Anna Claspy ’16 assembles a museum exhibition

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Having never researched medical history, Anna Claspy, Class of 2016, did not believe she was qualified for her APEX Fellowship at the Medical History Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.  With the support of her APEX mentors and her drive to challenge herself, Anna extracted an Independent Study thesis without intention.

Anna Claspy is a history major from Cleveland.  She spent the summer creating an exhibit on birth in Cleveland during the nineteenth and twentieth century.  Anna researched and wrote the history for the exhibit, designed the framework that tells the narrative, and looked for artifacts that would relate to the exhibit.  Searching for artifacts was one of Anna’s favorite tasks during her time at the museum because she got to explore the basement and all of the museum’s artifacts that it contained.

Anna described her experience as a “steep learning curve.”  Prior to her Fellowship, she was unfamiliar with medical history.  At first, Anna was overwhelmed and did not believe she was qualified for this position.  However, her APEX mentor encouraged her through their email interactions.  Anna explains, “When I told her I felt intimidated by how much my colleagues knew, she encouraged me not to try to “catch up” to where they were, but instead to look up to them as experts use my internship to learn from them. It was comforting to hear that from her and changed my perspective on my place at my internship.”  In doing this, she gained more confidence and felt more comfortable in her position.  After actively researching medical history, Anna decided to extend her research and use it as her Independent Study project topic.  Branching outside of her comfort zone really benefited her studies.

Through her experience, she made many personal contacts with the Museum Historical Society, which will be helpful for her future beyond Wooster.  Over the course of her APEX Fellowship, Anna succeeded in the goal of a Fellowship by developing personally, professionally, and academically.