News from Montgomery College
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Montgomery College, Smithsonian Leaders
Feb. 13, 2003
Smithsonian Castle Library
Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small will be joined by Montgomery College officials in celebrating the unique partnership that exists between the Smithsonian and the Maryland community college. Under the partnership, 10 Montgomery College students each semester have an opportunity to do an internship with the Smithsonian, working closely with a wide variety of museum curators and other Smithsonian staff. In addition, faculty members from the Maryland community college have the opportunity to participate in a coveted Smithsonian summer fellowship program. Fellows use the vast and unequaled collections both to further their own research projects and to develop assignments that take their students into the museums where they learn to “read” and interpret artifacts and exhibits. Thus, the MC college classroom extends into the largest museum and research complex in the world.
Montgomery College is the only community college in America to have such a partnership with Smithsonian. Most colleges and universities typically have the ability to send a maximum of one or two students a semester to participate in the Smithsonian internship program. MC interns have developed teaching tools for Discovery Theater, the Postal Museum, and Imaginasia. They have also assisted curators at the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Hirschhorn Museum. Other have worked with the National Zoo, the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural History, and the Women’s Craft Show. Students participating have included those majoring in art, photography, history, music, computer science and other fields. The Smithsonian partnership is one of the signature programs of Montgomery College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute, which was founded in part through a challenge grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and a substantial private gift from Mr. Paul Peck, a longtime supporter of the Smithsonian, and a variety of other arts and humanities programs.
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