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Student Spotlight

Preston Petermeier and Alicia Kozlowski

CLA Students Preston Petermeier and Alicia Kozlowski were two of the interns at Veteran's Memorial Hall that created Behind the Wire, an exhibit the tells the story of local Korean War veteran, Anthony Jurek, and his experiences as a prisoner of war in Korea from 1950-1953.  The exhibit was on display April 15 - May 10, 2010.

CLA Students share their experience on creating the exhibit Behind the Wire.

Alicia Kozlowski 
December 2009 Graduate
History major, Anthropology minor

Thank you for the interest in the Behind the Wire exhibit. I graduated from UMD in December (2009) through CLA with a degree in History and a minor in Anthropology. During my last semester this past fall I interned at the St. Louis County Historical Society doing collections (working with artifacts). After graduating in December, I continued with the historical society, specifically the Veteran's Memorial Hall. Dan Hartman, the VMH director, had the vision for the interns to build an exhibit from start to finish. My involvement was: determining the focus of the exhibit, writing text for the stories and artifacts, researching and finding artifacts to use, picking up and preparing the artifacts for display, preparing the cases for artifact/story display, gathering food donations from Famous Daves, and informing the public of the opening of the exhibit.

Currently, I am finishing my internship with the Veteran's Memorial Hall, and on May 15, I will be starting work with the Minnesota Historical Society at the Split Rock Lighthouse as a Historic Interpreter.

Preston Petermeier
History major, Political Science minor

I found this internship through an email sent out to all history majors, I am not getting credit for it through school, I am doing it for my resume since I graduate in December.  The internship is through the Veterans Memorial Hall which is a part of the St. Louis County Historical Society.  We chose to do an exhibit on local veteran Anthony Jurek who was a POW for 33 months in the Korean War.  Along with 3 other interns, we worked on researching Anthony Jurek's story and try to condense it down to a reasonable amount.  We also had to come up with a layout plan for the exhibit, as well as figure out what artifacts to use.  It was difficult in that, we would come up with an idea, and then we would find something else, and have to re-plan everything.  Our goal was to educate people about the life in a POW camp, so they can understand the difficulties and the danger that soldiers put on the line to fight for our country.  The most memorable part of the exhibit, other than the grand opening, would have been reading a bunch of interesting war stories from veterans.  As I mentioned earlier, I graduate this December, after that I plan on moving out to Colorado and try to get a job at the National Archives in Denver! I look forward to using my experiences and knowledge that I have learned from this internship and use them in the future.


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