Alumni Spotlight: Carl Aldrich
Carl Aldrich graduated from USU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Sociology. While at USU he worked as an intern with the Bear River Heritage Area, where he became interested in public history. He went to George Mason University to pursue his Master of Arts in Applied History where he focused primarily on Archives Administration and Museum Studies. While at GMU, he worked at the National Archives museum in Washington D.C. and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at GMU.
After graduating from GMU in 2013, Aldrich returned to Utah where he volunteered at the Utah State Archives and in January 2014 he became a ranger at the Territorial Statehouse State Park, where he continues to work today. He does it all there: historical research, writing, grant writing, public programming, historic preservation, archives management, exhibit design, public speaking, and just general upkeep. In 2015, he received the Utah State Parks Innovator of the Year award.
Fillmore City's Historic Preservation Commission chairman, Aldrich also represents Territorial Statehouse State Park on several committees. This past summer he partnered with Utah Humanities and several other organizations to bring The Way We Worked—a Smithsonian exhibit—to the museum, and he developed an event to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. The event, which included dance, food, skits, and a special exhibit showcasing Mexican history, brought almost three hundred visitors and community members to the site.
This all started for Aldrich when he was sitting in a required history class with a great professor, thinking about how he was no longer excited about the major he selected. He switched his major, and he now credits his experience with USU's history department for making these opportunities possible and for giving him the confidence to apply for graduate school.