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Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest Provides Funding for Students’ Summer Internships with Partner Historical Organizations

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest has launched a new program to help Villanova students interested in the field of history take advantage of summer professional work opportunities in settings and organizations that support history in the public interest. 

The competitive program offers a $3,000 stipend for undergraduate internships and a $4,000 stipend for graduate internships at partner organizations across the country. The internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Villanova University, and the stipends are intended to cover housing, travel and daily living expenses.

“This program allows students with a strong interest in history, historic preservation, museum studies and archival work to take advantage of opportunities with leading organizations across the country,” says Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD, associate professor of History at Villanova University and director of the Lepage Center.

Through a competitive application process that took place earlier this year, six Villanova students have been awarded summer internship stipends for the summer of 2021. 

Kyle Scripko ’21 MA will work at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, a historical, natural and cultural site owned by the City of Philadelphia and operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. He will help the organization with cataloguing, organizing and digitizing materials to provide better access to their collections on the website. The garden has ties to histories of the Lenape people, colonization, botany, industry, the environment, and African American life and culture.

Sophia Lockwood ’22 MA will intern in Philadelphia with the Beyond Better Project, a public medical humanities project—partially funded by a Lepage Center’s COVID-19 grant—that seeks to destabilize ableist narratives in American healthcare through oral history, archival research, storytelling and art. Sophia will engage in the “Afterlives of Pandemics, Past and Future” initiative, which includes original archival and oral history research.

Micaela Miralles ’21 MA has accepted an internship with “Documenting the Undocumented: COVID-19 Oral Histories and Immigrant Workers in Rural Wisconsin, which has been funded by a Lepage Center COVID-19 grant. She will serve as a project assistant, documenting and preserving oral histories of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on Spanish-speaking migrant and undocumented farmworkers in Wisconsin’s dairy industry.

Irene Koch ’22 CLAS will work at the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin, Texas. The museum’s mission is to share its site, the city of Austin and Texas history from the city’s birth in 1839 up to 1930 through historically furnished spaces as well as numerous rotating art and history exhibitions.  

Elizabeth Lyons ’21 CLAS has an internship with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a research office of the National Park Service. The NCPTT has begun a two-year long research project to document still standing slave cabins and tenant farmer housing in the South and Mid-Atlantic states.

Danielle Scudder ’21 CLAS will work at the Nashville Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, an art and history museum on a mission educate both Nashvillians and visitors about the legacy of the ancient Greeks and their impact on American civilization. She will assist with the installation and reach of museum exhibitions, creation of interactive learning experiences and research in the archives. 

Founded in 2017 and housed in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Lepage Center is a multifaceted resource for students, teachers, industry, journalists, and elected officials that draws upon the past to impart lessons for today’s world. It is made possible through the generosity of Albert Lepage ’69 CLAS, who was a History major at Villanova. The Center engages the public, policymakers, scholars, teachers and students from history and other fields through academic programs, research, publications and events. In the past three years the Center has hosted historically informed and civic-minded conversations on the “fake news” crisis, the US Civil War, the Holocaust, the Cold War, the state of American Democracy, the fate of democracy around the world, the COVID-19 crisis, and more.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators, and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.