Meet Preservation & Access’ Summer 2023 Interns

August 15, 2023

In the summer of 2023, NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access welcomed four interns from across the United States, each of whom brought fresh perspectives and enthusiasm for the various projects they worked on in the division. Read about their backgrounds and experiences here:

Dana Blatte

Name: Dana Blatte

School, program, and degree: Hamilton College, bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and creative writing at Hamilton College

How did you learn about NEH? Over the years, I’ve heard about NEH’s public-facing programs from volunteering and interning at different organizations. Last year, I interned at the Department of State through the Virtual Student Federal Service program, and I realized that similar opportunities existed at NEH. I found the Pathways Internship listing and knew I had to apply for the summer.

What book and podcast are you currently reading and listening to? I'm currently reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I love all forms of speculative fiction. As always, I've been listening to two of my favorite podcasts, Code Switch and Rough Translation.

How has your experience interning at NEH helped you define or refine your career goals? Interning at NEH has helped me confirm my interest in combining my academic interests of anthropology, world languages, literature, and education, rather than keeping them apart. I love telling stories, and NEH has taught me that I can do that every day by working in the humanities.

Nicole Hernandez

Name: Nicole Hernandez

School, program, and degree: Arizona State University, School of Social Change and Human Evolution, PhD in sociocultural anthropology

How did you learn about NEH? From a friend (Essah Diaz) who interned last summer!

What book are you currently reading? Aloha Compadre: Latinxs in Hawai’i by Rudy P. Guevarra

How has your experience interning at NEH helped you define or refine your career goals? My internship at NEH has been an eye-opening experience, reshaping my career aspirations in ways I never imagined. Before this opportunity, I had never considered the prospect of contributing to the work of our federal government. Meeting individuals working for the government was a novel experience, dispelling my doubts about fitting in or being of the caliber of seasoned civil servants that I have had the honor of working with this summer. Moreover, I gained a profound understanding of the significance of federal agencies like NEH and their role in shaping scholarship and cultural institutions nationwide.

Working in a philanthropic agency also revolutionized my perception of social impact and gave me the language to comprehend this vital aspect within the humanities and academic fields. The newfound knowledge about federal grants has already enabled me to make a difference by sharing it with several small institutions I had collaborated with in the past. I believe this internship will not only benefit me personally but also contribute positively to my community. I am truly grateful to NEH for this transformative experience.

Adina Olbrys

Name: Adina Olbrys

School, program, and degree: University at Buffalo, master’s degree in critical museum studies

How did you learn about NEH? I found this opportunity on LinkedIn while I was searching for internship opportunities this summer. I didn't know that much about NEH, but I did more research on it and decided to apply!

What book are you currently reading? I am currently re-reading the series The Belgariad by one of my favorite authors, David Eddings, and am reading the third book, Magician's Gambit. It is one of my all-time favorite series, and I am an avid fantasy reader.

How has your experience interning at NEH helped you define or refine your career goals? My experience at NEH has helped me refine my career goals by helping me understand how widespread job opportunities are in the humanities. I have realized that I enjoy doing work that helps to better fund humanities institutions around the country. It is also so interesting to learn about all the different institutions that are out there!

Clint Gregory

Name: Clint Gregory

School, program, and degree: Liberty University, Department of History, PhD candidate studying the intersectionality between the U.S. policy on compulsory sterilization during the twentieth century that targeted Indigenous women and girls, and genocide, as defined by the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

How did you learn about NEH? I learned about NEH through my master’s program, when I ventured for the first time into the world of grant proposals and grant writing.

What book are you currently reading? Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard, which looks at the mysterious circumstances around the death of President James A. Garfield.

What podcast are you currently listening to? Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s, an investigative podcast chronicling the physical and sexual abuse of Indigenous children within the confines of a residential school.

How has your experience interning at NEH helped you define or refine your career goals: Being able to intern for NEH this summer has really helped to broaden my understanding with respect to some of the career opportunities available to students with degrees in history beyond teaching and going to law school.