Summer Centered: Jo Mikula ’20 Uses the Technology of Today to Make History Come Alive
Thanks to funding from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, the English and French double major is blogging for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania this summer.
Jo Mikula ’20 has always found a way to work her love for writing into her academic and extracurricular pursuits. An English and French double major, she’s also a reporter and social media editor for the campus newspaper The Bi-Co News and an editor for the campus academic journal Body Text. And this fall she’ll start work as a tutor in the Office of Academic Resources’s Writing Center.
This summer, she is pursuing those same interests in a professional setting for the first time through a John B. Hurford ’60 Center for Arts and Humanities-funded summer internship at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). One of the oldest historical societies in the U.S. (it was founded in 1824), HSP’s stated mission is to inspire people to create a better future through historical understanding. Mikula will do her part to further that goal by writing and editing blog posts that show off some of the more than 600,000 printed items and 21 million manuscript and graphic items in the organization’s collections —work that Mikula describes as “an extension in many ways of the work I have done writing articles for The Bi-Co News.”
Mikula is using many of her Haverford classes—in political science, art history, philosophy, and peace, justice and human rights—with helping her come up with ideas for her blog posts.
“I have drawn on themes I’ve talked about in Haverford classes, especially my humanities and social sciences [ones], which have pushed me to make connections between ideas and between different disciplines,” she said. “Learning to think in this way has helped me come up with blog ideas that connect past and present and has helped me come up with ways to use HSP's collection in different ways and incorporate it creatively into the work I'm doing.”
Though the summer just started, Mikula is enjoying her internship so much that it has already begun to influence her professional aspirations.
“Looking at what everyone in the office does is helping me think more about my own career options,” she says, “and about what type of workplace environment I want to be in after I graduate… I would be interested in working at an organization [like this] in the future.”
For now, though, she’s just excited by the prospect of seeing her work on HSP’s official website.
“I’m really excited to get some writing published for an organization,” she says.
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.