CU Away students visit National Archives, National American History Museum

CU Away students visit National Archives, National American History Museu
The members of the CU Away Program visiting the National Archives. Front row, from left: Alexandria Swanger, Ariel C. Emberton, Abby Murphy, Jeannie Clark, Jay Davis, Nicholas van der Meer; back row, from left: C.J. Burgess, T.J. Terrell, Stan McKinney and Joan McKinney.

Over the last two days students have visited numerous locations throughout the capital including the National Archives and the Smithsonian National American History Museum. Each experience resonates differently for every individual and different lessons are taken away from the locations visited. Each day students submit blog posts that discuss the impacts that have been made on them, their thoughts about the day, as well as how the locations relate to media and government.

Jay Davis, a senior with a film major and broadcast minor, wrote, “Today I also got to go the National Archives which was fantastic. It’s unreal seeing the documents that set the path to freedom for my ancestors. I’ve done some digging on my ancestry and the generation before my father’s grandparents, were slaves. I’m so glad for the progress that we’ve made in our nation, and we are no where near where we need to be but seeing the beginning of those strides was amazing. It sent chills down my spine.”

He also describes how he has been pulled out of his comfort zone, film, and is beginning to enjoy photography after being assigned to take photos on the trip.

Nicholas van der Meer, a Junior with a broadcast major, said, “Visiting the National Archives felt like taking a trip through a catalog of America’s most important events and ideals, which is rather fitting given the purpose of the facility. The various displays on topics such as women’s suffrage, civil rights surrounding slavery and segregation, labor and immigration provided a much more insightful educational experience than what I would expect from a textbook. Augmented with complementary documentation, be it written, photographed or filmed, added a sense of tangibility and “realness” that second-hand text documentation doesn’t always effectively communicate. Similarly, seeing documents such as the Magna Carta help accentuate the notion that the beginnings of our nation’s ideals go back much farther than we realize.”

He also went on to discuss how The American History Museum helped him to understand where the U.S. finds its identity through a series of now historical events and in result of decisions made by world leaders.

Students will continue visiting sites throughout D.C. and are scheduled to participate in a media workshop and hear from media professionals at the Newseum on Monday.


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