Hi, my name is Deborah Wexler and I am a first year graduate student in the Public History program at New York University. I come to NYU through a circuitous and serendipitous route. Having a deep and abiding love of history ever since I was a little girl, I nonetheless majored in Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana and eventually earned a MBA at Boston University. After working in consumer product marketing for a number of years, I relocated to the golden land of Northern California where I returned to my first love by pursuing a Master’s degree in Early American History at San Jose State University.
I first learned about the field and study of Public History in conversations with staff at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Massachusetts and the Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx. Here was a field where I could integrate my interest in the day-to-day stories of history with my desire to educate and pass along to other people my enthusiasm for a broken pipe shard, a torn piece of textile or the meanings hidden in a Naïve painting. I was intrigued by the idea of a formal course of study that would allow me to reach out to people and communicate the importance of history to our lives, what it says about where we came from and how it can inform our future.
I have been involved with the Palo Alto Historical Association, the planned Palo Alto History Museum, the oral history program at the Yiddish Book Center and most recently, as a volunteer at the Merchant’s House Museum on East 4th Street. After graduation, I hope to work in a historic house museum, a living history site or history museum.