The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Museums and Historic Preservation

Alumna Renée Barouxis ’14 Communications & Events Coordinator for the Old North Foundation

After UMass, Renée (Political Science, History Minor, & Certificate in International Relations) began working as a Foundation Associate at the Peace Development Fund. She worked there for several months before moving into her current position as the Communications & Events Coordinator for the Old North Foundation of Boston.  The foundation is a nonprofit organization responsible for the operation of the Old North historic site, supporting the utilization and preservation of the Old North buildings and campus, fostering educational programs for visitors, and engaging the public in the Old North’s history.

During her time at UMass, Renée had several co-curricular activities that provided her with ample experience in her field. She held several leadership positions within the Commonwealth Honors College and Student Government Association. She also worked on several political campaigns, such as those for Elizabeth Warren and Steve Grossman. Renée also had an internship for the Office of Congressman Neal. Renée won several awards at UMass, including the Senior Leadership Award. 

About the Industry

Students who are interested in societies, cultures, and what makes them function, both historically and currently, and who want to share an understanding of the world with others may find a good fit in museum or historical preservation work.  Whether working in a history museum or creating public spaces that respect or showcase historical features, this is a creative space for history buffs and artists alike.  Possible job titles include curator, exhibit developer, designer, conservator, educator, researcher, archaeologist, fundraiser, grant writer, and many others.  

Learn more about other paths that may be more appealing to you by browsing through our other industry categories.

Sample Classes

Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. Below are a few examples, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.  


  • ANTHRO 102 - Archaeology and Prehistory: Introduction to archaeological method and theory along with a survey of human world prehistory through the rise of civilizations. Topics include archaeological survey, excavation, analysis and interpretation of data, dating, research methods, and theories of cultural change.

  • ANTHRO 270 - North American Indians: Survey of the indigenous people of America north of Mexico; their regional variations and adaptations, their relationship to each other, and the changes taking place in their lifeways.

  • SUSTCOMM 205 - Dynamics of Human Habitation: How the built environment is shaped by humans. The forces that go into developing human settlements, how these environments change, how different groups experience the environment, and how environmental designers work within this context.  

  • SUSTCOMM 544 - Historical Architecture and Landscape: How the built environment is shaped by humans. The forces that go into developing human settlements, how these environments change, how different groups experience the environment, and how environmental designers work within this context.  

  • Journalism 333 - Introduction to Visual Storytelling:  introductory level course for students who wish to acquire a working knowledge of the field of photojournalism and the various tools used in modern image processing for both print and online media.
  • Sociol 329 – Social Movements: Explores how and why social movements occur, what strategies they use, how they create collective identities, how issues such as civil rights, workers' rights, women's rights, the environment, the global economy mobilize activists' participation within the circumstances faced.

To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:

  • Research
  • Technical design
  • Analytical thinking
  • Written and oral communication

*Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor.

Co-Curricular Activities

Being involved in on and off campus activities and organizations will give you experience and help you hone in on what you really love doing. Consider joining organizations that will provide you with a deeper understanding of the professional areas you’re considering. You’ll learn more about the field, meet people who share your interests, and have something to include on your resume to show your dedication. Go to the RSO webpage and start searching!



  • History Club
  • Archaeology Club

  • Art History Society

  • Student Union Art Gallery

Internships and Experience

Explore the different aspects of this industry through internships, co-ops, job shadowing, and other experiential opportunities. This will help you hone in on your interests while building an impressive knowledge base and resume for when you enter the job market. Preserving the history and culture of this country and countries around the world is a valued feature of societies, and history is always being created, so the work outlook in these fields looks reliable in the long term.  There is something for everyone in these industries, because these organizations are, also, businesses that need people to run them.


SBS students and alumni have completed internships in this field at places like:

  • Amherst Historical Society

  • Old Sturbridge Village

  • Chesterwood

  • Children’s Museum of Holyoke

  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art

  • Smithsonian Museums

  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston

  • Marriott Center Art Gallery

  • R Michaelson Gallery

Sample Job Titles


  • Archeological Technician
  • Architectural Historian
  • Preservation Planner
  • Cultural Resources Manager
  • K-12 Museum Educator
  • Research Associate
  • Communication & Events Coordinator
  • Director of Visitor Experience