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My name is Amanda West, I was born and raised in Spencer, West Virginia. I currently live in Morgantown where I attend West Virginia University. In 2015 I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in History and am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public History with a certificate in Cultural Resource Management. Prior to joining AmeriCorps I worked part-time at the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum and held a fellowship at the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office.

img_20150526_200755My parents felt that it was important for me and my brother to experience West Virginia and often took us on vacation in state; some of my earliest memories are of Blackwater Falls, Summersville Lake, and Seneca Rocks. They also stressed state history and family heritage by telling us stories and entertaining us with trivia during car rides. As a result I have always had a deep love for my home state as well as a passion for preserving and sharing its history. It is my desire to remain in West Virginia and take my future children on the very same vacations, but the lack of heritage job opportunities in West Virginia makes staying in the state I love and pursuing history a challenge. AmeriCorps and Preserve WV allow me to make professional connections and acquire job experience while I am completing my degree.



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This year I will be serving with the West Virginia Association of Museums, a statewide organization with the mission to serve, educate, advocate for, and enhance communications within the museum community. WVAM carries out this mission by listening to its members and serving their interests and by keeping the members abreast of current standards and activities on a national scale. My duties include maintaining and updating WVAM’s website and social media as well as planning and executing four workshops focusing on museums and related cultural resources. This is the first year that WVAM has had an AmeriCorps position and I am very excited to share in the expansion of this organization!

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The largest project that I will be completing this year is the planning and executing of WVAM’s annual conference to be held at Pipestem Resort State Park on March 31 to April 2. The conference theme is “Protecting Our Collections” in reaction to this summer’s devastating flood that affected 44 out of 55 West Virginia counties. In the past I have assisted in planning the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, the West Virginia FFA State Convention, and worked as a WVU Orientation Leader, just to name a few of the larger events I have been involved in planning and executing. I look forward to using my previous experiences to benefit WVAM and hope to gain some new skills!

If you are interested in WVAM, presenting or attending the conference, or visiting any museum in the mountain state, check out our website! museumsofwv.com

Publisher’s Note:

A statewide service initiative, the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program places service members at historic non-profit sites or local government agencies for a one-year period where they complete specific projects aimed at improving historic resources and managing volunteers for special events.  The end goal of these projects is community revitalization, with a focus on long-term historic preservation and increased use of historic properties and museum collections. To learn more about Preservation Alliance of West Virginia visit www.pawv.org

 



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