Intern Dopplegangers!

Posted on May 12th, 2014 by

There’s mysterious work afoot at the JMM…It’s intern season again, and we’ve noticed a few odd coincidences that have us scratching our heads and looking up obscure family trees. A couple of our interns (and one former intern) have truly uncanny dopplegangers!

Perhaps it’s just that we all have Mendes on the mind (honestly, when do we not have Mendes on the mind?), but we think the resemblance between Mendes Cohen and our new Education intern, Ozzy Weinreb, is clear to see!

Can you see the resemblance?

Can you see the resemblance?

Earlier this week, a pair of visitors—a mother and a daughter—told me as they left that they thought our other Education intern, Amy Lieber, was the spitting image of one of the girls in a photo in the Project Mah Jongg exhibit. The next day, Amy and I went into the exhibit to find which photo and which girl they were talking about. It didn’t take long for us to find Amy’s mah jongg loving, 1920s-era twin!

Channeling some 1920s fabulousness!

Channeling some 1920s fabulousness!

I’d be remiss if I wrote a whole blog post about intern dopplegangers and I didn’t mention Summer 2013 Curatorial intern, Yonah Reback, who bears a striking resemblance to actor Edward Norton.

Yonah doppleganger

We definitely did a double take at intern orientation last summer!

Are we just going crazy, or do you agree that we have some real-life dopplegangers on our hands?

abby krolikA blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik. To read more posts from Abby, click here.


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Transformation & Process: From Intern to Staff, From Scavenger Hunts to Archival Activities

Posted on April 28th, 2014 by

As winterns turn to spring interns, which will soon bring us to our summer interns, it seems an appropriate time for me to reflect upon my own summer internship at the JMM, nearly two years ago. Fresh from my college graduation, I arrived at the JMM, ready to learn about museum education and to immerse myself into a meaningful project. There’s truly no better feeling than to see a museum utilizing something you worked on, whether it’s seeing your name and parts of your research within an exhibition, or seeing a school group participate in an activity that you designed.

My internship project in the summer of 2012 (which already seems like a lifetime ago!) was to create an activity pack for teachers to use in their classrooms that would make use of our own collection to teach grade school students about immigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For ten weeks I researched the evolution of immigration and naturalization laws, brainstormed fun activities that would make the topic interesting and relevant to young children, and chose the objects from our collection that I thought best told the story of American immigration. At the end of the summer, I had a PDF that was 45 pages long (including scanned photos of the objects and an answers sheet) of which I was very proud, but I had the sinking feeling that the link to download it from our website was going to collect layers of cyber dust.

For a few months after my internship ended, and I began working here full-time, this was true. But then Ilene Dackman-Alon started discussing the idea of re-imagining the activities that we do with students in the Voices of Lombard Street exhibit. Many of our visiting school groups come year after year, and a few of the teachers were asking whether we had anything besides a scavenger hunt to do. In fact, we were getting a litte bored with the scavenger hunt format as well. This is not to say that most of the teachers disliked our scavenger hunt—in fact, many of them say in their field trip evaluations that they loved the scavenger hunt and why didn’t the other exhibits have them too? But it was clear to us that there was so much more that we could be doing with the Voices exhibit.

At the same time, Ilene had been thinking hard about different ways in which we could align ourselves with the Common Core Curriculum in the public schools. One theme that is stressed in the Common Core—and is a natural connection to the JMM—is the use of primary sources. Ilene asked me to adapt one of the classroom activities that I’d created so that it tied into the Voices of Lombard Street exhibit. I chose one that asked students to use close observation skills to glean information about the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S. from three different naturalization certificates (the piece of paper that you get when you become a citizen). To add a personal aspect to the lesson, we decided that the activity should be preceded by an educator guiding them quickly through the Voices of Lombard Street exhibit, and then asking the students to take a couple of minutes to write down a quotation from the exhibit to which they related or felt a close connection. After sharing these verbal primary sources with the class, the students are ready to look at documentary primary sources that will teach them about history, identity and citizenship, and maybe even a little bit about bureaucracy!

Leading an Immigration Archival Activity

Leading an Immigration Archival Activity

After a few guinea-pig classes (which showed me that I needed to re-order the questions so that the simplest ones were first), we now have an Immigration Archival Activity that we use either for groups  that are starting to use primary sources in their classroom projects, or are simply too old to appreciate scavenger hunts.

