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The Basics of the LA 495 (History) Internship Course

Are you interested in gaining hands-on experience with the many tasks and challenges involved in professional museum work?  Or in doing public history taking advantage of archival materials housed in various nearby central Pennsylvania historical institutions (or, likewise, at your hometown historical society)?  Or in being a part of a long-term research project on local Civil War veterans and their lives carried out by the folks at the Juniata County Historical Society?  Or in interning with Penn State’s All-Sports Museum, and making scholarly use of the University Archives in Pattee Library’s Special Collections to bring to life a particularly revealing episode in the school’s sports history?

The above is a sampling of the kinds of internships that Penn State History Majors and Minors have experienced over the last several years in taking the LA 495 (HISTORY) internship course.  LA 495 internships provide you with a great opportunity:   to enhance your learning of history and to further develop your research, writing, and critical thinking skills outside of the classroom; to garner valuable real-world job experience; and to assist you with your post-graduation plans by enabling you to “try out” a history major-related career.

During the past several years, Penn State’s Department of History, in conjunction with the Penn State College of Liberal Arts, has made it much easier for you to fashion an internship, and incorporate it into the History Major.  And we urge our History Majors and Minors (and other Penn State undergraduates with liberal arts majors) to seek to take advantage of this opportunity.

Designated as LA 495 (History), the internship course allows you to combine weekly service work at an off-campus institution site (such as a museum or historical society) with a 20-25 page academic, primary source / archival source-based research paper supervised by a faculty member of the History Department.  In satisfactorily passing this course with a “C” grade or higher, you will garner three credits, which counts towards History 400-level credit requirements for the History Major or Minor. The Department’s expectation is that you will be devoting around 10-12 hours a week on average to this course (of which 7-8 hours a week should on site).

Please note that, following your successful completion of the internship course, you should meet with Ben Whitesell, the History Department’s Academic Advisor, to double-check that your three 400-level History credits are duly recorded (Ben Whitesell’s email is: ; office number:  814-863-4121).

The duration LA 495 (History) course must coincide with the time-frame of the relevant academic term at Penn State University (fall, spring, or (both) summer session terms).  No retroactive academic credit will be given for internships done in the past.  Be mindful too that Penn State students cannot register themselves for LA 495 (History); only the Head of the History Department’s intern program (Dr. Milligan) can register students for LA 495 (History).

For any questions, concerns you have about LA 495 (History) internships—and to help you begin the process for taking this course—contact Dr. Milligan.  His office is #204 in the Weaver Building on the University Park campus; email: ; office telephone 814-863-6670.

For general information and helpful advice on internships in the liberal arts beyond the History Department’s LA 495 (History), consult Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts internship web page: .

Susan Knell is the director of the CLA internship office (officially called “The Career Enrichment Network”).  Ms. Knell’s office is located at 7A Sparking Building, and her telephone office number is 814-865-1070 (email: .


The documents provided below will assist you in learning more about the specifics of these internships:





