Skip to Main Content

Kayla Piechowiak

I am a second-year graduate student, pursuing a Masters in History with a concentration in public history. I graduated in 2016 from Shepherd University with a BA in History, with concentration in Historic Preservation and Public History, and a minor in Women’s Studies. At UMBC, I’m now working on a thesis about the presentation of women in museums, using the First Ladies Exhibit at the National Museum of American History as a case study. The First Ladies Exhibit has been on display for over 100 years and in that time has gone through many renovations. However, throughout its history, the exhibit has invariably focused far more on displaying the fashionable gowns and shoes of the First Ladies than on their actual lives and contributions.

Over the summer, I obtained an internship at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) in curatorial affairs, where I helped with research for the upcoming 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage exhibit. I was also able to gain a federal trust position as a public programs facilitator in the Office of Audience Engagement at the NMAH. I am currently working in front end service of the museum, interacting with visitors.