Deep in thought!

Deep in thought!

Ilene helps students decipher their documents

Ilene helps students decipher their documents

abby krolikA blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik. To read more posts from Abby, click here.

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Where Are They Now

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by

The JMM posted our summer internship announcements earlier this week. We’re hoping to get another crew of motivated, creative, driven, future museum professionals to help us work on dozens of exciting projects. I also thought that our potential interns might be interested in some of the things that former JMM interns have gone on to do.


Heather Lirette, Education Intern, Summer 2009



I am currently living in Patterson Park and am the Computer Teacher/Technology Coordinator for Gwynns Falls Elementary School on the west side of the City, where I teach PK-5th graders and serve as “IT guru” for the school. I am about halfway through my Masters in Instructional Technology at Towson University.


Sean Whitten, Collections Intern, Summer 2009



I received my MA in Higher Education and have been working in the Admissions and Enrollment Management sector. I worked as an Admissions Counselor for my alma mater, St. Ambrose University, for 2 years. Now, I am currently working for an enrollment and fundraising management firm, RuffaloCODY, as a Project Manager in the Enrollment Management Division. I live in Davenport, Iowa with my wife and expectant child, a girl! That’s me in a nutshell.


Ryan Motevalli-Oliner, Education Intern, Summer 2010



I graduated in 2012 from Kenyon where I majored in American Studies. I taught 7th grade social studies in Memphis, TN through Teach for America for one year. Since the last time I visited the JMM last year I have moved back to the great state of Maryland and am living in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore. I am an admissions counselor at Washington College.


Elaine Hall, Exhibitions Intern, Summer 2013

This summer I worked on early research for the Jewish Health and Healing project. Now I am about to start my second semester at the UMD College Park working on my Master’s of Public Health with a focus in Behavioral and Community Health. I am also a graduate assistant in the Office of the Dean of the School of Public Health at UMD; helping with administrative and event planning types of activities.


Melina Avery, Baltimore Hebrew University Archives Intern, Summer 2010

Melina in the lab!

Melina in the lab!

I’m living in Chicago, and have a great job as a conservator at the University of Chicago Library. Most of my conservation treatments are on rare books from Special Collections, as well as maps, letters and a variety of other materials. One of my recent favorite projects was an insurance atlas of my neighborhood from 1890. I’m keeping in touch with some other interns from the summer I was at the JMM – I went to Rachael Gilman’s wedding, and Sara Patenaude came to stay with me in Chicago a few months ago!

Also, if anyone is interested in a rather impressionistic but I think visually very pretty representation of one of my projects, some undergrads did a short documentary on my treatment of a 16th century volume:

My mom took this photo of me at my work bench. My work space is in a futuristic glass dome (, as you might be able to tell from the photo. The building is featured as the villains’ HQ in the movie “Divergent” (coming out soon-ish I think) so watch out for that!


Sarah DePaolo, Collections Intern, Summer 2008

I did not stick with museum work but I did continue in outreach and preservation. I am currently in my second semester of my master’s in Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. I am studying pollinators (bees, bats and birds) in developing windfarms throughout southern Wyoming. After graduating from JHU with a degree in History and a minor in Museums and Society I moved to Grand Teton National Park, lived in Moran, WY, then moved down to Rocky Mountain National Park where I was a wildlife technician, working with bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, invasive species, and a boreal toad reintroduction. I then worked for Oregon State University for a year on a wolf study in Alberta, Canada. I will finish my MS in 18 months (God willing) and then will hopefully pursue a PhD so I can teach at a small university or college and share some of the wonderful lessons I learned from my mentors (like you) with the next generation. Also, I’ll be getting married in August 2015!


Jen Pollack, Archives Intern, Summer 2007

Even though it’s been almost 6 years (yikes!), I still remember my summer at the JMM so fondly.  I did not stay in the museum field but I feel like I’m still pretty close as I teach high school social studies at a charter school in Philadelphia.  I’ve been teaching for 3 years and have taught a variety of classes including: World Civilizations, World Cultures, U.S. History, American Government, Psychology, and Geography.  I love teaching and I do feel like my internship led to that.  Thanks so much for your support when I was still a student.


