Allegheny College Student Humanizes Soldiers’ Stories Through Gettysburg National Military Park Internship
Michael Gartland ’23, a history major with an English minor at Allegheny College, interned at the Gettysburg National Military Park in the summer of 2022. While walking the Civil War battlefields, he gained a greater appreciation of the influence history has on people.
“The experience was phenomenal,” Gartland says. “My favorite part was exploring the town and battlefield of Gettysburg with other interns from around the country after work. Everyone had a different set of interests and passions, which made learning about the battlefield exciting.”
Over the summer, Gartland assisted the park librarian with research projects to enhance the interpretation of educational programs. Gartland primarily investigated the date soldiers died on the battlefield so that individual narratives of a soldier’s life could be featured the day people visit the site, allowing him to blend his passion for interpreting history and communicating in a creative way.
“It was valuable working with rangers and seeing how they have to make history digestible to the general public,” Gartland says. “Being able to use the skills I learned and practiced throughout my studies made me confident that wherever I end up working, I will be successful.”
Gartland values how Allegheny College’s Department of History initially informed him about the opportunity. After he graduates from Allegheny, he hopes to work for the National Park Service or pursue a master’s degree in library science to become a research librarian.
Visit the History Department website to learn more about student internships and research opportunities.