Student Spotlight July 2011
Marcy Werner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio (photography and video) from the University of Kentucky in 1992. She is now working towards her Masters in Critical and Curatorial Studies here at the University of Louisville. As an avid bike rider, painter, trained metalsmith, and creator of mosaics, Marcy uses her interests in her studies by advocating for the preservation and easy access of the arts for public viewing.
Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):
I am most interested in making items in museum and archive collections available to the public through the internet. There are so many treasures that people don't even know about: interesting photos, papers, and artifacts that beg to be discovered. If these items would have been available to me at an earlier age, I think I may have found this career path much earlier!
How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to your grandmother?
I would tell her that I am making sure that important photographs are not lost to the world by putting them on the computer where fingerprints cannot destroy them.
What made you go into this field of study?
My first career as a visual merchandiser went down the tubes when the recession hit. I have experience in the museum field from many years ago and that combined with my merchandising/designing skills seemed to fit well with the curatorial program at UofL. Arranging a space, creating a theme, bundling the whole package together...it's like every job I've ever had gave me a skill that is useful in this field.
How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?
I think it will help me and my ideas gain more respect. Also, it has given me the confidence to voice those ideas. I have also learned to appreciate and respect others' ideas.
What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?
I can't believe I managed to teach a college level class last year while balancing internships, studies, a part-time job, and a boyfriend. I'm most proud that I even made the grad school step and it hasn't killed me.
What was your favorite part of the graduate school experience?
Being challenged to learn about new things. I love the variety of classes I've been able to take. From History to a Neuroscience class, it's been amazing.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?
Balancing studies with a personal and social life. Friends don't understand studying on a Friday night. I have set aside one night a week where I meet up with friends and catch up. Facebook just doesn't do it for me. I have to see my friends in person.
I just completed two internships. One internship was at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, (where I continue to volunteer) and the other was in the University's Photographic Archives. At KHS, I worked with the Oral History Commission digitizing and cataloging their recordings. I was also able to help on the new Hall of Governors exhibit. In the Photographic Archives I took a small collection of photos taken of and around Louisville in 1904. I then scanned, researched and described all the photos. These will become part of the library's digital collection this fall.
My family is in Chicago and Denver so I get to see them on major holidays.
A talent you have always wanted: To play the piano like Rachmaninov.Favorite book: 100 Years of Solitude by Marquez and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
Favorite quote: This one is inscribed on the back of my iPod: “Don't let schooling interfere with your education.” Mark Twain
Role Model: My dad. He gave me my work ethic, my sense of humor, and my perseverance.
Pet Peeve: Chewing with your mouth open.
If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? I'm afraid I would be working an awful, dead-end job figuring out what to do next.