Jesse Sullivan, Education and Programs Intern, Spring and Summer 2012

After my internship at the JMM (and largely because of it I think) I got the lucky job of teaching assistant at a study abroad school in Florence, Italy (Studio Art Centers International).  I spent the academic year of 2012-13 helping a professor teach art history to college students from across America.  My duties there involved going on field trips across Italy and keeping track of the students while we saw, in person, the art that most people just get to see in powerpoints.  When that year ended I came back home to America and have been working on a research paper and applying for graduate programs in the field of art history.  Until I go to graduate school I’m applying for jobs at museums around Boston (where I live now).  Hopefully my time at the JMM will give me an edge and help me continue work in Museums and with art history.


Erin Pruhs, Urban Archaeology Intern, Summer 2013

I am currently in my last semester of classes for my Masters of Science Anthropology/Archaeology degree and Museum Studies Certificate Program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  The last class for the Museum Studies Program is designing a four case exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum which will be open from Spring 2014 to Spring 2015.  Right now, we are at the beginning stages of trying to nail down a theme.

I am also working on my master’s thesis.  I am analyzing ceramics from the Cahokia site (which is part of the Milwaukee Public Museum’s collections).  I will be defending sometime next school year.

And on top of that, I am working in the admissions department at the Milwaukee Public Museum while attending school. And also, volunteering at various museums. 


Shelby Silvernell, Photo Archives Intern, Spring 2009 and Exhibitions Intern, Summer 2009



Since graduating from MICA with a BFA in photography in 2009, I moved to Chicago and have had a few different jobs in the field starting with a job in the commercial photography studio of an auto accessories manufacturing company.  I learned a great deal about this particular niche of the industry, and I had the opportunity to work with some amazing equipment.  I had several internships at museums while in school, and I missed non-profits. So, I decided to accept an offer from the Chicago History Museum for a temporary scanning technician position.  It was wonderful working with their massive collections, the photography collection in particular.  The temporary position lead to another temporary position, and I was eventually promoted to a permanent imaging specialist and photographer position.  I was involved in all aspects of imaging for the museum, from marketing and event photography to digitizing 2D and 3D collections materials.  I have recently started working as a visual resources digitization assistant in the main library at Northwestern University.  I am excited to work in imaging to make research and educational materials more accessible at an institution which has made this work a priority.

And I want to take this opportunity to really thank you, Rachel, and Karen for providing me with internship opportunities at JMM.  That experience turned out to be so formative in my current career trajectory.  At this point, I can’t really imagine not working at a museum or library, the work is so rewarding.  So thanks for giving me a chance to work in the field!


Lauren Woodring, Collections Intern, Summer 2007



After my wonderful internship at the JMM, I earned a degree in history and political science at Lebababon Valley College, and then attended La Salle University to obtain a Master’s in History.  While there, I interned and then was hired at The Franklin Institute where I started an extensive collection inventory.  I decided that I wanted a degree in Museum Studies and that I wanted to live abroad for a while so I did both by going to St Andrews University in Scotland.  As part of this amazing experience, I did an internship in costume storage at the British Golf Museum and completed a student exhibition on the history of chemistry at the university.   It was difficult to find a paying museum job so I volunteered at the State Museum of Pennsylvania while simultaneously working for the successful Rob Teplitz for State Senate Campaign.  I then moved to Philadelphia to work on a collections move at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I was part of a team that successfully moved over 12,000 decorative arts objects to a new storage facility.  When the project was over, I began to work in HR at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.  Currently, I am still at the Kimmel Center and am in the process of transferring to the development department.   Even though I am not currently working in a museum, that first internship at the JMM has helped to shape my course of action and working there that summer was one of the best experiences!


Karen Bishop, Urban Archaeology, Summer 2012

I am living in Los Angeles interning at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the objects conservation lab. I have been here since November, the time has flown by. I started out learning to clean and store silver objects. I am currently working on a few different ceramic works, fitting broken pieces back together, filling areas of loss, and inpainting. LACMA also has a large indoor and outdoor sculpture collection that constantly needs cleaning and condition reporting. And since this is LA and no one seems to have any less than two jobs, I am also working as a chef in a farm to table restaurant in my neighborhood. Keeping busy but having fun in the sun!


