Public History

Department of History

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If your dream job involves designing museum exhibits, discovering untold stories in archives, or presenting history to public audiences, public history is the major for you. Public history is one of the newest and fastest growing areas of employment for students of history. It spans public presentation and engagement, as well as government and corporate consultant work.

Public history majors work with our archivist in the university archives starting their very first semester and will meet and network with history professionals. All public history majors complete internships at museums or archives and leave the program with practical experience in the field.

Coursework includes working with practitioners to learn historical analysis, digital technology, research, exhibit design, historical presentation and archive management.

In the classroom and in the field, you'll learn from BW's knowledgeable faculty and impressive career professionals. Following National Council on Public History guidelines, the major combines coursework in History with internship and practical skills—archival research, information management, writing, web design and digital media, oral history and more.

It is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. Starting your first semester, you'll work in BW's University archives and be mentored by a professional archivist.

A capstone internship offers you the opportunity to apply your skills and insights in a professional setting.

What is Public History?
BW offers Ohio's only undergraduate major in public history. BW is a partner of the National Council on Public History, an organization that offers career information about this dynamic, growing career field.

Career Opportunities

Public History is ideal as a single major or as a companion for a double major. Opportunities include:

  • Archivist
  • Museum curator/manager
  • Historical consultant
  • Librarian
  • Urban planner
  • Government historian
  • Historic preservationist
  • Film/media producer

National Council on Public History offers an explanation of Public History as a major and career field.


Public History is offered as a major and as a certificate program. The major is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. There is a required capstone internship.

Students interested in public history may also want to consider history as a major or minor.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Whether it's historic Berea, nearby Metroparks, downtown Cleveland or beyond, BW is within easy access to an array of museums, historical societies, community and professional organizations and more. You'll benefit from practical learning experiences as well as networking opportunities with leading professionals in the field.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

Adams Street Cemetery Project is a collaborative research-based community service project offering you integrative, real-world field experiences. You'll work with faculty, professional historians from the Berea Historical Society and City of Berea personnel to rediscover the lost histories of persons buried in the Adams Street Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Berea.

Students majoring in public history have a wealth of internship opportunities available to them in the Cleveland area. Recent internship experiences include:

  • Shannon Kee '17, intern at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Riza Miklowski '16, intern at Hale Farm and Village


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world.

Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation.


Rachel Boaz, Instructor in History
Ph.D. in History, Kent State University, 2009
Teaching areas: Modern Europe, Weimar and National Socialist Germany, social/cultural history, history of medicine, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Book: In Search of "Aryan Blood": Serology in Interwar and National Socialist Germany (Central European University, 2012).

Indira Falk Gesink, Professor of History and Chairperson
Ph.D. in History, Washington University in St. Louis, 2000
Teaching areas: Modern Middle East, history of Islam 600-present, Women in Asia, World Civilizations 1500-present, historiography and historical theory, local history, cemetery restoration. Recent Awards: Oakley Certificate of Merit, Association for Gravestone Studies, 2010; Ohio Magazine's Excellence in Education Award , 2009; Gigax Faculty Scholarship Award, 2009.
Books: Islamic Reform and Conservatism: Al-Azhar and the Evolution of Modern Sunni Islam (I. B. Tauris, 2009, 2013), Barefoot Millionaire: John Baldwin and the Founding Values of Baldwin Wallace University (Baldwin Wallace, 2013), Philosophies of History (forthcoming, 2015).
Dr. Gesink's current research explores the ways in which Islamic legal and medical texts treat intersexuality—as disease, as a problem of gendered religious praxis, as a third sex.

Timothy Mieyal, Instructor of History
M.A. in History, A.B.D. at Kent State University
Teaching areas: Civil Rights Movement, African-American history, Modern U.S., social and cultural history, Civil War.

Robert Montgomery, Professor of History
Ph.D. in History, Indiana University, 1995
Teaching areas: Russian history, East Asian history, World Civilizations prehistory-1500.
Recent Awards: Dayton C. Miller "Most Influential Professor," 2009, 2011; Student-Athlete "Making a Difference" Award, 2011.
Book: Late Tsarist and Early Soviet Cultural and Nationality Poilcy: The Buryats and their Language (Edwin Mellen, 2006).
Dr. Montgomery is currently working on new research on the native peoples of Siberia.

Kyriakos Nalmpantis, Visiting Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D. in History, Kent State University, 2010
Teaching areas: European history, Latin American revolutions, World Civilizations.
Award: Modern Greek Studies Association's Iatrides Best Dissertation Award, 2011
Dissertation: "Time on the Mountain: The Office of Strategic Services in Axis-Occupied Greece, 1943-1944."

Tamara Rand, Instructor of History
Ph.D. in History, University of Akron, 2013
Teaching areas: Women in Asian and western civilizations.
Dissertation: "And If Men Might Also Imitate Her Virtues" An Examination of Goscelin of Saint-Bertin's Hagiographies of The Female Saints of Ely and Their Role in the Creation of Historic Memory.

Steven E. Siry, Professor of History
Ph.D. in History, University of Cincinnati, 1986
Teaching areas: Early American history, history of war, World War I.
Recent Awards: Professor of the Month, Phi Mu Sorority, 2014; Dayton C. Miller "Most Influential Professor," 2015
Books: De Witt Clinton and the American Political Economy: Sectionalism, Politics, and Republican Ideology, 1787-1828 (Peter Lang,1990); Greene: Revolutionary General (Potomac Books, 2006); Liberty's Fallen Generals: Leadership and Sacrifice in the American War of Independence (Potomac Books, 2012).
Dr. Siry's most recent research is on the year 1903 as a landmark year in American history—the nation's transition into the twentieth century. 1903 saw the first transcontinental automobile trip, the first state-wide direct primary law, the founding of the Ford Motor Company, the Iroquois Theater disaster, the Wright Brothers' first successful powered flight, the First World Series, and the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty.

Robert Stinson, Instructor in History
Ph.D. in History, Indiana University, 1971
Teaching areas: Modern U.S. history, historiography.
Books: Lincoln Steffens (Frederick Ungar, 1979);The Long Dying of Baby Andrew (Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1983, w/ Peggy Stinson); The Faces of Clio [historiography] (Nelson-Hall, 1987) Love and Death on Public Radio [novel], 2014.

Kieth Peppers, University Archivist and Historian
M.A. in History, Museum Studies, 2010
CEO, Pursue Posterity