Meet KVML Intern Jacqueline Rooksberry

Meet Jacqueline Rooksberry, our 2018-2019 KVML intern. Jacqueline is finishing a master’s in museum studies from IUPUI and will graduate in May. We thought you’d like to know more about Jacqueline, her work, her ambitions, and her thoughts on the one-and-only Kurt Vonnegut.

What are your plans after completing your master’s degree in museum studies this May?

I plan to start my career in the museum field after graduation. My interests are in equitable access to arts and culture and creating exhibits that are representative.

What you’re doing as KVML intern?

I have many roles that build on my knowledge from my graduate program and previous internships. I work with the collection by rehousing KVML artifacts and informing documents to guide their treatment at the museum. My primary skill set is in audience research. I use those skills to create surveys and analyze feedback from guests, so we have a better idea of their perspectives to make our programming and exhibits even better.

Why did you choose to intern at KVML?

I like the institution’s focus on reaching under-served audiences through school programming initiatives, and KVML is special because it is not limited to its physical place. The staff is always innovating ways to bring Kurt Vonnegut to schools. I admire the museum professionals for their proactive stance in creating change through Vonnegut’s ideals.

What’s the most interesting thing about working for KVML?

The people. I have met some of the most interesting people during this internship: from opening the door for author John Green to the passionate people who work at KVML every day. There’s never a dull conversation or moment without purpose.

Favorite Vonnegut quote and/or book?

There are too many! But my undergraduate degree is in anthropology, so it makes sense that my favorite book is Galapagos. The novel is a direct critique of theories from the field of anthropology.

“Just about every adult human being back then had a brain weighing about three kilogrammes! There was no end to the evil schemes that a thought machine that over-sized couldn’t imagine and execute.

 So I raise this question, although there is nobody around to answer it: Can it be doubted that three-kilogramme brains were once nearly fatal defects in the evolution of the human race?” 

Is it unusual to find someone your age interested in Vonnegut, or do you think a lot of young people are discovering Kurt?

Kurt Vonnegut’s writing style and layered meaning is appealing to me. I am not sure if other people my age are discovering Kurt, but I do think he has a lot to offer the millennial generation. Especially his words on common decency and peace.

What are your thoughts on Slaughterhouse-Five?

I graduated from high school during the second Iraq War. The Children’s Crusade or Slaughterhouse-Five hit home for me. Many of my friends enlisted and went into active combat quickly, as soon as they graduated. There are a lot of truths presented in Slaughterhouse-Five that transcend time. The most poignant of those for me is that war is fought by children. It’s not glamorous and has repercussions we like to forget or romanticize as a society. These are truths that we must discuss to understand why we need peaceful solutions to conflict.

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