Greetings! I hope this finds you well as we continue to work our way through this pandemic. We welcomed our students back to Fort Lewis College for in person classes this week. It is exciting to see so much activity on campus again after a couple of months of silence. It is wonderful seeing our students and hearing the hustle and bustle as they move through the Center’s hallways between classes. There is something about listening to the experiences of these young adults as they discover new ways of thinking that keep us all young at heart. This is one of the reasons that I came to direct the Center of Southwest Studies five years go. Nothing thrills me more than to sit with a student who has questions about working in a museum as they think about their future career options.
This spring we have fifteen FLC students working at the Center of Southwest Studies. Nine students working in the museum side of the Center and six in the archives and library. Some of the students are work study employees while others have internships. There are two types of internships. The academic internships are offered through the department of the student’s major where the Center’s staff work with their faculty adviser to provide a full experiential hands-on training program. This enables these students to fulfill one of their course requirements for graduation. The Center also offers paid internships for our FLC students. Both types of internships go beyond learning about collections, research and exhibits. Students also learn about time and project management, teamwork, and other work skills that prepare them for life after graduation.
The internships we offer at the Center are unique for an undergraduate institution such as Fort Lewis College. We offer these paid internships through the generosity of so many of our special friends of the Center. The Greg and Karen Bell Internship goes to a different student each semester. The San Juan Basin Archaeological Society provides funding for the John Sanders Internship in Archaeology, where a student works with the archaeological collections. The other internships are paid for through the generous donations from so many of you. The Center and the students deeply appreciate your generous support and the opportunities you provide to the next generation of leaders and global citizens.
In addition to your support of our student interns many of you renewed your memberships or gave to the general fund during this challenging year. Your ongoing support is especially meaningful during a time when we have not been able to provide in person lectures and events. Unlike some of our sister centers and museums that have been forced to close we have been able to stay open for limited services during the pandemic. We were able to open the PIVOT exhibit to small groups and families by appointment last fall. We were able to do this despite budget cuts and the changing stay at home or safe at home orders and so on. We hope to be able to do the same at some point this spring. We are exploring the possibility of holding some outdoor programming this summer once it is safe to do so. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, we do have some exciting virtual programming coming up this spring. I hope you can join us.
You and your generous support have made this all possible and we thank you for all that you do for the Center of Southwest Studies. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
Shelby J Tisdale