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Sean Trainor, Bill Cossen and Paul Matzko each won the Liberal Arts External Incentive Award
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Bill Cossen has been awarded the Bernard Bellush Prize
Rob Shafer has been awarded a fellowship opportunity
David G. Smith's book has been published
Rachel Moran was featured on BackStory with the American History Guys
Bill Cossen has been awarded a research travel grant
John Hoenig's article will be published in the Winter of 2013
Sean Trainor will be presenting his paper in Washington, DC
Jan Logemann's book has been published
Scott Cave has won numerous fellowships and awards
Courtney Rong Fu and Kwok-leong Tang have received research travel grants from the China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) of the Association for Asian Studies.
Evan Rothera was awarded a Research Fellowship for the Study of the Global South from the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and the Richard A. Baker Graduate Student Research Travel Grant from the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.
Emily Seitz has won the M. Louise Carpenter Gloeckner, M.D. Summer Research Fellowship from the Drexel College of Medicine Archives and a Wood Institute Travel Grant from the College of Physicians in Philadelphia
Kwok-leong Tang has been awarded a semester residency for the Spring 2016 at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities
Evan Rothera won the Outstanding Graduate Paper Award
Alfred Wallace was awarded the Rear Admiral Ernest M. Eller Graduate Research Grant
Hongyan Xiang was granted a research travel award by the Asian Institute
Hsin-fang Wu awarded a dissertation fellowship
Bill Cossen has been awarded the Dorothy Mohler Research Grant
Courtney Rong Fu's chapter has been published
Sean Trainor has been awarded a short-term fellowship
Deirdre Fulton has accepted a new position
Bill Cossen has won the 2012 George P. Hammond prize
ShaVonte Mills wins Archie K. Davis Fellowship
History Majors win three thesis awards
Emily Seitz writes piece for the blog Nursing Clio
Sara Kern receives travel grant
Megan McDonie receives two Fellowships
Chris Valesey receives FLAS Fellowship from Vanderbilt University
Emily Seitz received the Wood Institute Travel Grant from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Joo Hyun Sheen has won an RGSO dissertation support grant
Tyler Sperrazza has been offered and has accepted the graduate internship position in the Office of Digital Pedagogy
Peter Van Lidth De Jeude has been offered a full time position at Principia College
Will Bryan has won an award
Katie Falvo has been granted a fellowship award
Andrea Gatzke has been appointed Assistant Professor
Bill Cossen's article appears in The South Carolina Historical Magazine
David Hensley accepts position at Queens University, Belfast
Tyler Sperrazza selected for the Filson MA Fellowship
Kenneth Ristau has accepted a position at MacEwan University
Courtney Rong Fu recently presented a paper at West Chester University
Michael Tuttle recently presented a paper at the R.S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology
Michael Gabriel has won an award
Jennifer J. Davis's book has been published
Christine Reese has accepted a tenure-track position with Louisiana College
Andrea Gatzke wins 2012 IAH Summer Residency
Evan Rothera receives Thomas Critchlow Award and Sigmund Strochlitz Travel Grant
Scott Cave has been chosen for the CEMS IAH Fellowship for 2016.
Evan Rothera won the Lawrence T. Jones III Research Fellowship
Tyler Sperrazza has won a Russell F. Weigley Travel Award
Bill Cossen has been awarded the Presidential Graduate Scholarship from the American Catholic Historical Association
Scott Cave has received a Mayers Fellowship at the Huntington Library in California.
Evan Rothera awarded a Burney Parker Research Fellowship from Baylor University and the Portal to Texas History Research Fellowship from the University of North Texas
John Hoenig studies quest for the 12-month tomato
Bill Cossen recently presented a paper
Hongyan Xiang's article has been published
Scott Cave has been chosen for the Lydia Cabrera Award
Rachel Moran received a Postdoctoral Fellowship
Sean Trainor's articles have recently been featured
Sean Trainor was recently interviewed
Cecily Zander has piece published on Muster
Bill Cossen has been named a finalist for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
Bill Cossen's article will be published
David Hensley's article will appear in the Journal of Belgian History
Bill Cossen has been awarded the Presidential Graduate Scholarship
Scott Cave has been accepted to a conference on “Colonial Christian missions and their legacies”
Bill Cossen's article has been accepted for an upcoming issue
Evan Rothera received a Filson Fellowship
Utsa Ray, a 2009 PhD graduate, has been appointed
John Hoenig's article appeared in Business History Review
Bill Cossen's article has appeared in American Catholic Studies
Lauren Kaplow has accepted a visiting Assistant Professorship
Jeffrey Rop has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professorship
Tim Wesley has accepted a tenure-track position
Courtney Rong Fu has been named a 2014 Career Development Awardee
Antwain Hunter has accepted a tenure-track position
Sean Trainor's article has appeared in The Appendix
Eric Welch has been offered a Hill Dissertation Fellowship
Hsin-fang Wu has been named a 2014 Career Development Awardee
Sean Trainor was recently interviewed
William Cossen elected as GSA Representative
Sean Trainor awarded two fellowships
Hongyan Xiang receives USF Ricci Doctoral Research Fellowship
Three students awarded IAH Graduate Student Summer Residencies
Three students place in the Graduate School's Graduate Exhibition
Bill Cossen's paper has been accepted
Jason Strandquist has been selected as a participant
Sean Trainor was recently awarded
Mark Christensen's first book has been published
Michael Tuttle wins Clark G. Reynold Student Paper Award for his paper entitled "Women in Western Waters: Myth and Reality"
Evan Rothera presents paper entitled “Beyond Comparative Emancipation: Comparative Reconstructions as a Category of Analysis" at an international conference in Germany
Evan Rothera presents paper at interdisciplinary conference at Chestnut Hill College
Rachel Moran presents paper, awarded NSF travel grant
Chris Hayashida-Knight has received a research grant
Sean Trainor has been awarded a fellowship
The Richards Center and our graduate students were featured in an article
Hongyan Xiang recently gave a talk at the University of Toronto
Karen Younger (PhD, 2006) has accepted a position
Bill Cossen presented paper "When Al Smith is President': The Protestant Other and the Politics of Anti-Catholicism in the 1928 Presidential Election"
Courtney Rong Fu accepted as the Humanities Without Walls (HWW) Pre-Doctoral Fellow for 2016 Summer Workshop in Chicago.
Evan Rothera has received a Lawrence Gelfand - Armin Rappaport - Walter LaFeber Dissertation Fellowship from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Will Bryan has been selected as a nominee
Bill Cossen was recently interviewed
Will Bryan received a Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Paul Matzko has been awarded the LA External Funding Incentive Award
Sean Trainor's article appeared as this fall's cover article in Early American Studies
Bill Cossen's article will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Catholic Historical Review
Christopher Hayashida-Knight has won the Liberal Arts External Incentive Award
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