Major: History/ Minor: Museum Studies
Shelby Zimmerman loves history, but she has no desire to be a history teacher. A high school job at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, the home of The Star-Spangled Banner, opened Zimmerman’s eyes to how she could bring history to life. “I was surrounded by history buffs, and it inspired me to follow my passion.”
That passion led Zimmerman to TU, where she is pursuing a major in history and a minor in museum studies. “Towson University is so close to so many museums in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York,” says Zimmerman. “It’s a great location for this minor.”
For instance, one of her instructors is a conservator at the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art. That kind of exposure to museum professionals coupled with an independent study project on a mock museum exhibition “gave me an opportunity to learn things about the field that are not taught in the classroom.” Zimmerman is now completing a study abroad semester at Maynooth University, just 30 minutes outside Dublin, Ireland.
Since transferring to Towson University in spring 2015, Zimmerman has wasted no time making her mark. She received Towson University’s Distinguished Scholar Award, the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship in History, served as Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Vice President of Social Affairs, and co-edits Towson University’s Journal of Historical Studies, in which she published a paper on “Working Class Children in New York City at the Turn of the Century.”
Zimmerman shared her enthusiasm for TU as an orientation leader in Towson University’s New Student and Family Programs, where she helps new students acclimate to TU by providing guidance along with information about campus resources. “I wanted to make my own path at Towson University,” says Zimmerman, who is following in the footsteps of her father, a Towson University graduate, and in the shadow of her grandfather, who teaches at TU.