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2023 Rockpile Museum Association intern looks forward to new experiences

Kaitlin Adams is the 2023 Rockpile Museum Association intern.

Kaitlin Adams (Robert Henning)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Visitors to the Campbell County Rockpile Museum may see someone new come May 30: Kaitlin Adams.

Adams is the Rockpile Museum Association’s intern this summer. She is the fifth student to work at the museum as part of the association’s summer internship program. Interns’ tasks include a summer project. For example, Alex Steiner, last year’s intern, prepared an exhibit on the geology of the Powder River Basin.

Adams is in State University of New York Oneonta’s Cooperstown graduate program and is working toward graduating with a master’s degree in museum studies in 2024.

County 17 asked Adams a few questions to learn more about her experiences so far and what she’s looking forward to this summer.

County 17: What’s your educational background?

Adams: I graduated from Victor Central Schools in New York in 2016. Right out of high school, I attended the local community college, Finger Lakes Community College. In 2019 I graduated with my associate degree in fish and wildlife technology. Upon graduation, I realized that as much as I loved animals, I did not want to be a wildlife technician for the rest of my life. Since I was a child, I have always loved history and decided to get my bachelor’s in history. I began my path to my bachelor’s degree in 2020 at SUNY Brockport. I would graduate in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in history with two minors in museum studies and anthropology. As a child, I loved going to museums and this passion followed me into adulthood. After participating in inspiring internships including two in museums, I decided to pursue a career in museum studies. I was accepted into the Cooperstown Graduate Program in 2022. This fall I will begin my second year in the museum studies master’s program and I will graduate next May.

County 17: What are a few things you’re looking forward to helping with or learning about during your internship?

Adams: My ideal museum career would be to become a curator or collections manager at a museum, so I knew I wanted an internship in collections where I could get more collections experience. My internship at the Rockpile Museum provides me with the opportunity to do just that.

My internship grants me the opportunity to work with and learn about collections I have not had the chance to work with previously. I have no experience working with homestead-era objects, horse-drawn vehicles, and archival documents and photographs. I especially look forward to working with the archival collections at the museum, which is what I will be mostly working with. l look forward to learning about these materials and learning about the digitizing process. Digitizing the museum’s photography collection is my summer internship project and I could not be more excited to start. Additionally, I look forward to learning and working in various departments in the museum. I might have the opportunity to work in visitor experience and education.

County 17: What attracts you to Gillette and Campbell County?

Adams: Before beginning my internship search, I had not heard of Gillette and Campbell County, Wyoming. As I am learning more about the county through my internship, I am looking forward to knowing more about the local area and its history and participating in local events, and getting to know the community.

County 17: What’s something cool you’d like the community to know about you?

Adams: One thing that I would like the community to know about me is that I love to travel. In 2016 I had the privilege to travel to New Zealand and Australia.

County 17: If you could travel back in time to any year, any place in the world, where would you go?

Adams: If I could travel back in time, I would travel to 19th century America. I selected this period because I am interested in the warfare strategies and weapons of the Civil War, American culture, social structure and clothing.