Undergraduate Experts

Kiara DayDuring her sophomore year, Kiara Day ’18 found herself alone with 140 boxes of documents in the Syracuse University Library, the archive that holds the papers of the “First Lady of American Journalism” Dorothy Thompson. Intimidating? “I was really excited,” Day relates. “It was this treasure trove of primary sources.” This material is shaping her original research on Thompson, recognized by Time magazine in 1939 as the second most influential woman in America next to Eleanor Roosevelt. “UVM has the resources of a big public school but the student-to-faculty ratio is more in the realm of smaller liberal arts schools. The majority of my history courses have allowed for individual projects, even in introductory courses.”

Sophia Trigg '14 describes her internship at the Noyes House Museum in Morrisville.

Internships for UVM History Majors

Below is a list of local institutions where UVM history students recently completed internships. Faculty in the department also assist students in securing internship experiences in other parts of the U.S. and the world. Students also can also receive academic credit for internships.

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum (Burlington)

Includes the home of Vermont’s founder Ethan Allen (built in 1787), a recreated colonial tavern, and exhibits of local archaeology and history.

  • Exhibit research and design: The museum is expanding its exhibits to tell the story of Vermont’s evolving landscapes, focusing on the relationship between environment and culture, how that shapes the land. Interns will help to research and design both exhibit panels and the narratives used to explain the historical process.
  • Design children’s exhibits and activities to explain and complement the landscape story.
  • Tour guides, greeters: offer tours to the general public, school groups, and organizations and help greet guests to the museum.
  • Communications and marketing: develop, write and disseminate content for the museum’s social media presence, monitoring usage and effectiveness.

Fleming Museum (Burlington)

UVM’s own museum of art, anthropology and archaeology, with a collection of more than 20,000 objects and a regular sequence of exhibits.  Application deadline for fall semester March 1, application deadline for spring semester October 1.  Projects include:

  • Research objects in the collection: recent objects students have conducted research on include costumes and watercolors from 18th and 19th century New England and Japanese masks
  • Background research for exhibitions: recent examples include researching comparable exhibitions at other museums, researching objects intended for individual exhibitions, etc.
  • Object handling and rehousing: build skills creating archival boxes for objects, moving objects in the collection into exhibitions or for classroom use, writing reports to assess condition of materials intended for exhibitions. 

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (Vergennes)

A museum dedicated to the history, culture, and ecology of Lake Champlain, including both a large standing collection and regular events and exhibits that introduce visitors to maritime history.  Projects include:

  • Improve accessibility to the museum: identify existing obstacles to mobility at the museum, assess options for improving access, and develop an implementation plan for accessibility
  • Communications and marketing: develop, write and disseminate content for the museum’s social media presence, monitoring usage and effectiveness
  • Collection management: develop finding aids, digitize collections, build search lexicon, respond to references requests from staff and researchers 

Noyes House Museum (Morrisville, VT)

Historic house offering seventeen rooms and barn exhibits focusing on nineteenth-century life in Morrisville.  Collections include furniture, textiles, military objects, clothing, photographs, pottery, folk and fine art.  Projects include:

  • Collection management: catalog collections, conduct historical research
  • Publicity and events: provide guided tours, organize events, and publicize the museum

Rokeby Museum (Ferrisburgh)

Rokeby is a National Historical Landmark recognized as an important stop on the Underground Railway.  Includes an Underground Railroad Education Center, main historic house, and various smaller structures related to its 200 years as a working merino sheep farm. Projects include:

  • Object research: research topics include the Underground Railroad, early farming and food preparation practices in Vermont, and the introduction of merino sheep into Vermont; research will draw on thousands of objects dating back to 1793 and private papers from four generations of family history.

Shelburne Museum (Shelburne)

The Shelburne Museum offers a unique collection of over 150,000 works ranging from Impressionist paintings to folk and decorative arts from the 17th-to 21st-century, housed in 39 buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.  Projects include:

  • Education: assist with school, public and family programs engaging the public through art.
  • Accessioning new materials: process and catalog new objects added to the collections.
  • Object research: investigate the history and original context of objects in the collections.
  • Collections care: report on the condition of objects, help with inventory management, and move/maintain objects for exhibition
  • Building assessment: Research historic structures on the grounds of the museum, make research accessible to scholars and museum staff; if student has background in historical preservation, assist in structural assessment of buildings.

Big Heavy World, Vermont Music Archive (Burlington)

"The home of Vermont music," this volunteer-staffed office preserves and promotes Vermont-made music since 1996.  Projects include:

  • Collections management: Catalog, digitize, improve accessibility to and help preserve a collection of thousands of recordings by Vermont musicians, representing Vermont’s musical heritage

Bixby Memorial Library (Vergennes)

The Bixby is a local public library with an extensive collection of Vermont materials as well as a small museum with an eclectic collection.  Projects include:

  • Collection assessment: Ongoing project identifying and possibly repatriating a collection of Native American artifacts; contact archaeologist Kat Raynor.

Central Vermont Railway Historical Society (Colchester)

Documents and preserves the history of the Central Vermont Railway and its successors, publishing a quarterly magazine. Projects include:

  • Inventory collection: Inventory and assess a collection of materials related to railroad history.  For more information, contact Jerry Fox at jfoxvt@bigplanet.com

Echo Center (Burlington)

The ECHO center is currently looking for interns in the following areas: Animal Care, Education, Marketing, Graphic Communications, Development and Community Outreach and Customer Service and Events.

