Dr. Sommer began her professional life as a professor of European History. She ended up turning her attention to museums and did graduate coursework in Public History/Museum Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Subsequently, she held positions at the Staten Island Historical Society (Director of Research and Interpretation), and Roanoke Island Festival Park on the Outer Banks of N.C. (Manager of Education and Interpretation), after which she taught Museum Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. Most recently, she served as Education Curator for the El Paso Museum of Art. She has also done work for the Thomas Wolfe State Historic Site in N.C., the Asheville Art Museum, Historic Kenmore, and the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. She holds a BA in History from UNC-Greensboro and a PhD in European History from the University of Virginia.