Internship Grants

Summer 2024  Internships Announced 

Four Virginia Tech students have been awarded funded internships for Summer 2024 through the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies.

The Center offers grants of $3,500 – $5,000 each year to support undergraduate or graduate students at Virginia Tech who are conducting Civil War era internships. Sites available include Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District and others. 

All interns will have first-hand experience learning Civil War history and engaging with the public. 

2024 Summer Interns:

Miles Abernethy

Miles Abernethy: I’m privileged to receive a VCCWS Internship grant for a second consecutive year. This summer, I will be at Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. In addition to commemorating several 160th anniversary events, SVBF is embarking on considerable expansions of their historic property. I’m looking forward to being part of that growth, in both interpretation and practical land management skills. In addition, I’m hoping that my experiences this summer will serve as a jumping point to an imminent career in Civil War public history.


Mason Keyser

Mason Keyser: At Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, I will be interpreting the Civil War history of one of the closing sites of the war. I will also be bringing local histories to bear to give an added nineteenth century cultural context to the events of the war.  Finally, I hope to highlight how the local environment at Appomattox charts both the history of the Civil War and its long aftermath, which affects us still to this day.


Jillian Sasso

Jillian Sasso: This summer, I will be working as a Historical Interpretation Intern at Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. This district covers a vast distance with multiple battlefields, historic sites, and museums, and I look forward to interacting with the public at all of these locations! In addition to working in visitor services, I will be engaging with historic battlefield preservation and helping to improve conditions throughout the district. I am excited to expand on my 2023 summer experience at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and share my passion for Civil War History with the public once again.

Addison Seltzer
Addison Seltzer: This summer, I will be working as an intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. I am excited to immerse myself in Civil War history and learn us much as I can while I’m there. I specifically want to highlight how the Civil War influenced modern military doctrine and the experiences of average soldiers during the war. I am most looking forward to engaging with the public and conveying the importance of several key battles of the war.



Internships in previous years:

Previous recipients have completed internships at organizations including the National Park Service, Glencoe Mansion in Radford, and the American Civil War Museum in Richmond.

Our two summer 2023 interns share their experiences working with National Park Service staff at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park:

Jillian Sasso: I spent this past summer working as a Historical Interpretation and Education Intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Working at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, Chatham Manor, and Ellwood Manor, I handed out maps and brochures, provided directions of the park and surrounding area, and interpreted the history of each site to visitors. Additionally, I researched, wrote, and interpreted my own program about the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Other specialized duties included ancestor research for visitors, operating a cash register, and recording statistics at each site. 

Over the course of the summer, I learned so much about the history of the park, including information about Civil War battles, colonial and antebellum historical figures, and even topics such as Civil War memory and interpretation. Most importantly, I learned how to work collaboratively with others in and outside of my division, as well as how to meet the needs of every visitor. I even learned how to fire a 19th century musket and operate numerous stations within Civil War cannon drills!

I am hoping to enter a career field in federal intelligence or the National Park Service, so this internship has been highly valuable for my future. On the academic side, this internship has improved my historical research and writing skills, which will be useful for a career in intelligence or public history. It has also helped me improve my social and communication skills, which I can use to improve my future work environment. I am so thankful to Paul Quigley and the VCCWS for sponsoring this internship! It was a great experience for me!

Miles Abernethy: Working with the National Park Service rangers, staff, and fellow interns at Fredericksburg Spotsylvania NMP has only increased my love for learning about the Civil War and gives me new confidence for a future career in public history.

During my two-and-a-half months with the park, I worked in a variety of roles. From leading large groups on overviews of the Battle of Chancellorsville, to explaining the significance of the “Stonewall” Jackson Death Site, and even analyzing the physical and written quality of the parks signage in the Wilderness Battlefield, my experience was underlined by the excellent training provided to us, allowing me to provide top-notch service to the hundreds of visitors over the busy summer season.

To anyone interested in interpreting the Civil War to a global audience, I highly recommend working with the team at FRSP. They made me feel both welcome and useful – a 10/10 intern experience!

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial