Historical Society office opens in Hibbard

Adrian Northrup

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the UW-Eau Claire history department partnered to open the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Northern Field Services Office, located in Hibbard 773.

Now, more opportunities will be available to students majoring in history, who are required to fulfill an internship in their field before graduating, said Janet Dykema, an Eau Claire alumnus with a history degree and the Northern Field Services representative.

Students will be able to have internships in public history in the area by matching students to communities, she said, adding that she hopes within a year the new office will be able to provide Eau Claire students internships statewide.

Junior Abbie Withbroe is a history education major and is happy that this office is here to assist her.

“It will be a nice opportunity for students in history to find internships and jobs that pertain to history,” Withbroe said. “It’s a tough field to find internships.”

More than 70 community members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff gathered Monday to celebrate the opening.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich expressed his delight for the new office.

“This is the Wisconsin idea,” he said. “This is the university linking up with its communities and sharing the expertise that the communities bring to us and that we can bring to the communities.”

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Don Christian agreed that the office will be beneficial for the area.

“These are programs that bring a lot to the university,” Christian said. “They provide us with the opportunity as a university to extend our expertise and interests to benefit the community and region.”

Dykema’s appointment as Northern Field Services representative made many history professors proud to have a graduate of their department assume such a role.

“We have students like Janet who are just outstanding and can go on and really make a difference in terms of local history,” said Kate Lang, associate professor of history.

The Wisconsin Historical Society chose Eau Claire as its northern office, pairing it with its southern office in Madison.