Name: Graziella Pierangeli
Class Year: 2024
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Edwards, CO
Internship Organization: American Philosophical Society
Job Title: Curatorial Intern
Location: Philadelphia, PA
What’s happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
The American Philosophical Society (APS) museum staff is currently working on an exhibition
on women in science. I have really enjoyed learning about and participating in the curatorial
process. My internship tasks included researching specific women in science, collecting
information on objects that may be included in the exhibition, and creating a spreadsheet with
bios of all the women scientists who have been members of the APS. I was also asked to read the Madam Curie Complex, which gave me context for the exhibition. During my last week, I gave a presentation to the APS about the exhibition and wrote a blog post.
Why did you apply for this internship?
My interest in this internship stemmed from a desire to learn more about the inner operations of museums and a love for bringing recognition to women’s academic accomplishments. The
opportunity to contribute to an exhibition focused on women scientist’s stories was a great way to achieve both of those goals.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of my time at the APS was meeting the other staff, interns, and fellows who
were there. Interacting with everyone gave me a well-rounded perspective of what it takes to
make a museum run. Every week, there was an intern program where I got to talk to people from various departments, including archivists, publicists, and education staff about how they ended up at the APS and what their jobs entail. It was very interesting to watch and help the curatorial staff put together a meaningful narrative about women scientists that was reflective of the museum’s collections. I also attended weekly brown bag presentations given by fellows and interns. It was very cool to see how they were working with the APS to do their research. I really enjoyed being exposed to so many opportunities and career paths within one institution.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
My time at the APS has improved my research skills. At the end of my internship, I got to put
together a brown bag presentation and blog post on a topic related to the exhibition. I used the
stories of three scientists, Mildren Cohn, Florence Sabin, and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, to
illustrate the challenges women scientists faced in academia. I was able to use the APS library
collections to compile information about my topic. This project helped me develop historical
research skills and allowed me to practice organizing large quantities of information into a
concise narrative. It also gave me the opportunity to work on my public speaking. These skills
will be invaluable to me throughout the rest of my academic career.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.