Internships require a full semester commitment, with a minimum of 12-15 hours a week. For more information, visit the ECHO center's internship page.

Lane Series, University of Vermont

A professional presenter of world-class live performances, The UVM Lane Series offers 22-25 concerts and events each season, including classical music, early music, traditional music, world music, dance, and theatre.  Outreach activities include: workshops and masterclasses for students and community members, free pre-concert talks with artists, live onair concerts broadcast from Vermont Public Radio, and a campus Film Series. Projects include:

  • Marketing – press release writing, posters and postering, press and media relations, social media marketing.
  • Fundraising – assisting with mailings, special events, receptions and donor stewardship
  • Production – concert support and preparation for events, CD and merchandize sales, hospitality of artists, customer service, etc. 

Shelburne Farms (Shelburne)

A 1400 acre working farm and forest, Shelburne Farm educates about sustainability, manages its historic property, and collaborates with educators. Projects include:

  • Farm-Based Education: Work with the preschool and school programs team to introduce farming practices and ideas to youth ages 3 – 17.

Special Collections, University of Vermont

Special Collections at UVM houses the Vermont Research Collection, the Rare Book Collection, and the University Archives, providing access to research materials relating to the study of Vermont, the history of UVM, and the history of the book.  Projects include:

  • Collection management: Organize manuscript and archival collections; conduct research to identify and describe photograph collections; and prepare annotated bibliographies; scan, transcribe and describe items for digital collections
  • Outreach and promotion: Support department outreach and promotion activities, including preparation for events, and writing articles for the department blog and newsletter.
  • Exhibitions: Create physical and virtual exhibits.

State of Vermont, Governor’s Office (Montpelier)

The Governor’s Office Internship Program is designed for students interested in Vermont government, politics, and public service. A Governor’s Office internship offers exposure to the operations and day-to-day tasks of the Governor’s Office, as well as unique insight into the challenges and opportunities facing Vermonters.

Internship duties will vary, but include: answering phones, processing mail, responding to letters and emails, research into state agencies, programs, and policies, social media outreach and support, attending press conferences, and staffing the Governor at events.  

University of Vermont Foundation (Burlington)

The Foundation raises money and engages alumni in order to support the University in its mission of teaching, research, and public service.  Projects include:

  • Alumni research:  Research the UVM experiences of the various classes coming to campus for reunion this year; prepare materials and temporary exhibits for reunion weekend.
  • Historic buildings research: Research and write the history of the Queen Anne style house at 61 Summit St., currently being renovated to be the new Alumni House.

Vermont Folklife Center (Middlebury):

Founded in 1984, the Vermont Folklife Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region, through ongoing field research, a multimedia archive and an apprenticeship program.  Projects include:

  • Archive management: Work on the unique multi-media collection, including audio recordings and an extensive still image collection.
  • Programming: Assist staff in conducting fieldwork, managing public events, preparing exhibit exhibits, and developing educational resources for print and web.

Vermont Historical Society (Barre)

The Vermont Historical Society is seeking one or more education interns to assist the Museum and Public Programs Department during the 2016 spring semester. Interns will assist with the coordination and implementation of school programs, the Vermont History Day competition, Vermont History Expo and other programs.
Ideal candidates will enjoy working with children and adults, be detail oriented, able to work independently, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and be willing to take ownership of their learning experience. Applicants should be undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in history, education, museum studies, American studies, or similar fields. The typical internship consists of 10-15 hours per week for the semester.

University of Vermont–Vermont Law & Graduate School 3+2 and 3+3 Dual Degree Programs

The University of Vermont (UVM) and Vermont Law & Graduate School (VLGS) offer a unique dual-degree program leading to a bachelor’s in three years and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in either two or three years. The Vermont 3+2 or 3+3 programs enables highly-focused students to earn both degrees in less time and at less cost from two distinguished institutions. Students may choose to enter the program from selected majors (including history) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.


Accelerated Master's Program: 5 years of study, two degrees

If you are a history major in your third year of undergraduate standing at UVM, you may qualify for this dual degree program. Among the advantages: getting a head start on a graduate degree during your senior year at UVM, and earning your degree in less time for less money. Juniors may apply the Accelerated Master’s Program in history. During their senior year, students accepted into the program will work simultaneously on their B.A. and M.A. requirements, earning up to six concurrent credits.


Internship Leads to New Language Initiatives

In 2019, Daniel Ortiz completed a summer internship as a leadership fellow at the Global Language Network (GLN) in Washington, D.C., an organization that describes its mission as “using language as a tool to help fix our world.” Oritz seconds that. He has a basic knowledge of German, and he’s taking the opportunity to begin studying Arabic. “I want to complete my graduate studies in either history or international relations, and I’ve managed to tailor the focus of my fellowship to reinforce what I want to pursue later in life,” Ortiz says. The focus of his work this summer was on recruiting new teachers and advancing outreach initiatives including a partnership with Navajo Nation’s Washington Office. “The GLN has taught more than 60 different languages, but has never taught a native American language, so I worked on expanding our language offerings to Navajo and maybe some others for the fall.” A history major with a concentration in European history and a writing minor, Ortiz valued the internship for the rich, hands-on learning experience and the wide variety of contacts he made. “I worked with embassies and international organizations in the DC area, and the internship gave me an exposure to many different people, languages, and cultures.”