Commencement Spotlight: Joshua Rachita
April 26, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Each semester, the Commencement Spotlight series highlights graduating Bearkats with a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service.
Sam Houston State University history major, Joshua Rachita, enjoys helping preserve American history.
While pursuing his degree, Rachita worked at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum for almost four years, starting as a volunteer and working his way up to a part-time historical interpreter in the museum grounds blacksmith shop, where he gives historical demonstrations. He attributes his success as a historian and interpreter to SHSU and the museum.
“My time as a student at Sam has played a huge role in the historian I am today. I have learned how to do research, think critically on my sources and articulate that professionally,” Rachita said. “The Sam Houston Memorial Museum furthered that education by giving me a place to practice being a historian and teaching me the aspects of being an interpreter and working in the field of public history.”
In addition to his work at the museum, Rachita also found ways to give back to those in need.
“Through Truth College Ministry, I participated in distributing food and clothing to people. I also had a summer internship at a blacksmith shop with Mobile Loaves Community First Village, a nonprofit that provides housing for chronically homeless,” he said.
Rachita believes his museum experience gave him the freedom to explore the craft of blacksmithing and enhance his skill set.
“It also gave me the ability to work on important historic buildings like Sam Houston's Law Office and the Bear Bend Cabin. I’ve made many important professional and personal connections through these experiences that have significantly impacted my career trajectory.”
Rachita also spent time working at Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum in Virginia, where he expanded his handcrafted metalwork skills through a blacksmithing summer internship. Rachita plans to use his knowledge and skills as an advocate for historical preservation. After crossing the commencement stage, his next chapter will unfold when he heads to Nashville, Tennessee to join the ranks of Axe and Anvil Handworks as a full-time blacksmith.
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