JMM Insights: June 2013
This month we asked Senior Collections Manager and official Intern Wrangler Jobi Zink to give you an inside look at our internship program.
Now in its 8th year, the JMM Internship program is gaining a reputation for training the next generation of museum professionals. Since 2006, we’ve offered 113 internships in collections, exhibitions, education & programs, and development.
Our 10-week summer internship program attracts undergraduate and graduate students from across the country—Washington (State), Tennessee, Minnesota, and California are represented this summer, as well as Maryland—while our fall, spring and winter internships tend to draw from the local colleges and universities. Many students use the internship to confirm their passion for the museum field before pursuing a Master’s degree, while others use it as a springboard for teaching careers.
The JMM internship program includes a series of professional-development workshops and training. Object handling and digital photography are taught during orientation, while proposal writing, public speaking and resumes, cover letters & interview skills are scheduled later, after the interns have had a chance to become comfortable in their day-to-day activities in the museum.
Another distinguishing component of our internship program is the field trips to other museums and cultural organizations in the area. By exposing the interns to the vast variety of museums—historic houses, super-small theme-specific, enormous, art, history, or science museums—they see that working in a museum is wonderful, but no two museums are the same, and no museum is free of problems. The field trips often introduce departments that the JMM does not have like conservation or fabrication. Afterwards, staff and interns talk about what they learned, and describe their experiences in blog posts.
The JMM is grateful to Saralyn and Sheldon Glass and Saul L. Ewing, LLC for sponsoring the 2013 Saralyn and Sheldon Glass Education and Program interns and the Robert L. Weinberg Collections and Exhibitions interns. If you’d like to sponsor JMM interns, please contact Development Manager Rachel Kassman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-732-6402 x225.
Now, let us introduce this year’s summer intern class – you can also follow along with our intern exploits at our blog, using the “interns” tag!
I am currently a senior at UMBC where I am majoring in Art History and minoring in Psychology. I am really interested in museums/galleries and currently am planning on applying to Law School. As far as careers go, I would love to work in the legal side of the arts world.
Though I have only been an intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland for about two and half weeks now, as my first internship, it has been an extremely enlightening experience. I have learned a lot about the operations that go behind the scenes of a museum, such as with the maintenance of the museum’s collections. So far, I have learned how to use the PastPerfect database, and I’ve learned about cataloguing and accessioning, and I’ve also learned how to perform condition reports and house objects. I think that this internship will greatly increase my knowledge of museums and will therefore aid my potential future career choice.
Hi! My name is Yonah Reback and I am a rising Junior at Johns Hopkins University where I am pursuing my B.A./M.A. in History, with an eye toward law school down the line. I have come all the way from my hometown of Seattle, WA, to spend my summer interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!
My internship at the JMM focuses on researching an exciting new exhibition, slated to open in August 2014. Though not officially named, the exhibition will spotlight the life of Mendes I. Cohen, one of Baltimore’s most fascinating Jewish characters. Part ‘Forrest Gump,’ part ‘Indiana Jones,’ Mendes Cohen defended Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, helped run his family’s successful banking business, and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. Most significantly, Mendes was the first American-Jew to experience the land of Israel in the 1830s. I look forward to bringing this wonderful project to life during my time at the JMM this summer and invite you to visit when our exhibition opens!
I’m from a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I received my undergraduate degree in Anthropology/Archaeology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. In the fall, I will be starting my second year of the masters program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I am in the Masters of Science Anthropology degree program focusing on Midwest late prehistoric archaeology, specifically dealing with ceramic analysis. I am also in the Certificate in Museum Studies program that is held at the Milwaukee Public Museum and instructed by museum staff. My career goals right after college would be to work as an archaeologist for a few years in the field and then working in collections at a natural history museum.
I am working on the archaeological collection from the Lloyd Street Synagogue excavation. I have been going through the various bags of artifacts and photographing the objects and attaching the images to the records in Past Perfect.
I was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland but lived in Catonsville for four years while attending the University of Maryland Baltimore County. At UMBC I completed a BS in Biological Science and a BA in Cultural Anthropology. This fall I will begin my Master of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. I have a lot of interests in Public Health ranging from education to policy and from health access problems to sexual health- and I’m not quite sure what direction I will be taking yet.
