Troy Chieffo '16
History major searches for “diamonds in the rough” during Smithsonian internship
Troy Chieffo, a history major from Newton Falls, Ohio, just graduated in May, but he already checked a big item off of his list of life goals—to work at the Smithsonian.
Chieffo is interning at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, a museum in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington D.C., which examines American history and culture from an African-American viewpoint. The museum was founded in 1967 and is one of the 19 museums and galleries under the Smithsonian umbrella.
At the museum, Chieffo is researching and developing Wikipedia pages under the guidance of the head archivist.
“I’m learning the story of the Anacostia community, digging into the archives and gaining information,” said Chieffo. “I’ve only scratched the surface, but I’m hoping to give the archives a more thorough look and introduce some overlooked history to the world through the internet.”
Specifically he’s looking through archival data on the Anacostia region from 1608 through 1930. Chieffo says he became a history major because he enjoys searching through archives and “finding diamonds in the rough.”
While in D.C., Chieffo is taking part in the Washington Community Scholar’s Center, where he’s living and taking classes with several other students who are also interning in the nation’s capital. The WCSC house is located in the Brookland neighborhood, and while there are a plethora of monuments and museums to explore in D.C., he’s mostly staying close to his new home.
“I like getting to know the area I’m living in because it’s directly affecting me since I’m there every day.”
One of Chieffo’s favorite locations in the neighborhood is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception because “it holds a large significance to the section of D.C. that I’m living in.”
Chieffo played football at Bluffton, and in the future, wants to incorporate his love for athletics with his love of history. The next career goal he would like to check off his list is working for the Professional Football Hall of Fame or a similar organization.
“I’m really interested in the history of sports,” said Chieffo. “The players have an impact both on the field and on humanity. Sports are not just something we watch on TV. The players and the sports affect how we view history, current events.”
The WCSC program runs through early August. After that, Chieffo plans to work at the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, which celebrates the legacy of the automobile company founded in Warren. Chieffo has worked and interned at the museum for the past few summers.
I’ve only scratched the surface, but I’m hoping to give the archives a more thorough look and introduce some overlooked history to the world through the internet.”