Tara Edens

Breaking New Ground in History

By the time she reached fourth grade, Tara Edens knew she wanted to be an archeologist. Growing up, she loved listening to her father’s family stories, and she loved reading historical fiction. When she learned about Dordt’s museum studies program, Tara took the first steps toward her dream job and became the first museum studies major at Dordt.

The museum studies major is “a history major with a little more,” Tara says. She took many history classes, and she also enjoyed taking classes in business, communication, politics, and art. Her favorite class, though, was Introduction to Museum Studies, which involved field trips to nearby museums such as the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota. Tara plans to attend graduate school, hoping eventually to work as an anthropological archeologist.

Tara has already gained some experience toward her career. In 2010, she spent the summer as an intern at Living History Farms in Des Moines, working as a historical interpreter. Wearing bonnets and period clothing, she made brooms in the 1875 town and cooked over the open fire in the 1850 pioneer cabin, all while interacting with museum guests. Although Tara found the internship opportunity herself, she says, “the history department has a huge list of internships in every field you could possibly be interested in.” The close relationship history students have with their professors makes applying for internships easier—especially when it comes to asking for references. “Because they know you, they are able to give a personal reference,” Tara explains.

Tara is enthusiastic about more than her major at Dordt. She makes sure to leave room in her busy schedule for hanging out with friends and participating in campus activities.

“There are always opportunities to meet new people,” Tara says. She’s found friends through her classes, in Concert Choir, and by being involved in theater productions. She loves watching soccer games with friends or cheering on her brother in lacrosse games. She also appreciates and regularly attends chapel, GIFT, and Praise and Worship.

“It’s neat that, at Dordt, these events are all part of college life,” she says.