Working with the Stars and Other Art

March 5, 2013

By Rebecca Bartels ’13

Every year the Marjorie and Bill Springer Center for Excellence in Internships awards five students, one from each college at Bradley, with the Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award.

This year senior John Daleske, a history major with a minor in art history, won for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, making him the third history major in a row to receive this honor for the college.

Daleske began his internship at the Peoria Lakeview Museum, now the Peoria Riverfront Museum, in January 2012, and continues working there. He is responsible for conducting research for the museum’s collections department on the communication and accessibility of history, planning activities for visiting school groups and operating the Sky Master Star Globe for tours to the museum’s planetarium.

As someone who enrolled as an undecided student, Daleske found his passion for history in Bradley’s Academic Exploration Program, when professor Sherry Winkle arranged for his to shadow a Lakeview Museum employee. Immediately, Daleske was drawn into the exciting world of museums.

“I feel great about learning something and helping to explain it,” he said.

Daleske has also written informational plaques in the Riverfront Museum for exhibits.  He is currently developing an activity for the Easter weekend where children and adults can make their own paint and learn about the history of pigments before paint was commercialized. Daleske also had the amazing opportunity to assist in the closing of Lakeview Museum and in the opening of the Riverfront Museum.

Daleske ascribes his success at the museum to practice and is thankful for the skills he acquired through his studies at Bradley.

“It does not matter what you go into after you graduate, you are always going to need to be able to express yourself on paper, to analyze ideas critically, to talk well, to evaluate others’ work,” Daleske said about the skills he’s learned from the history department. “And those skills are universal for professionals.”

Dr. John Williams, professor and chair of the history department, echoed Daleske’s observations on the professional skills history students bring to the table.

“History majors make particularly strong interns,” he said. “They develop good analytical and research skills through the study of history; they learn to communicate assertively and well in their classes; they tend to have a strong sense of empathy for others; and they see the importance of reaching out to the non-academic public in order to raise awareness and understanding of academic subjects.”