Myra Praml ’19 discusses her involvement in the campus community, her Independent Study and her plans for after Wooster.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Myra Praml, I am a senior, I am an anthropology major and an art history minor.
What are you involved in on campus?
I have been involved with the Sexual Respect Coalition (SRC)since sophomore year, formerly known as k(no)w. Currently I am the co-president. For anyone who doesn’t know what SRC does, we are the anti-rape culture and sexual respect advocacy group on campus. I am also involved in Campus Council [where] I am the Gender and Sexuality Diversity representative. I am also the chair of Charter Committee and the co-chair of Conduct Committee. Outside of that, I work at career planning, I work in the Writing Center and I’m also a departmental assistant for the department of sociology and anthropology.
How did you realize that you were interested in anthropology and art history?
I came here thinking that I would major in art history, and at that point I didn’t really know what anthropology was. I got here and started taking my art history class, and I was like, you know, I enjoy it and everything, but then I took Intro to Anthropology, and it became what I wanted to do. I was considering for a while doing a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)/art history double minor, but the WGSS kind of fell through the cracks and so I ended up doing anthropology. Particularly now I’m focusing on the anthropology of museums. I took a museum anthropology class my junior year with Dr. Pam Frese, who is currently my I.S. advisor. I ended up really loving it; I got some internships at museums, some jobs in museums, and so now I’m planning on going into museums as a career, so I’m getting my Master’s degree in museum studies.
How do you feel that your experience at Wooster has shaped your interest in museums? Has your I.S. affected what you want to do?
Yeah, a whole lot. So I mentioned the museum anthropology class, but also my art history classes have kept me interested in museums, and especially art museums in particular, and so my main focus that I’m headed toward when it comes to museums is audience research — conducting research on the museum audience, things like who’s going to the museum, why are they going, what are they doing when they’re there. My I.S. actually focused on doing ethnographic research at the Cleveland Museum of Art on visitors there. That’s kind of one side of museum anthropology that I’m interested in, but I also have taken some art history classes. I took one two years ago, The Art of Medieval Devotion, where we actually put on our own exhibit at the College of Wooster Art Museum. That got me more interested in curatorial work, and so if I end up being convinced in graduate school to be a curator I wouldn’t be upset. I’m still definitely exploring where I could go with museums and there are so many different types of museums out there. I love art museums, but history museums are great. You’ve got zoos and aquariums, which are under the big umbrella of museums, and so right now I’m really trying to explore my options, and I might eventually want to end up in an art museum, but I’m really kind of broadening my scope. There are so many directions I could take this, and [right now I’m focusing on] being confident and knowing that I don’t have to have a specific place yet.