Rising junior Christian Haley of Boones Mill, VA, is Ferrum College’s newest McBroom student scholar. Set to graduate in 2021, Haley is a history major with a double minor in criminal justice and religion. He will spend this summer working at the College’s Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, the largest folklife museum in Virginia.
The McBroom Student Assistantship Program was established with a gift from the June M. McBroom Charitable Lead Trust in 2014. The program allows the director of the BRI to select a Ferrum College student in good standing to experience summer operations through the institute and museum, including living history interpretation, management of the museum and archives collection, summer camp programming, and event planning and production. Students who have an interest in history, agriculture, sociology, and recreation are given first preference.
Haley is exposed to a range of experiences through his work at the BRI. “My responsibilities are extremely broad, which is one of the things I love most about the job,” he said. “A typical day could consist of me taking care of our animals at the farm museum in the morning, digitizing and graphically editing artifacts in the middle of the day, leading an interpretive tour of the museum in the afternoon, and finally working to prepare the latest exhibit at the end of the day.”
“He has been absolutely outstanding,” said BRI Director Bethany Worley. “He is passionate about history and feels right at home in the archive, working on our upcoming exhibit, and on the 1800s farm in costume.”
When Haley is away from the museum, he can typically be found hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, and kayaking. “It’s where I’m most in my element,” he explained. And once he graduates from Ferrum College in 2021, he hopes to become a police officer and eventually enter federal law enforcement.
But he’s also keeping his options open to the possibility of graduate school and pursuing a career in the museum field. “Christian is getting what so many students need who are entering the job market or looking at graduate school: invaluable hands-on experience at the state’s largest folklife museum,” Worley said.
Read more about the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum here: https://www.ferrum.edu/blueridgeinstitute/.