The Civil War Institute’s Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program offers Gettysburg College students a special opportunity to do paid work on the frontlines of history, giving public tours of iconic historic sites, leading children’s programs, gaining hands-on experience with original artifacts, creating multimedia products, and conducting independent historical research. In the summer of 2015, 22 students are working under the umbrella of the Pohanka program at parks and museums up and down the East Coast. For updates on their work and reflections on their experiences “doing history in public,” visit CWI’s blog, The Gettysburg Compiler.
SUMMER 2015 INTERNS
Blake Altenberg ’17, Andersonville National Historic Site
Alexandria Andrioli ‘18, Harpers Ferry National Historic Site
Amelia Benstead ‘16, Boston African American National Historic Site
Jesse Campana ‘18, Richmond National Battlefield Park
Jonathan Danchik ‘17, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Meghan Eaton ‘18, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Melanie Fernandes ’16, Boston African American National Historic Site
Jenna Fleming ‘16, Seminary Ridge Museum
Sean Hough ’16, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Sam Kauker ‘16, Antietam National Battlefield
Matt LaRoche ‘17, Gettysburg National Military Park
Thomas Nank ‘16, Manassas National Battlefield Park
Amanda Pollock ‘18, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Jacob Ross ‘15, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Kyle Schrader ‘16, Seminary Ridge Museum
Steven Semmel ‘16, Special Collections & College Archives
Jennifer Simone ‘18, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Elizabeth Smith ‘17, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Mikki Stacey ‘17, Stratford Hall: The Home of the Lees
Amanda Thibault ‘17, Women’s Rights National Historical Park
Andrew Vannucci ‘15, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Max Zammataro ‘16, Petersburg National Battlefield
Pohanka Interns receive a $1,500 stipend from the CWI and free on-site housing at their respective parks/museums. The program is open to all matriculated Gettysburg College students, regardless of class year. The application process for 2016 will open in Fall 2015. Applicants need not be history majors or specialists in the Civil War era, although good communication skills, substantial interest in the past, and a desire to share that interest with others are essential.
Established in 2011 thanks to the generosity of the John J. Pohanka Family Foundation, the Pohanka Internship Program supports long-term partnerships between Gettysburg College and a wide range of National Parks and museums. Interns participate in a rigorous interview process, and are offered valuable opportunities for self-reflection, networking, and resume building.
Pohanka Interns come away from their summer experiences with a greatly expanded awareness of the career options available to students with academic training in history and increased commitment to engaging public audiences in meaningful dialogue about the past. Many have gone on to enroll in graduate programs in history, public history, and historic preservation. Former interns have pursued graduate work at Oxford University, West Virginia University, University of Massachusetts, UNC Greensboro, IUPUI, Eastern Illinois University, American University, West Georgia University, Roger Williams University and the University of Louisville, and several have been hired as seasonal rangers at National Park Service sites. For an example of student work produced under the Pohanka Program, please see Melanie Fernandes' 2014 video for Boston African American National Historic Site.
Brian Pohanka was a graduate of Sidwell Friends School and Dickinson College, where he majored in history. His passion for 19th and 20th-century military history and Civil War reenacting was legendary, and he was widely recognized as a leading authority on the Battle of Little Bighorn. The internship program, which makes it possible for students to spend their summers at sites that played a huge role in Pohanka’s life, cultivating conversations with public audiences, is a fitting tribute to his legacy.
Brian C. Pohanka (1955-2005)