I became involved in research through the American Studies major. The program places a serious emphasis on the Senior Thesis as significant component of the major, so I knew I was going to get involved in research since my sophomore year. The American Studies department does a fabulous job helping you foster your own individual research interests, and helping you pursue those towards a Senior Thesis.
In the fall I was able to travel to the museum in Bentonville, Arkansas and conduct first hand interviews with members of the museum staff. Getting to see the museum that I was writing about and hear about it firsthand from the people who help run it was pretty amazing. I even got to meet and have lunch with the founder of the museum, Alice Walton! It was a very special weekend that I will remember for a long time.
All year I have been in a very structured thesis class dedicated to helping us research and write. We have gone over everything step by step from shaping our initial research question, to our method of research, to the final product. I have also had amazing support from my advisor, who has met with me every week since the fall. Special thanks also goes out to my TA and my American Studies classmates!
There is a chapter in my thesis where I discuss the importance of the museum’s art collection that I feel is very interdisciplinary and also reflective of my experience at Georgetown as an American Studies major and Art History minor. For my analysis I used skills I developed in my Art History and American Studies courses, as well as previous internships to argue that Crystal Bridges displays one of the most comprehensive collections of American Art created in the past 50 years. Being able to combine all three of these experiences to make an argument has been a really cool part of my research process.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is big deal and everyone should know it.
Find something you truly are passionate about and go all in. After that, speak to as many Professors in the related field as you can. Once you get set on a topic or subject you love, everything else after becomes so much easier, and fun!