Masters in Public History, 2020
Transitioning from a Public History student to Associate Director in only a few weeks, this is one husky alumni we are proud to call our own. Mahala Nyberg, a 2020 graduate of the public history program, moved from Boston to Brownington, Vermont to share her unique experiences and expertise.
More secluded than her work around Boston at places like the Concord Museum, Nyberg now works as the Associate Director of Collections and Programs at the Old Stone House Museum. Built in 1836 by the first African-American college graduate, the house museum preserves stories of triumph, inclusivity, and education. An advocate for representational history while becoming a Public Historian, Nyberg’s position gives her the opportunity to continue what she started while she was a student.
A previous museum educator, Nyberg continues this work and explains, “I oversee the management of the museum’s collections and its related programming, including a long-term project to create online educational content, and serve as the site’s front-line coordinator.” This multifaceted job not only requires Nyberg to pull from her hands-on fieldwork experience while living in Boston, but also from what she learned in the classrooms off of Huntington Avenue.
While earning her Master’s Degree, Nyberg also earned a graduate certificate in Digital Humanities. Building her own maps and digital storytelling projects, Nyberg felt, “ it was wonderful to apply my research interests to the digital skills I was gaining and produce something that could be shared with others outside the university.”
Preserving the collections and sharing the stories of the Old Stone House on a daily basis, Nyberg is most satisfied when working with local volunteers. Having started her job during the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of Nyberg’s job have required flexibility and patience. However, Nyberg and her co-workers are continually appreciative of the “amazing skills and talents” of those that dedicate their time to supporting the Vermont home.
As a recent graduate of Northeastern, Nyberg wants to encourage history students, “to branch out and try new areas of the field…you never know when you might discover something you have a real passion for.” Branching out from her niche in Beantown, Nyberg is already an active and engaging member of her Vermont community.
Written by Hailey Philbin