I was drawn to the Jewish Museum of Maryland this summer because of the Jewish Health and Healing project. It has been, and I’m sure will continue to be, a good combination of my history in biology and anthropology and my future in public health. We are in the beginning stages of research and planning for this exhibit. It has been really fun to get to put to use the knowledge I have gained in school and to get a look into how much really goes into the planning of an exhibit.
My name is Todd Nesson and I was born and raised in Owings Mills, MD. I am currently pursuing my MA in History at UMBC where my thesis work is focusing on Jewish organized crime in America.
As an intern at the JMM, I have been conducting research for the upcoming exhibit Passages through Fire: Jews and the Civil War, which is coming from the Yeshiva University Museum in October. The focus of my work has been on adding a Maryland twist to the story and demonstrating the war’s impact on Baltimore and Maryland Jewry along with their varied responses to the war and its attendant issues.
I am English and recently moved here, having married my American husband. I went to school back in England where I studied at the University of Liverpool getting a BA and MA in Egyptology and an MA in Museum studies at University of Leicester. I am looking to develop a career in museums, not necessarily with a focus on Egyptology, possibly in education or collections.
Within the museum sector one area that I am really interested in is the way in which museums can cater for older people. I had my first American experience in this area last week, when we visited the JCC for a session on gefilte fish. It was an excellent session, led by Ilene Dackman-Alon, almost every person present was able to contribute in some way with a story about gefilte fish. It seemed like everyone enjoyed the day, I know I had a fantastic time and learnt loads.
Hi there! I’m Marissa Walker, an education and programs intern. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to the greater Baltimore area to attend Goucher College. At Goucher, I was a dance performance and English writing double major. After graduating, I moved back to Cincinnati for a year and a half, where I attended the University of Cincinnati for a year in order to obtain an Adult ESL graduate level teaching certificate. I have always been interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the area of museums, and felt this internship would be an excellent way for me to narrow down which area sparks my interest. In addition to furthering my education, I am also ambitious in the performance world, hoping to continue my career as an aerial circus performer and dancer on a professional level.
It’s hard for me to choose one thing I have learned so far during my time at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, as I already feel I have gained so much knowledge across the board. Working on revamping and creating supplemental educational materials for the current and upcoming exhibits has been very educational for me as a developer. I have also loved beginning to work with all the social media we are using for outreach in an educational context. I find that aspect of museum programming and marketing to be fascinating.
Hi everyone! My name is Clare Robbins, and this summer I am interning with the Collections Department at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. I am from Murfreesoboro, Tennessee, and earned my bachelor’s in history from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. I am currently working on my master’s in public history at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After I graduate, I would like to work in a museum world and pursue a career in collections management.
So far this summer, I processed some of the objects from the 2012-2013 donations. This proved to not only been a great learning experience but also quite enjoyable. I loved learning the story behind various objects like a rope that a nursing student at Sinai Hospital used to keep her keys on when working in the psychiatric wing in the 1950s. I even liked finding a place for all the objects in collection storage rooms as it was a great way to explore the rest of the objects in JMM’s collections.
My name is Kathleen Morrison. I was born in Washington DC, moved to Frederick, MD when I was three, and was raised there. Last year, my parents and I moved to Baltimore to take advantage of the richer cultural life in the city. This May, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in Southern Maryland with a Bachelor of the Arts in History. I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I love history and I know I want to have a career where I can work with it every day. Whether that means preservation, writing, or education, I don’t know. Hopefully my future holds a mix of all three.
So far, I’ve been cataloging papers donated last year. Many of them are very interesting and provide an insight to not only daily Jewish life in Maryland, but also daily life around the middle of the century. One of the most interesting papers I’ve come across is a sadly anti-Semitic, anti-African American housing deed, which stipulates that the sale to the new owners is only valid as long as they never rent,r sell, or house Jews or African-Americans on the property. How the original owner intended to enforce this is unknown, but it’s a reminder of how much things have changed for the better today.