Hear from Our Students
- Student Experiences
Historic Landscape Institute at Monticello and the University of Virginia, Summer 2014
CHAPS MA student Jacquelyn Walsh will participate in the Historic Landscape Institute at Monticello and the University of Virginia in June 2014. The gardens and grounds designed by Thomas Jefferson are the setting for a unique educational experience in the theory and practice of historic landscape preservation. Monticello is the only American home, and the University of Virginia the only educational institution, on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Instruction will be provided by the staff of Monticello and its Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants; the University of Virginia's Office of the Architect; Peter Hatch, former director of Monticello's gardens and grounds; and Charles Pepper, Deputy Director of the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation. The program includes seminars and field work in the historic gardens, focusing on Thomas Jefferson's revolutionary garden, 18th century plantation gardens and historic horticulture, preservation of cultural landscapes, historic maps and surveys, and landscape archaeology. In addition to her Rutgers studies, Jacquelyn received the Certificate of Landscape Design from the NY Botanical Garden and will complete their Horticultural Sustainable Design program in 2015. She will focus on historic landscape preservation issues in her CHAPS thesis.
National Museum of American Jewish History, Fall 2013
My internship at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia was a great opportunity, offering a wide variety of experiences. During this internship I was able to assist in exhibition installation and deinstallation projects. I also participated in monitoring environmental conditions of collection material. One of the larger tasks I worked on was adding recently accessioned material into the collection database. While I interned for the Registrars in the curatorial department, I learned so much about the different tasks and projects involved in this field – everyday was a new opportunity to learn.
Interning at the NMAJH was an enriching experience that I would recommend to any student.
The Franklin Institute, Fall 2013
My project at the Franklin Institute involved the digitization of the Scott Collection of Scientist Portraits. This collection consisted of thousands of cellulose film negatives from portraits made by John Scott in the 1920s and 1930s. These portraits show the scientists that were working in the United States at that time and included some famous names, such as Ivan Pavlov. Biographical information on each scientist was listed on the envelope containing the negative, and I transcribed this information into a document for the institution’s digital catalog system. I was even able to identify one unnamed scientist by looking through online archival databases. This project was important for the preservation of the collection material since cellulose film deteriorates with age. For this reason condition of each negative was also assessed during the process. By digitizing the collection, the images will be available for future researchers while minimizing the handling of the fragile works. The Franklin Institute is a wonderful place to intern – full of hidden treasures and great opportunities.
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Spring 2013
Architectural History Intern
The Art Alliance is Philadelphia’s only contemporary art gallery focused on craft and design. As their Spring Architectural History Intern, I compiled research on the Wetherill Mansion, home of the Alliance since 1926, in order to create a number of informational materials on the building for the front desk and website. For this project, I had to opportunity to research at a number of sites throughout Philadelphia, including the Historical Commission of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. As an intern at the Alliance, I also served as a gallery assistant and worked at the front desk each week.
Interning at the Philadelphia Art Alliance was truly wonderful. I learned a great deal and gained valuable professional experience. I cannot thank the lovely Art Alliance staff enough!
UNESCO, Spring 2013
Small Island Developing States, Division of Sustainable Development
My internship was with the Small Island Developing States Unit in the Division of Sustainable Development within the Economic and Social Affairs organ of the United Nations Secretariat. It has been the experience of a lifetime. I have gained an invaluable amount of knowledge working in international policy and affairs, and have contributed to the increasing importance of cultural heritage in it. Every day is a different project, some days I am in diplomatic sessions, while others I am writing reports for my colleagues. A highlight of this internship was to attend the 12th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. I reported on the emerging issues of cultural heritage policy and its effects for the Indigenous communities on Small Island Developing States, specifically how it could contribute to building their sustainable economies. My experience here has opened possibilities that were previously unimaginable for me.
For more information about Tiffany's experience, follow this link.
Ostia Antica, Summer 2009-2012
Todd Adams, CHAPS MA May 2013
Over the past few years (2009-2012) I’ve had the good fortune to spend five weeks each summer working with Dr. Joanne Spurza’s international team at her excavations at the Palazzo Imperiale at Ostia Antica, Italy outside Rome. Each year Joanne brings together archaeologists from the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States to investigate the building history of this large structure, as well as the building methods employed over its centuries of use. I’ve been involved in all aspects of the project: laying out trenches; stratigraphic excavation; taking elevations; documenting and photographing finds; emergency stabilization of deteriorating mosaics; and any number of the 1001 tasks necessary on the project.
My summers at the Palazzo Imperiale are always strenuous, rewarding, sunburnt, and fascinating, and I hope to continue being a part of this project for years to come.
CHAPS Abroad: Athens, Summer 2011
The Dig at Voula
As part of its global focus, CHAPS Abroad: Athens offers students the opportunity to study with preservation experts as well as to undertake summer internships in Greek cultural institutions or participate in in a fascinating archaeological excavation located in Voula, on the outskirts of Athens, at the site of Aghios Nikolaos Polloi. The area has been occupied since the Neolithic era, and features numerous remains from the Geometric, Archaic, and Classical periods. They include Classical foundations, Roman kilns, and a small Byzantine church with a tomb. Nearby are other major sites, including the Temple of Apollo Zoster and the Phgadakia cemetery. During my summer, in 2011, we worked towards uncovering the area east of the Byzantine church. CHAPS students excavated two small rooms, an extension of a previously uncovered wall, and a kiln. We recovered roof tiles and other pottery sherds. Previous excavations recovered a small marble lion statue and Attic red-figure pottery. CHAPS students with archaeological education and field experience worked together with CHAPS students had no previous experience or knowledge of the field, seeking to increase the understanding of the site while learning excavation techniques, surveying, and dating processes. Students learn how to measure and mark the site grid, observe soil changes between the layers and the differences between structure foundations, and how to survey and sketch their excavation box at each layer. The instructors and assistants, who have worked on other major sites in Greece, are there to provide information not only for the Voula site, but also for other sites and cultural heritage issues across the country.
Scott Curzi Internship, Rosebury House, Philipsburg, NJ
Scott Curzi Intern
For my internship project working under the guidance of Frank Greenagel of the Phillipsburg Historical Society, I researched the artistic and cultural history of the preserved stencil work found on the interior walls of the Roseberry House. My research was part of a larger investigation of the history of the property and its inhabitants and uses over time. It was a pleasure to work with Frank, who is very passionate about this building and the history of his community in general. While completing my survey work on site, I also developed an understanding of how preservation projects in small towns are initiated, funded and developed, as I was able to interact with several preservation professionals from different fields who contributed to this project. It was a wonderful opportunity, and I hope that this project continues to move forward in the ensuing years.