Our museum has two full-time staff members the Executive Director and the Grants and Development Coordinator. We are so thankful for the work that they do to help our museum run. Today they are sharing a little about themselves so you can get to know them more!
Meet Sarah McDonald, our Executive Director
I joined the staff of the Shelby County Historical Museum as the Executive Director in April 2018. I have loved getting to know the community and learning about the rich history of Shelby County.
Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by learning about the daily lives of regular people. This interest led to me earn a B. A. in Anthropology from Texas Tech University with minors in History and French. I then went on to earn a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and an M.A. in History with a concentration in Museum Studies. My research interests have generally focused on New England and Great Plains Native American history and culture. I am also interested in the history and culture of the Cold War period, particularly the role of American women in the 1950s and 1960s.
When I am not working at the museum, you'll often find me visiting other museums and historic houses – occasionally making security guards anxious by getting up close and personal with exhibits. I love to study the construction of displays!
I also love to rock climb, bake, and spend evenings at the local bowling alley with my Ladies League team!
I experienced America through road trips to different cities and states. During the long drives through the American countryside my dad would quiz my siblings and I on our mental math. I quickly realized I am not a mathematician like my brother and sister. I have come to terms with using a calculator.
During our stay in each new city my family would visit a museum. Visiting museums around America showed me a whole new world. I was able to learn about people, what made them special and how they shaped history.
Fast forward to when I followed in my parent's footsteps and went to college at Iowa State University. I began my college career as an Event Management major. I still loved history but was afraid I would not find a job in the field. After my first college history class I decided I had to study something I loved. So, I changed my major to History and decided to minor in Event Management.
I was not sure if I would end up still living in Iowa after I graduated from Iowa State University in May 2020, but I am so thankful that I did! Each day I get to go to work to learn about and celebrate the history created by people in Shelby County.