Graduate Commencement’s Student Speaker Aspires to Teach Others about History

May 10, 2018
By: Kim Caisse

Worcester State University student Katie CameronKatie Cameron, who is a second-year student in Worcester State University’s M.A. in History program, will be the student speaker at the Graduate Commencement on May 18 at 6 p.m. in the Sullivan Auditorium.

This will be the second time she and her twin sister, Heather, have graduated from Worcester State together. The first time was 2016, when Heather received a bachelor’s degree in English and Katie in history. Both sisters minored in secondary education and are licensed teachers for middle and high school. This time, Heather will be earning a master’s degree in English.

“Heather and I have attended Worcester State University together during our undergraduate and graduate careers, and we have always supported each other throughout our journeys,” Katie said. “Graduation will be even more special since we are able to celebrate together with our family there to cheer us on.”

Graduating with a master’s degree in history puts Katie “another step closer” to achieving her “dream of becoming an educator,” she said. She has been working as a substitute teacher at Oxford High School.

“Much of my teaching experience has been within classroom settings,” she said.

A three-time winner of the Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan Academic Achievement Award when she was an undergraduate student, Katie is deciding between a career as a high school history teacher or a museum educator. The master’s program in history introduced her to public history and museum studies.

Graduation will be even more special since we are able to celebrate together with our family there to cheer us on.

“This year, I completed my master’s thesis titled “‘Made-for-Instagram’ Museums: Relationships Between Museums and Social Media and How They Define Physical and Digital Space,” which pertained to visitor-centered opportunities, relationships between institutions and social media, and authentic experiences at museums,” she explained.

This topic “is situated in an under-studied part of museum studies literature,” said Assistant Professor of History and Political Science and M.A. in History Program Coordinator Erika Briesacher, Ph.D. She nominated Katie to give the student keynote address.

“I’ve been most struck by Katie’s ability to navigate complex ideas, complicated subject matter, and the ‘historiographic gap’—those topics that haven’t been researched extensively or enough,” Briesacher added.

In addition, Katie served “as a Jumpstart corps member at the Webster Square Daycare in the summer of 2017” and volunteered at the community dinners for participants in the Clemente Course in the Humanities, an award-winning, college-level seminar for highly motivated low-income adults seeking to build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Working for Jumpstart “reinforced my passion for teaching,” she said.

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