News | 7 October 2019

New Program: THI Undergraduate Public Fellowships


The Humanities Institute is thrilled to announce a new Undergraduate Public Fellowship opportunity for Humanities students at UC Santa Cruz. THI’s Public Fellowships connect academic scholarship in the Humanities to work in the community, in mutually beneficial ways. Students gain first-hand experience learning about positions outside of the academy that build from their studies in the Humanities and afford them professional experience. Their work with local organizations fosters positive collaborations between the campus and the public, highlighting the value of a Humanities degree for a range of careers.

Selected students will be named Public Fellows of The Humanities Institute. Note that since this position has been made available by a generous grant from The Humanities Institute, only applicants that are declared majors/minors in the Humanities Division of UC Santa Cruz will be considered.

About the Project

The Davenport Jail is a historic structure owned by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). This 1914 one-room county jail was only used twice. Set in the old whaling village of Davenport, it is a small reminder of past times. The location is between Ocean Street and Davenport Avenue on Cabrillo Highway.

Assistant Curator, MAH/Davenport Jail Museum

We are looking for 2 undergraduate students to activate this historic site throughout the academic year (approximately November 1, 2019-June 15, 2020). Assistant Curators who are chosen for this fellowship will be paid $15 dollars per hour for their work and will be working closely with Senior Curator, Marla Novo, from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and PhD graduate student, Wyatt Young, from the UCSC History Department.

In addition, there will be an optional fellowship stipend of $500, from The Humanities Institute, if the Assistant Curator is willing to conduct a year-end research project connected to their work at Davenport and the MAH.

 Assistant Curator Duties will include:

  • Work 10-15 hours per week
  • Opening and operating the Davenport Jail Museum on Saturdays 11:00am-4:00 pm.
    • Help re-brand the site as a MAH offsite location, creating awareness of both locations.
    • Capture demographics of visitors
    • Provide passes to the MAH
  • Develop and prototype literature pertaining to the Jail and Davenport history
  • Conduct local historical research
  • Develop a website for the Jail
  • During the winter when weather does not permit for the Jail to be opened, students will work at the MAH and conduct archival processing of materials to be published through the Online Archive of California.
  • Learn about docent and curatorial practices, digital archiving, and public history practices
  • Students who are awarded this fellowship opportunity will be required to present a poster at the Humanities Spring Award Ceremony at the end of Spring Quarter 2020 (tentatively scheduled on June 5, 2020).

You’re an ideal candidate if you:

  • Have some digital media experience
  • Have an interest in public history, engagement, and curatorial practices
  • Are dependable
  • Are able to work independently
  • Are comfortable interacting with the public
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Are bilingual in Spanish (a bonus but not required)

How to apply:

Apply by sending your resume with a short cover letter (no more than one page) answering these questions: Why this job? Why you? Why now?

A tip for writing this cover letter is to consider how this position will further your undergraduate career as well as your professional career once you have completed your education. What are some ways you have worked in the public history field; or if you haven’t, what intrigues you about the possibility? What are some exciting ways you have thought about how one might engage local communities through historical programming? Feel free to be creative here. Work in the Public Humanities does not have a rigid framework and innovation and the ability to adapt is a key component.

Once the application closes on October 23, 2019, there will be an in-person interview process with selected candidates at the end of October, with official duties beginning in November 2019.

Students can apply via the On-Campus Employment – Employee Request System, using job number ER 13554. Please contact with any questions.