Interview with Elisabeth DeGrenier

Interview: Elisabeth DeGrenier, HSPH graduate student and exhibit designer

Elisabeth DeGrenier

1. Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m currently earning my Masters in Heritage Studies and Public History (HSPH) through UMN’s College of Design. Before attending this program, I worked as the Community Historian for the Western Heritage Center in Billings, MT. In that position I managed archives and collections, hosted walking tours, conducted original research, designed custom exhibits, and assisted the community in research requests and/or other inquiries. In this work I found passion in serving my community through designing exhibits and programming. I shortly came to the realization that I needed to take my education to the next level and found the HSPH program.

2. What have you been doing in your time at the IAS?

Over the 2018-2019 academic school year I have had the pleasure of working on multiple projects for IAS within Northrop. I assisted on the creation of the Takeover: Morrill Hall 1969 exhibit for Northrop’s 4th Floor Gallery, the Wild and Scenic Rivers window display, the installation of the Smithsonian’s City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign poster exhibit, and assisted in bringing items from the Hubert Humphrey Archive out on display.

3. What has been the best part or experience about working here? What are you most proud of?

The Morrill Hall exhibit has been the most rewarding project during my time with IAS this past year. My previous experiences in designing exhibits usually consisted working with a team of 2-3 people, now I have seen how a larger institution is able to capitalize on their resources and connections to create a worthwhile product. The response and feedback we’ve received on the exhibit has also made this project rewarding.