Erik Radowski, Class of 2015

Erik Radowski wearing mid-1800s military dressNothing quite compares to working with the thunder of artillery overhead and the chants of marching soldiers outside. A career on an active military installation would be interesting in any field, but it provides unique challenges and opportunities to someone in the museum field. I have been working at the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum for the past year as a museum technician.

Erik Radowski working with an artifact at the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum

Located an hour southwest of Oklahoma City, Fort Sill is the home of the United States Army’s Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery branches. Interestingly, this post has been in constant use by the Army since its founding 

in 1869, and my museum operates 38 historic buildings, 36 of which are nearly 150 years old. Our collection consists of military artifacts from the Dragoon Expedition of 1834 through modern times, and we are the repository for the Department of the Army’s Native American collection.

Initially, I was hired to be the museum’s archivist, overseeing the storage, arrangement, access, and preservation of the nearly 100,000 documents, photographs, and books in the collection. For eight months, I responded to research requests, revamped the archive’s location system, and rehoused several major collections. Recently, I was able to transition into another position at the museum working with the artifact collection and exhibits. I immediately began assisting with the design, construction, artifact preparation, and installation of our exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

Erik Radowski in period military dress and standing next to a 19th-century cannon

Since I now work within two different departments, I am constantly running around our various buildings and working on several different projects at a time. I assist with inventories, rehousing projects, small displays, interpretive changes, and tours. While our main mission is to educate soldiers about the Army’s heritage and the history of Fort Sill, we continue to engage the public though living history events, in which I have eagerly participated. In the future, I hope to develop more displays on lesser-known parts of Fort Sill’s history all while continuing the stewardship of our large and diverse artifact collection.

Erik Radowski and his wife Kathleen at a KU-Oklahoma State basketball game in Stilwater, Oklahoma

On a personal note, I have been married for nearly two years to my lovely Jayhawk wife, Kathleen (b’12), and while it was difficult moving away from our family and friends both in Nebraska and Kansas, we are definitely better for it. We have brought our Jayhawk spirit to the Sooner State, and are extremely grateful to both be utilizing our KU educations and working in the fields that we love!
Rock Chalk!

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