Carrie Coviello, Collections Summer 2011

After my JMM internship ended, I completed my last semester of graduate school at Syracuse University in museum studies. In my Advanced Curatorship class my fellow classmates and I developed an art exhibition on trains.  ”Engineered Perspectives,” was shown from December 2011-January 2012 at the SUArt Galleries. I have to say, it was pretty cool to see exhibit labels that I wrote on the gallery walls.

I graduated from SU in December and doggedly started looking for employment in museums.  What followed was seven months of cover letters and resumes but very few interviews.  Finally, in July of 2012, I landed a part-time job at the Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST) in Syracuse.  It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but I was appreciative of a job in the museum field.  As a Science Exhibit Educator, I am on the museum floor greeting guests, explaining exhibits, and doing short science demonstrations.  My favorite is the turtle demonstration where I get to bring out Patsy, the museum’s red-eared slider turtle.

My position at the MOST will end in March, so I am back to searching for a job.  I still want to work in the museum field, ideally in collections management.  Hopefully, I will find a job in which I can put all the skills that I learned at the JMM to use.


Clare Robbins, Collections Intern, Summer 2013

After my internship last summer, I returned to Lafayette, Louisiana, to finish my Master’s degree in public history.  I am set to graduate in May which is incredibly exciting.  I had the opportunity to work on a couple of fun projects last semester.  First, I created a tour of plantations in southern Louisiana for the smartphone app “Acadiana Historical.”  The tour mostly locates plantations that were destroyed, rebuilt, or not otherwise marked.  Also, I helped create, design, and install an exhibit on Louisiana women in a 1950s air stream trailer.  The trailer travels around to different site throughout the state.

The exhibit interior on opening night. Photo courtesy of

The exhibit interior on opening night. Photo courtesy of

Along with my school work, I continued to work at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and interned at the McIlhenny Company Archives (the Tabasco sauce company).  At Tabasco, I catalogued and housed photographs from the E.A. McIlhenny Collection.  E.A. was the son of Edmund McIlhenny (Tabasco creator) and eventually ran the company in the early 1900s.  He was also a conservationist and explorer. E.A. even developed Avery Island’s tourist attractions, Jungle Gardens and Bird City, which are scenic nature reserves on the island.  As you can imagine, he was quite a character.  One of the most interesting things in his photo collection was the pictures of his pet bear, Tubby.  E.A. found this bear on the island and raised it as a pet.

Tubby drinking milk.  Photo courtesy of E.A. McIlhenny Collection. McIlhenny Company and Avery Island, Inc. Avery Island, LA.

Tubby drinking milk. Photo courtesy of E.A. McIlhenny Collection. McIlhenny Company and Avery Island, Inc. Avery Island, LA.

This semester, I am finishing up my course work and working at the University Art Museum.  Also, McIlhenny Company hired me this semester to continue cataloguing various photo collections in the archives.  I look forward to graduating and finding a job in the next few months.


Rachael (Gilman) Clark, Photo Archives Intern, Summer 2010

Let’s see, since I interned at JMM:

-I interned in the Conservation Department at Milwaukee Public Museum. My big job was environmental monitoring for Mummies of the World. I also made a custom box for a Peruvian mummy then got to transport it and several Egyptian mummies over to GE headquarters, where they received CT scans. My other big project was related to the de-installation of the China display. I inventoried and condition reported almost everything from the 6 cases.

-I finished grad school. I now have a MA in History, a MLIS (master of library and information science) and a museum studies certificate.

 -I got married (but you probably knew that already).

-At the moment, I work at a game store called The Board Game Barrister. I’m the Master of Events and Online Wizardry or MEOW (yep, that’s my actual job title). I coordinate events, work with our volunteers, write newsletters, update the website and our social media plus whatever else my boss asks me to do.

-Alex and I are planning on moving back to Minnesota this summer. Which means I am currently job hunting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. I’m looking for something full-time in a museum, library or archive. Actually, I just applied for a collections tech opening at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

To this day, I still think about all the good times I had at the JMM (and in Baltimore). A lot of my great experiences came from the awesome people I worked with…like you!

Jobi A blog post by Intern Wrangler Jobi Zink. To read more posts from Jobi, click here. To read more posts about interns, click here.

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