Meet Our Intern: Sammie Hatton


1. What is your background?
I’m from a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, and I have a B.A. in History from Ohio University (OU). I am a second year student in the Museum Studies M.A. program at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington D.C., focusing on Collections Management and Women’s History.

2. What got you interested in museum work?
I had always considered working in a museum after graduation because I knew that I did not want to use my history degree to become a teacher. During my undergraduate career I knew quite a few people who had interned at the local historical society (Athens County Historical Society and Museum), and they had all loved it. I gave it a try one quarter, and I fell in love. One day while I was cataloging our extensive textile collection, I just realized that I wanted to work with museum collections as a real career!

3. What brought you to the Pioneer Air Museum?
I got an email one day through the listserv at GWU with a flyer about internships with Alaska State Museums. I had never been to Alaska, but I had heard nothing but good things about it. I applied thinking I wouldn’t get the job because internships that provide stipends and housing are very competitive. We have to complete two internships as a graduation requirement, so why not spend the summer in a beautiful place that I had never been before? I was ecstatic when I found out that I had been picked, and they sent me to PAM!

4. What is your favorite thing about Alaska?
My favorite thing about Alaska so far has been the opportunity to do so many new things that I’ve always wanted to try! I had never really been hiking or camping before I got here. Now I’ve done some fun hikes, camped a few times, and even been kayaking in Seward!

5. What’s your most memorable aeronautical experience?
My most memorable experience is probably when I went on a study abroad trip to Berlin last year. Our flight out of Newark, NJ was rain-delayed, making us nearly miss our connecting flight in Munich. We literally had to run across the airport to board the plane in time!

6. What project are you working on?
I have so many! I’m cataloging PAM’s collections as well as revising its Collections Management Policy, creating forms, grant writing, re-housing objects throughout the Museum, and possibly writing a few blog posts for the website.

7. What is the most interesting thing you’ve found in the museum?
So far I would have to say that the most interesting thing that I’ve found in the Museum would be Audree Knutzen’s flight record books. I haven’t come across stories about many female Alaskan aviators, so it’s really cool to have her flight records and see where she flew to!

8. What are your plans for the summer in Alaska?
I plan on doing as much as I can while I’m here! I plan on going to Anchorage and Seward, hiking and camping, floating the Chena, going to Denali, going to the Chena Hot Springs and Ice Museum. It’s going to be a busy summer!

9. What advice would you give someone looking to work in museums?
Just get out there and give it a shot! Work hard to build up your skills and don’t be afraid of trying something new and get dirty. Learn about as many facets of museum work as you can so that you can figure out where your passions lie.

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