Intern Spotlight – Presleigh Johnson

Intern Spotlight - Presleigh Johnson 2

Hello, my name is Presleigh Johnson and I am a junior Public History major with a minor in English at Flagler College. I’ve loved living in St. Augustine and experiencing the small-town community with its vibrant history. Flagler has opened up so many doors for me, including my internship at the St. Augustine Historical Society. As a member of the President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) at Flagler, I was paired with Magen Wilson, the St. Augustine Historical Society’s Executive Director, as my community mentor. The academy, led by Mayor and Flagler Professor Tracy Upchurch, is designed so students experience local leadership firsthand. Because of this mentorship opportunity, I’ve had the opportunity to develop both leadership skills and career training.

During my Fall internship, Magen and I have been creating digital content for the Surf Culture Museum. To ensure the visitor experience comes alive, we sought to develop QR codes where visitors scan them to see extra videos, artifact collections on the Omeka site, and more. Perhaps my favorite experience with the QR codes was adding a Spotify account for the St. Augustine Historical Society to play thematic surf music with chronological playlists. Another QR code takes visitors to The Surf Station website to check today’s waves. I went from knowing little about QR codes to designing 25 of them. To complete the project, we hosted a class of first-year Flagler Honors students to be our focus group for testing them around the museum. As an Honors student, I was excited to see fellow students experiment with my semester-long project and provide meaningful feedback. One student said, “It has a really modern take on history.”

In addition to learning digital content skills, I attended the Herschel Shepherd Award event and later hosted PLA members at the Surf Culture Museum. This internship has been all about learning how the Historical Society provides for and serves the community. Over this semester, I was fortunate to collaborate with Magen and the team by utilizing my Public History skills in action. I can’t wait to continue my internship this Spring!