Your degree at work
EMILY WEAVER ('09)
Following one’s passion is often admired but it doesn’t always translate into a career. Emily Weaver (’09), however, is doing for a living what she loves. In 2011, she was hired as curator of the Fort Pitt Block House in Pittsburgh.
The Clarion graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history credits the presentation skills she honed through her work-study job in the university’s Career Services office and her internship at Drake Well Museum in Titusville as positive skill-building opportunities.
“As curator, I give tours to adults and students, where I use those same public speaking skills,” Weaver said. However, it was at Drake Well she realized her ultimate goal was to work at museums or in the public history field.
Weaver touts Clarion’s history program because of its diverse course offerings, which required refinement of skills that benefit her work at Fort Pitt.
“More people need to know just how excellent the history program (at Clarion) is,” Weaver said. “(The professors) were very knowledgeable in the classroom. We learned how to research, and we did a lot of writing, which has helped me in my job.”
Weaver said the encouragement and guidance of her advisor, Dr. Martha Robinson, was key in her professional development.
She was afforded the opportunity to work across academic departments to further enhance her skills. Under the direction of Dr. Terry Latour, dean of Clarion University Libraries, Weaver provided key research on an oral history project featuring Pennsylvania’s Oil Region.
That experience was fresh in Weaver’s mind when she recently penned “The Fort Pitt Block House,” a historical look at the famed Pittsburgh structure, built in 1764 as a defensive redoubt for the British during the French and Indian War.
Weaver’s regular duties include writing for the block house’s website, for promotional brochures and letters to potential donors.
“Never give up on your goals, even if others tell you differently,” Weaver said. “Work hard to achieve those goals and give everything your best. Always look for opportunity to expand your education and your experiences.”