Folklore Students Participate in Summer Internships

Folklore graduate students, Charish Bishop and Allie Stanich, returned to Mason this fall with new professional experiences. The second-year graduate students completed projects with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s American Ginseng Project and the Sandy Spring Museum, where both aided with the collection and cataloguing informant interviews, events, and more.

Charish Bishop worked on the Smithsonian’s American Ginseng Project. The project highlights thepeople, cultures, and traditions of those who cultivate the plant. Bishop conducted interviews and wrote articles for the Smithsonian’s website.While her time was fully virtual, Bishop made connections with ginseng farmers and stewards. Those personal connections allowed her to identify additional farmers to interview. Bishop said, “My main advice for other students seeking internship experiences would be to take a risk and simply apply for everything, whether you feel you are qualified or not.”

A Farmer holds up a ginseng root.

Allie Stanich was able to split her time virtually and in-person at the Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring, Maryland. Stanich’s time was focused on reviewing interviews that would become artist profiles for the museum’s website and helping to manage museum events. Stanich said, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn about other people, their cultures, their religions, and their traditions.”

The Sandy Spring Museum