Learning on the Job, Part II-A

Last week, we introduced you to some of the summer interns who are sharing their skills and talents with sites on the Trails of History. This week, there are even more interns to tell you about, and Blogger didn't seem to like the number of photos, so I've divided this week's post into two pieces. Part II-A includes interns working at Daniel Boone Homestead and Erie Maritime Museum. Part II-B features interns working at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum.

Many thanks to Alex Gnafakis, Linda Bolla, Carol Rosenthal, Jenna Wheaton, Jeremy Stolz, and Doug Buettner for their contributions to this post.

Alexandra Gnafakis is a grad student in Museum Communication at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her thesis research on the challenges of marketing historic houses and sites associated with the heroes of American myth led her to propose an internship at Daniel Boone Homestead. Alex has worked with staff and volunteers at Boone and has visited other Boone-related historic sites in Kentucky and Missouri. She is developing a marketing plan for PHMC and the Friends of Daniel Boone Homestead, who are now tasked with promoting the long-term stability of the site. You can read Alex’s brief description of her work here.

Carol Rosenthal was a Public Relations Intern with the Flagship Niagara League and is now employed by Tall Ships Erie. She earned her M.S. in Public Relations from Syracuse University this August. Describing her experience as an intern, Carol wrote: “Being involved with all things Tall Ships Erie 2010 from planning, to ticket sales, to public relations has taught me many career skills that I know I will need in the near future. TSE is going to be a huge, fun and exciting event that will bring tens of thousands of people to Erie…. Always a history-lover, my time spent at the EMM gave me a broader scope on my hometown's significant history and a greater love for Erie than before.”

PHMC/Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara

Jenna Wheaton, a Senior at Mercyhurst College, used her internship to gain hands-on experience seeing an exhibit through from start to finish. She also studied visitor dynamics, and learned to handle artifacts. She had the opportunity to attend the PA Archives workshop “Archives Without Tears” as part of her training. Looking back on her summer, Jenna said: “A project I found particularly rewarding was helping work on a new exhibit at the museum, consisting of photographs depicting the daily activities of the crew sailing aboard the Niagara.... I had only a small idea about all of the things that are a part of making an exhibit….Things such as color, placement, wording, and size all are major factors that, once combined, are supposed to flow and look effortless, when in fact a large deal of thought and reflection goes into each.”

PHMC/Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara

A graduate assistant at Edinboro University, Jeremy Stolz (wearing a red bandanna in the photo above) was placed at the Erie Maritime Museum for the Spring Semester. His primary task was to conduct research on such topics as the Battle of Lake Erie, commercial shipping and the history of Erie as a port, which will be used in the Museum’s new interactive kiosk. Reflecting on his experience, Jeremy noted: “I was particularly fond of working in the Maritime Museum because it gave me an opportunity to help out on the Niagara before spending three weeks sailing onboard the ship this summer during the Tall Ships Consortium Program. The time I spent at the Maritime Museum also provided valuable experience working in a museum environment and researching topics in local history.”

PHMC/Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara

Doug Buettner, a Senior in Public History at Mercyhurst College, also attended “Archives Without Tears” as part of his training, but his focus was on Museum Administration. He worked with the Flagship Niagara League in fundraising and with the Museum learning the less-than-exciting, but ever-necessary, paperwork involved with artifact loans and accessioning. Doug summed up his internship for us: “Being able to work with both the museum and with the Brig Niagara League has been a great privilege and has helped to solidify my appreciation of Erie’s history. I feel a strong sense of fulfillment in organizing fundraising functions and always got a sense of having helped in something meaningful to the community. The event I found particularly rewarding to assist in was the Erie premiere of Into the Deep [in which Niagara plays a whaling ship] by Ric Burns.”

Blog continues with Part II-B, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum.


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