The Next Chapter

What a way to start the New Year! After a much needed break from the busy demands of school, I have started my winter term here at Banting House NHSC. My name is Julia and I am currently completing my MA in Public History at the University of Western Ontario. I follow in the steps of several graduate research assistants before me and hope to make this term just as successful, fun and full of new learning opportunities. While I am only just beginning my time here as a research assistant, I had the pleasure of working with Banting House in the fall semester as a volunteer. It was a wonderful experience which allowed me to get acquainted with the museum, its staff and the other dedicated volunteers. I gave tours, helped to plan an educational program for medical science students at Western, got involved in Doors Open London and Museum Hack as well as attended the World Diabetes Day event.  While being a volunteer was an enriching experience, I am ready to dive into the world of Sir Frederick Banting and am excited to gain a better understanding of how museums operate and function behind the scenes.

As I will be updating the blog once a week with the things I am learning, items I have discovered and interesting tidbits that come my way, I want to share a little bit of background on how I came to be in London, Ontario.

I recently completed my undergraduate education at Carleton University and graduated with a BA Honours in History and minor in Philosophy. I have always loved history but it was during this time in Ottawa that I decided I wanted to pursue history as a career. Having decided this, I needed to start gaining some practical experience and so in my third year I took the opportunity to work at the Canadian War Museum as a student intern in their archives. I sorted through and catalogued documents and items belonging to soldiers during the Second World War and let me tell you, it was a fascinating experience! After this, I was hired to work for the Waterloo Region Museum as a summer student guest services representative. Then, for my fourth year I decided to pursue a bit of adventure and went to England on a study abroad program for 10 months where I learned, traveled and explored the United Kingdom and Europe all while attending Lancaster University. Upon returning to Canada to complete my final year of school, I knew it was time to apply for graduate education. I worked hard at my studies and volunteered with the Bytown Museum Youth Council and in February 2017, I got the call that I was accepted to the Public History program at Western University.

After being accepted, the rest is history. I spent the summer as a tour guide at Kingston Penitentiary and started the program in the fall. Amongst all the projects and grading exams (yes, I was a TA!), the fall semester flew by and now it is time to start this next chapter. I look forward to blogging away about my experiences, challenges, the museum happenings and fun facts that will surely appear in unexpected places!

Stay tuned,


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This post was written by Julia Schwindt, Graduate Research Assistant at Banting House NHSC. Julia graduated with a B.A.H. in History from Carleton University and is currently completing her Masters of Public History at the University of Western Ontario. 

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