Genesis Foley gets on-the-job training at a local museum.
Just try and tell history major Genesis Foley that the past is over and done.
“I think people have a misconception that history is a stagnant thing,” says the Annapolis native, “but it’s really dynamic. There’s always new context to put events into, always a new interpretation.”
Foley saw this first-hand at the Hammond-Harwood House, a museum of 18th-century art and architecture in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, where she nabbed an internship for the 2018-’19 academic year. With a minor in museum studies and a passion for understanding the past, Foley got on-the-job experience and college credit preparing for her dream career working at a cultural institution.
From helping with exhibits and programming, to learning about acquisitions, fundraising and event planning, the senior now has insider knowledge on the full gamut of a museum’s inner workings and a deeper understanding of how to view history from different perspectives.
“I got to do a little bit of everything,” she says, “which was really cool.”
Not only is the single mom reinterpreting history, but she’s also looking at her own life through a new lens. After her daughter’s father passed away two years ago, Foley decided to quit her job and return to school to finish her bachelor’s degree after a decade hiatus.
TU, she says, helps make it possible because of accommodating professors and the wide and flexible course offerings that work with her busy schedule, which includes a lot of travel with her 11-year-old, a competitive dancer.
“I was not happy, and I knew the older I’d get the harder it would be,” says Foley. “It’s now or never.”