Summer usually finds the PA SHPO full of interns from both the PHMC Keystone Internship Program and the PENNDOT summer internship program for non-engineering majors and this year that is especially true.  

2014 Keystone Interns Walking TourKeystone internships offer college students the opportunity to receive course credit by working on projects in a variety of PHMC settings and perform a wide range of professional duties alongside archeologists, archivists, historic site administrators, preservation specialists, museum educators and designers and more.   This year the PA SHPO hosted three Keystone interns with about a dozen others electing to work in other PHMC bureaus or locations.  The PA SHPO provides mentors and projects for four summer interns working in conjunction with PENNDOT’s Bureau of Project Delivery for students majoring in Anthropology, Archeology, Cultural Resource Management, Historic Preservation, History, Architectural History, Geography and GIS, Geology or American Studies.  The PENNDOT internship is a great opportunity for college students interested in learning more about the efforts of both PENNDOT and the PA SHPO to identify, map and evaluate historic properties and archeological sites in our state.

The three Keystone Internship Program interns at the PA SHPO this summer were all undergraduates who spent much of their time working on projects to map and better manage historic and archeological data in the Cultural Resource Geographic Information System known as the CRGIS.

Amanda Hinkel is a native of Ashland and is a rising senior at Marywood University in Scranton pursuing a double major in Arts Administration & Art History with a minor in Business Administration. Her favorite part of the internship experience was the chance to work with a wide variety of history, archeology and preservation professionals.  Amanda hopes to work in a museum setting, possibly in an educational outreach role. This summer she worked to complete a National Register Nomination for the Loleta Recreation Area in the Allegheny National Forest.


Left to right: Meghan, Amanda, Aaron

Aaron Ioos is a central PA native studying Geospatial Technology & Engineering at Harrisburg Area Community College.  He is a history enthusiast who was fascinated to learn more about the ways that history and geographic information systems can interface.  Aaron was interested to gain a better understanding about the state’s role in recording and managing cultural resource information and programs.  His favorite fieldtrip gave all the interns a chance to explore the construction and maintenance challenges of the historic State Capitol dome. This summer he began work on an ongoing project to identify and map historic oil and gas resources in the Allegheny National Forest.

Meghan Rooney of Allentown is a rising senior at Shippensburg University majoring in Public Administration with a minor in History.  She has always been attracted to government service, but had little exposure or experience in the historic preservation field prior to her internship. Meghan found the Keystone program a great opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and confidence as the summer progressed. She especially enjoyed meeting preservation professionals from all over the country at the Forum 2014 preservation conference in Philadelphia.  This summer she researched and recorded the Buckaloons Recreation Area Historic District/ Irvine Estate that lies within the boundaries of the Allegheny National Forest.

The five PENNDOT interns brought a great variety of academic backgrounds to the PA SHPO this summer.



Marissa Seidel of New Cumberland is a rising senior at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland with a double major in History and Anthropology and a minor in Black Studies.  She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in historic preservation following graduation. Marissa finds the challenges of the State Historic Preservation Office much to her liking and hopes to work in that part of the preservation world when her studies are complete.

Sarah Mincer of Milford is a rising senior at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY with a dual major in Biology and Anthropology.  Sarah is a former pre-med major who now hopes to find a future in Bio-Anthropology research or museum work.  She has enjoyed the tours and hands on opportunities provided by the internship program and like all the other interns found the summer preservation conference a real highlight of the experience.

Michele Troutman hails from Clarion County in western PA and is currently enrolled in a master’s/PhD graduate program at SUNY Binghamton in Anthropology.  Michele completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Indiana University of PA discovering a passion for lithic analysis.  She is currently working on her master’s thesis on an open air Paleolithic site in southwestern France. Challenges include studying site reports written in French!  Michele is very interested in the field of cultural resource management and the use of GIS in developing predictive models.  She enjoyed the ideas explored and professional interaction at the summer preservation conference in Philadelphia—her first trip to that city.

Marissa, Sarah, and Michele worked together on the same project. They were all involved in the analysis of recent report data to test the newly developed Prehistoric Archaeological Predictive Model.

2014 BHP/PennDOT Interns

Front: Kate, Sarah Back: Tyra, Michele

Tyra Guyton of Smithburg, Maryland might have the most interesting background of all the interns.  She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland, but also has earned two BS degrees in Biology and Psychology from Hood College in Frederick, MD and a BA in Environmental Science from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. Prior to her decision to study historic preservation, Tyra worked as a chemist at the National Cancer Institute. A fire in her 100 year old home led her to discover a passion for architectural history and building design.  Tyra’s internship project has focused on the development of improved website access to all available historic context studies for National Register evaluation. She has also devoted much time to  researching Pennsylvania’s early involvement in the conservation movement and the creation of a historic context for the evaluation of state parks, forests and game lands.   Tyra hopes to pursue cultural resource management and would love to work at one of the nation’s historic parks upon graduation. As an architectural history buff, Tyra was delighted to find many unexpected treasures here in Harrisburg.

Kaitlin Hovanes is originally from Seattle, WA and currently lives in Burlington, VT where she will soon finish a Master’s of Historic Preservation degree at the University of Vermont. She completed her undergraduate work at Smith College in Northampton, MA with a double major in History and American Studies with a concentration in Material Culture and Museums.  Kaitlin has worked closely with PENNDOT cultural resource management professionals this summer on several useful and important projects regarding historic bridges and bridges located in historic districts.  She has helped to gather information from other states and the Transportation Research Board on bridge aesthetics and context sensitive design solutions.  Kaitlin also spent time updating the historic bridge survey and gathering data on successful bridge rehabilitation or relocation projects.  This internship experience has been a great fit for Kaitlin’s strong interest in preservation policy and law. Her future career plans include work in that area at the state or federal level.

All eight of our PA SHPO interns made a real contribution to our office this summer.  Their curiosity, enthusiasm, diligence and fresh outlook on our work benefited all of us.  The skills, insight and hands on work experience they gained will hopefully assist them in their future career pursuits.