
The new Museum Studies major ― steeped in the best that a Westminster education can provide plus experiential learning at the Museum ― is highly unique.
Riley says the new Museum Studies major will allow students like Rogers to utilize America’s National Churchill Museum as a classroom, laboratory, gallery, historic site, and location for public inquiry. “The Museum will be used as an exploration of the past in a way that is very much relevant today,” he says. “It is a program that embraces one of the most distinctive and important elements of Westminster College … it is a place not only where history happened, but also where it is preserved. I might add, it is a place where history continues to be made. That is exciting for our students, faculty, and supporters.”
Currently not a major at any other colleges or universities in Missouri, Museum Studies presently is only offered as a minor at two other institutions in Missouri.
Considered by some a niche industry, job openings in museums throughout the state number at more than 100 annually and show a labor market growth rate of 3.1 percent. This projected growth is expected to continue for more than 10 years.*
The new major, which is one of a handful the College currently is developing, will allow Westminster students to achieve necessary skills while working in a world-class museum on Westminster’s campus, Boulton says. “The major offers a wide range of skills for students interested in education, business, or the creative and digital arts.”
Boulton adds that for quite some time, the Museum Studies major has been a goal of the Department of History, which has long been known for its thought-provoking, writing-tensive courses that are the foundation of a Westminster liberal arts education.
Museum Studies students will take courses such as “Museums and Community” and “Museum Artifacts and Collections” as well as unique classes that promise excitement, such as “Vampires, Voodoo, and Visions of Death in New Orleans Museums.” Various travel courses such as “Churchill’s World War II in England and France” and “War and Remembrance in Vietnam” will offer one-of-a-kind study abroad opportunities.
For Rogers, the new coursework will serve him well in his plans to attend graduate school and study history so he can eventually become a history professor.
He says, “I am excited about what I will learn with the expansion of the new program.”
Watch for future articles on other new majors ― which include Computer Systems Analysis, Digital Media, and Personal Finance ― and what sets a liberal arts education apart. For more information on the new Museum Studies major, please contact Mark.Boulton@WCMO.edu.
*This information is provided by Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC. Publicly available data can be accessed at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.