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What I'm Doing on My Summer Vacation

By Abbey Becker

C&O Canal

C&O Canal in Georgetown

College of Arts and Sciences students, both undergraduate and graduate, share news about their upcoming summer internships. In late summer and early fall, look for articles and firsthand accounts about their experiences.


School of Education, Teaching, and Health

  • Stephanie Burry, health promotion ’14, summer feeding intern at DC Central Kitchen. Her responsibilities will revolve around nutrition and nutrition education, including using the USDA guidelines to plan meals that will be distributed to individuals and organizations around the city. “This position allows me to pursue several of my biggest passions—food and helping people,” she says. “I’m most looking forward to being able to apply what I’ve talked about in health promotion classes over the past two years to real world situations."

  • Meghan O’Connor, public history master’s candidate, curatorial intern at Mount Vernon. Her main duty will be to research the smokehouse at Mount Vernon and generate a detailed report on its history, which Mount Vernon can use as the background for an interpretive exhibit. “I’m particularly excited about my research because even though the smokehouse is a small and seemingly insignificant outbuilding, this space had different meanings for people on the plantation,” she says. “I’m excited to bring out these stories and teach the public about this history.”
  • Dan Schwarz, public history master’s candidate, seasonal park ranger at the C&O Canal National Historical Park. His responsibilities will include dressing in period clothing and interacting with tour groups on canal boats, as well as operating the locks on the canal. “I’m currently working with two AU public history master’s students to enhance the historic interpretation in one of the restored canal lock houses,” says Schwarz. “I’ve come to realize that the canal, in addition to serving as an important commercial water route throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, has been a ‘sanctuary’ to which people have retreated over the years to enjoy the beauty of nature. I hope to provide visitors with an understanding of the history of the canal and an appreciation of the unique sanctuary that is only a few miles from the National Mall.”
  • Jessica Carlton, public history master’s candidate, seasonal park ranger at the C&O Canal National Historical Park. She will be primarily working on the canal boat in each of its five positions, including interpreter and captain. “Working at the canal this summer will be a great opportunity to gain invaluable public history experience,” she says. “It’s also a great way to get my foot in the door with the National Park Service.”
  • Brittany Carney, public history master’s candidate, Tudor Place Historic House and Garden in Georgetown, which was formerly owned by George Washington and his wife. Carney will write and implement the neighborhood’s annual educational youth programs, where children participate in hands-on living history experiences like period games, cooking, etiquette, and gardening. “Tudor Place’s intimate working environment will allow me the potential to make substantial and original contributions to the History Weeks programming,” she says. “I am particularly interested in museum education and writing for education resources, so I look forward to such an ideal internship.”


  • David Rae, statistics master’s candidate, intern at D3 Systems, which specializes in conducting surveys in difficult international locations. “I’m looking forward to seeing how survey statistics are used and applied in real world projects,” says Rae. “It’s one thing to see how statistical concepts apply to class examples, but it’s different when they’re applied to a client’s requests.”