Digital and Public Humanities,  History,  Humanities,  Spotlight

Congratulations Ben Dudzik: The New Executive Director for the Shawano County Historical Society

Ben Dudzik is a UW-Green Bay History and Arts Management Graduate of 2016. He was not an official major in Digital and Public Humanities because that program did not exist when he was a student. However, he was one of the first students to take classes that would become a part of the Digital and Public Humanities at UWGB.

In his undergraduate capstone class, he helped create the digital project for the 3D reconstruction for the Viking House (grindbygning). Among a variety of other digitally-infused courses, he was also a part of the Public Humanities travel course to London where had the opportunity to research post-war housing at the London Metropolitan Archives for an online exhibit.

After graduation, he went to the University of Washington Museology Graduate Program where he was able to work in a variety of different museums. We asked him if any of his undergraduate studies had prepared him for graduate school and he replied by stating that his Arts Management program gave him the background knowledge around not-for-profit arts organizations, which gave him an advantage in understanding that specific museum field during his graduate studies in Museology.

After obtaining his Master’s degree, Ben came back home to Tigerton, Wisconsin and began looking for a job. Through continuous contact with Vice Humanities Chair Heidi Sherman and Arts Management Chair Ellen Rosewall, Ben received a job as an adjunct professor for the Museums and Galleries class at UWGB. Ellen was especially excited to have a graduate of the Arts Management program teaching the course.

This year, Ben has also branched out and assisted the Tigergon Historical Society and the Shawano County Historical Society in a variety of different projects to help organize and clean up the structures of the organization. His neighbor is a board member of the Tigerton Historical Society and after creating a professional rapport with him the neighbor suggested that Ben apply for the Executive Director Position that had opened up at the Shawano Historical Society. Ben was extremely excited for this opportunity and after sending in his resume the society reached out for an interview. The interviewers from the Shawano County Historical Society were very excited about his teaching and education background which illustrated that he was a well rounded professional with a wide range of subject background. A week after the interview the Society offered him the position!

Ben is officially the new Executive Director for the Shawano County Historical Society. This is the society’s first paid position and he is looking forward to aiding the organization in creating policy procedures as well as helping them get to the next level for their community. I asked Ben if he had any advice for current undergraduate students and he replied, “go and talk to professors and build a rapport with them because they can open many doors for you. If it wasn’t for keeping in contact with professors after I graduated I may not be where I am now.” There were times after graduate school where he felt like giving up the job hunt, but he never did! It is incredibly exciting that Ben is the first paid Executive Director for the Shawano County Historical Society. He has big plans for the organization and we congratulate Ben for his achievement and the hard work that got him there!

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