Dyson Students Receive Esteemed Lipper Internships
— Stephanie Kuchs ‘08
— Kendra Miller ‘10
Two Dyson majors receive prestigious internships at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: a Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City.
Stephanie Kuchs ‘08 and Kendra Miller ‘10, the first Pace students to be accepted to this program, are among only 16 students chosen from schools in a range of cities across the Northeast.
About the Lipper Internship
According to the museum’s Web site, the Lipper Internship brings together graduate and undergraduate students from across the Northeast to train in New York City for a semester-long internship in museum education. Interns teach students about the Holocaust in local schools in their college communities and on visits to the museum. After a two-week training program at the museum, during which they meet with museum staff, hear testimony from Holocaust survivors and learn appropriate teaching methods, the interns visit local schools to give a pre-visit lesson in the classroom, guide their class around the museum when it visits, and return to the school for a post-visit discussion.
According to the museum’s director of communication, Abby Spilka, “We enjoy the diverse interests of students at Pace. It is also very important to us to support the downtown community, and in this way both institutions help each other. We look forward to working with Stephanie and Kendra, and we hope this semester is the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the university.”
A unique and practical educational opportunity
Kendra Miller, an art history major and Middle Eastern studies minor, has a long-standing interest in human rights activism. “This internship is a great opportunity to spread knowledge to young people. I think that education is the most important aspect in genocide prevention. Hopefully, with the knowledge of the atrocities of the Holocaust, future generations will have the compassion to resolve and prevent crimes against humanity in the future. Also, some members of my family were killed during the Holocaust, so the Holocaust and its legacy are issues that hit close to home for my family and me.”
Stephanie Kuchs, a dual history and business management major, says that she was interested in this program because “It will give me first hand experience teaching about the Holocaust and genocide in classrooms to high school and middle school students. My senior thesis is focusing on teaching about the Armenian genocide in American schools. This opportunity will be helpful as I continue to work on my thesis.”
A most valuable experience
History Professor Joan Roland, PhD, who, with English Professor Helane Levine-Keating, PhD, taught both students in a learning community course, “The Holocaust and Modern Genocide: Representations in History, Literature, and Film,” discussed the internships in class and wrote recommendation letters for Kuchs and Miller to the museum.
“I think it is extremely important to teach about the Holocaust to today’s students, starting on the middle school level, which this program does. The Lipper internship not only exposes the interns to important aspects of the Holocaust, including the opportunity to talk with survivors, but in learning to communicate about the Holocaust to younger students, the interns will enrich their own understanding of it,” Roland says.
Educational and career goals
Looking toward the future, both students will pursue graduate studies. “I plan to work on a master’s degree in education, and pursue a doctorate degree in educational leadership. I want to work in academic administration at the middle school or high school level,” says Kuchs.
Miller says that she would like to go to a graduate school with a program that combines classical art and archaeology. After that, “I would like to work for a museum doing archaeological fieldwork and/or as a museum curator.”
To learn more about the Lipper Internship, visit the museum’s Web site.