Public History students have new opportunity to know history

October 23, 2018

Francine McKenzie, Tom Van Dewark and Mike Dove

Francine McKenzie, Chair of the Department of History, Tom Van Dewark Senior Associate with Know History, and Mike Dove, Director and Internship Coordinator of the Public History Program

Western University Public History students are getting more opportunities for hands-on historical research. Through support from a historical services firm, MA students in the Public History will be eligible for the Know History Scholarship, which includes an annual internship of $20,000.

The successful candidate will work for six months as an associate in Know History’s Ottawa office alongside other Know History associates. The successful student will work on a company project, but will also have opportunity to work on a special interest project of their own design. Following the conclusion of the internship, students have the potential for transition to full-time employment with the organization.

Know History is a historical services firm that was established in 2011 and has completed more than 200 projects for clients across Canada. With offices in Calgary and Ottawa, the company’s 40 full-time staff specialize in researching, presenting and documenting Canada’s history through a variety of services – including archival and image research, interpretive services, oral history interviewing, and Traditional Knowledge Studies – for museums, government bodies, Indigenous organizations, non-profits, and corporations.

Tom Van Dewark is a Senior Associate with Know History, and a graduate of the Public History Program. Van Dewark said Western’s public history program stands out because of its focus on skills development.

“One of the unique things with the Public History program is that it is very much project based. Student are given a deliverable you hope to find, and given a project. They work with professors and associates to do that,” said Van Dewark. “Other programs might get theory, but at Western you actually get hands on experience. This really helps build the CV, making you attractive to potential employers.”

“We are tremendously honoured and excited to join with Know History in providing our public history students with such a remarkable workplace learning opportunity. Historical services has been a growth industry in Canada for the past two decades, and Know History is recognized as a leading firm,” said Mike Dove, Director and Internship Coordinator of the Public History Program. “Our students seek real-world practical experience in the field. This generous scholarship will enable them to make the transition into a rewarding history career with a highly- reputable and respected organization.”

“Know History has an excellent relationship with the Public History Program at Western University,” says Ryan Shackleton, Director of Know History. “Many of our associates are graduates of the program, and we are consistently impressed with their knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism. We are thrilled to formalize our relationship by offering new Western graduates with the paid opportunity to broaden not only their public history expertise, but also their professional development. In turn, we get to work with intelligent, talented new grads who are the future of the public history profession in Canada.”