Naomi Coquillon

Naomi Coquillon

Class of 2002, America Field
Manager, Youth and Teacher Programs, National Museum of American History (Smithsonian)
Naomi Coquillon

Thesis Title: The Changing Face of Black Conservatism, 1890-1930

What Now: Manager, Youth and Teacher Programs, National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution)

Follow Me: @ncoquillon

There are a few skills that will serve you well in a variety of careers: the ability to communicate your ideas concisely and persuasively, both orally and in writing; the ability to make creative connections between ideas, between projects, between people; the ability to ask big and probing questions; and the ability to synthesize large amounts of information and transform that information into new ideas. These are all skills that my History & Literature tutorials helped me to cultivate.

That said, I am now in a field that one of my sophomore tutorial classmates once described as “very Hist&Litty”—I develop educational resources and programs for K-12 students and lead professional development for history teachers at a museum. I use the knowledge of history, skill in textual analysis, and practice in crafting thoughtful questions that I developed as a History & Literature concentrator every day in my work, as I write materials for classrooms nationwide and train teachers across the country in best practices in history education.

I selected History & Literature for the personalized attention and support that the tutorial system provides. My love of history was born and fostered in museums, and my career path may therefore be unsurprising, but the relationships I developed with faculty and graduate students in Hist&Lit were also essential to leading me to my current work. The summer after my junior year at Harvard I was accepted into the internship program at the museum where I now work, thanks in no small part to the recommendation of Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, who was to be my senior thesis advisor. That internship introduced me to museum education and has inspired my work ever since.