Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Summer 2016: New Faces at the PA SHPO!

The warm days of summer almost always mean that the PA SHPO has a new group of interns on board and a number of special projects underway. That is certainly true for summer 2016 as new faces and new ideas brighten our cubicle world in the Commonwealth Keystone Building. This year we are hosting two PHMC Keystone interns, four collaborative PA SHPO/PennDOT cultural resource interns and three short-term project employees.

Our Keystone Intern Program interns are:

Keystone interns Sam and Monica

Keystone interns Sam and Monica

Sam Leach         

Sam is a native of Jasper, NY and a rising senior at Grove City College in western PA where he is a dual major in History and Political Science.   He is working on a project that has been underway for some time, the clean-up of historic and archeological files in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). Sam is assisting in the preparation of a National Register nomination form for the Irvine Estate located within the ANF. This is not Sam’s first hands on experience in the preservation/museum field—he is a volunteer at the historic Cascade Theater and Film Museum in New Castle, PA where he has served as the curator of an exhibit on the history of super heroes in film. Sam has broad academic interests and is considering a variety of future endeavors from a career in preservation, law or environmental policies.   He has enjoyed this internship opportunity as a chance to gain insight into the inner workings of government agencies.

Monica Wilson               

Monica is from Duncannon, PA and holds a BA in History from St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana. She is currently a graduate student at Shippensburg University pursuing a master’s degree in Applied History. History has always held a special appeal for Monica and she has pursued that interest through volunteering at a number of historic sites and museums including the Perry Historians, the Craighead House and Carlisle Indian School in Cumberland County. Monica has completed projects involving oral history, genealogy, and museum exhibit design and website development reflecting her commitment to making history more inclusive and accessible to the public.    As an intern she is working on a project in the Allegheny National Forest to develop a comprehensive bibliography for the listing of the Cornplanter Grant in the National Register. Monica enjoys research and writing and hopes to one day write a book in the historic fiction genre about the lives of Pennsylvanians Conrad Weiser and Andrew Montour.

The PA SHPO/ PennDOT interns include:

All our PennDOT/PA SHPO interns!

Haley (left), Klansee (in red), and JaShawn (in blue) are our PennDOT interns.  Susan Landis, at right, is a fellow archaeologist.

JaShawn Combs

Jay is from Dayton, Ohio and completed a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Miami University of Ohio before beginning his graduate studies in Applied Anthropology at Northern Arizona University. He was drawn to this field of study by an interest in both science and history and is working on his graduate thesis involving photogrammetry or three-dimensional imaging of historic/archeological structures.  Jay has selected a site in western Pennsylvania as a test digital model for his research.   His first day as an intern began with the PA Preservation Heritage Conference in Lewisburg and he enjoyed the sudden immersion into historic places and preservation issues.   His career plans include working for a state or federal agency doing public or project compliance archeology. Jay says that the width, beauty and array of amenities along the Susquehanna River have been one of the most unexpected pleasures of his time in Harrisburg.

Haley Hoffman

Haley hails from Halifax, PA and is a senior at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA studying Anthropology and Archeology. She has been interested in history and anthropology since her work in high school doing surface artifact collecting at the site of Fort Halifax.   She hopes to pursue a master’s degree with a focus on historical archaeology. This summer she is working to test the accuracy of the archeological predictive model and has been focusing her efforts on sites in Lycoming County. Haley was pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the Preservation Heritage Conference and noted that this internship has allowed her to see the need for cultural resource management everywhere she goes.  She sees a future for herself in that field as well.

Huy Pham

Huy is from Muncie, Indiana and is now a graduate student at Ball State University pursuing dual master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Communications. He also holds a BS in Architecture from the same university. Huy’s studies and academic pursuits have been guided by his creative abilities and desire to re-imagine and re-make places to better serve the needs of people. As an intern Huy is working on the Agricultural History Project to develop user-friendly templates to better share the information that has been gathered on Pennsylvania’s complex and important farming past. He is also spending time on updating the inventory of historic metal truss bridges. Prior to coming to the PA SHPO, Huy helped develop a comprehensive preservation plan for his hometown of Muncie and volunteered at the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science and also the African American Museum there. Huy is still exploring options for his post-graduate career, but his future will include a continued interest in ways to improve the built environment.

Klansee Stevens

Klansee of Barberton, Ohio is a senior at the University of Akron majoring in Interdisciplinary Anthropology. This summer she is living in Lititz, a charming historic community which was the first in Pennsylvania to establish a municipal historic district. Klansee has enjoyed the chance to drive through a historic covered bridge every day on her way to work—an unexpected perk of life in Lancaster County. Her internship project at the PA SHPO involves testing the archeological predictive model through the application of real survey data. Klansee has taken advantage of weekend opportunities to explore the region’s historic places and notes Harrisburg’s convenient location just a few hours’ drive to a variety of tempting destinations. Klansee has a special interest in historical archeology and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in that field in the Boston area.

Some other new faces include:

Randy (left), Susan (center), and Emily (right)

Rod (left), Susan (center), and Emily (right)

The PA SHPO has secured the services a three short-term project employees to continue or complete work on office priorities that have needed a bit of extra professional staff time.   This summer we have welcomed Susan Landis, Emily Webb and Rodney Bohner.

Susan Landis holds a master’s degree in American Studies and Museum Practice from Penn State University and works as an Archeological Field Crew Chief for AECOM, a cultural resource management and consulting firm. She is working part-time at the PA SHPO to update the mapping of newly identified archeological sites in our online mapping system, CRGIS.   In her spare time Susan also serves as the archeologist for the Indian Steps Museum in Airville, York County.

Emily Webb is a recent graduate of Vassar College with a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Anthropology. Emily had the chance to explore the preservation field when she served as a PennDOT intern and was pleased to join our office for a few months to help with several projects. Currently Emily is updating above ground historic structures survey data for entry into the CRGIS database and mapping system. She is enjoying this opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the PA SHPO and the state’s wide array of historic and archeological resources. Emily has a special interest in the preservation and recordation of agricultural landscapes.

Rodney Bohner has a BS in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Management from Penn State University and is currently pursuing dual master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Community & Regional Planning with a certificate in Ecological Design at the University of Oregon.   Rod works as a preservation specialist for the City of Eugene Planning Division providing assistance to the Historic Review Board and coordinating projects within the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. This summer he will be using his multidisciplinary background to the PA SHPO’s advantage on a project to advance flooding disaster planning in Pennsylvania’s historic river towns.

The PA SHPO is pleased to welcome all these short-term additions to our staff. Welcome to Harrisburg!

1 Comment

  1. Lorraine Forster

    Great diversity among your employees. Glad to see so many young people interested in this field. I wish them all luck in their careers and success in their attempts.

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