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Making Art History Internships Possible

Joy Richardson Undergraduate Internship Award honors retired staff member and provides financial support for art history summer interns.

By Mackenzie Ferch, B.A. Journalism ’14

The new Joy Richardson Undergraduate Internship Award for art history students was made possible by Professor Emerita Alessandra Comini in honor of Joy Richardson (above), who retired in 2012.

The Department of Art History has received a generous gift from Distinguished Professor Emerita Alessandra Comini to establish an award in honor of Joy Richardson, who retired in December 2012 after 10 years as the department’s administrative assistant. The Joy Richardson Undergraduate Internship Award will provide up to $1,500 to one art history major per year, on a competitive basis, to help defray the travel and/or living expenses associated with a summer internship.

“Since many internships in the arts are unpaid or very low-paying, we hope it will help support students in taking internships at museums or other institutions farther afield than they otherwise could afford to do,” said Chair of Art History Pamela Patton.

The first round of competition is this spring.

Joy Richardson “was the heart and soul of the Art History Department during her time at SMU, going above and beyond her job description,” said Janis Bergman-Carton, associate professor and director of graduate studies in art history. “Dr. Comini was eager to honor Joy’s history with us and knew that she had been instrumental in helping us launch and sustain an internship program.

“It is our hope the award will make it possible for one awardee a year, who might be unable to afford the living costs of short-term, high quality internships in cities like New York, Philadelphia or L.A., to accept such a position,” said Bergman-Carton.

Students interested in applying for the award should submit the following information to their undergraduate advisor by April 1, 2014:

  • A letter of application that includes the student’s undergraduate status (year and major/s), a description of the internship for which support is requested, and an explanation of the relevance of the internship to her or his career goals.
  • Documentation of acceptance into the internship program, if possible.
  • An estimated budget of travel and/or living expenses associated with the internship.
  • A current resume including relevant work experience and major/overall GPA.

A faculty committee will evaluate applications, taking into consideration each student’s academic record and judging the quality of each proposal submitted.  The awardee will be notified by April 15.

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