Internship and Scholarship
Meet our 2023 Jean Cushwa College Intern: Michael Monica
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce that Michael Monica of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, has been awarded the 2023 Jean Cushwa College Internship.
Monica, 19, will be a junior this fall at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he is majoring in museum studies.
The Jean Cushwa College Internship is a competitive scholarship available annually to a qualified college student majoring in fine art, art history, art education, museum studies, or a similar field.
Monica applied for the internship because the museum “has a unique and special collection that offered that first little step into larger museums that I wanted to take. It just seemed like a prime opportunity for me.”
Monica has a special affinity for museums. “I wanted to work in museums ever since I was really young,” he said, noting at about 6 or 7 years old, museums became a main bonding thing between me and my grandpa….”
He mentioned that his grandfather lives in Kinderhook, New York, which is the home of the eighth president of the United States.
“So, we went to the Martin Van Buren house a lot,” he said with a laugh.
Those trips with his grandfather instilled in Monica a love of museums.
“I couldn’t really see myself doing anything else,” he said.
Today, he is looking forward to beginning his career in museums. His interests are in 18th-century European rulers, the Holy Roman Empire and the Royal Collection in England.
While a student at Juniata College, he worked with the college’s Museum of Art where he handled the objects themselves.
“That’s definitely an area that I’d be interested in working in as well,” he said, mentioning that he’d be interested in becoming a museum registrar. (The position responsible for maintaining detailed records related to collections and caring directly for the objects on a day-to-day basis.)
One exhibition he worked on at Juniata featured the work of American sculptor Alexander Calder, who was known for his mobiles. He also worked on an exhibition called “Your Choice” in which students were asked to shape the exhibition based on what they were most interested in seeing on display from the museum’s collection.
Monica has also worked and volunteered at the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.
Through his internship with the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Monica will become familiar with the museum’s day-to-day operations and contribute to various museum projects and functions. The work of the intern will support the museum’s art collections, exhibition planning and management, and/or art education program activities.
He will receive an overview of the museum’s operations as well as specific museum training in collections, exhibitions, art education management, and museum best practices.
During his 10-week internship, Monica will work closely with Daniel Fulco, Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator, and Sarah C. Wolfe, Collections Registrar and Exhibition Coordinator. Monica will also receive a stipend of up to $1,000 for his time.
Monica enjoys playing video games, hanging out with his friends, and, of course, visiting museums. He plans on visiting a few over the summer.
Qualified students apply in the spring and are evaluated and interviewed by a selection committee. Applications for the next Jean Cushwa College Internship will be in the spring of 2023.
Meet our Jean Cushwa Art Scholarship Winner: Illeana Ekins
Ileana, 17, was presented with a certificate during the May 24 Washington County Public Schools’ Art Awards Ceremony at the museum. The Jean Cushwa Art Scholarship was established to assist high school students who plan on majoring in visual art/studio art, art history, art education, architecture and/or design. Scholarship recipients receive $1,000 to offset tuition at the college of their choice.
Ileana, the daughter of Tammy and Alan Ekin, graduated in May from Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. She will attend Hagerstown Community College this fall, with a plan to transfer to a four-year university and major in visual arts.
“I really hope to be a concept artist, but illustration is always a good plan,” she said, noting that “I’m open for ideas as long as it’s arts as a career.”
Her BISFA art teacher Todd Geiman recommended her for the scholarship. He wrote. “Ileana is a delight to work with. She has an inventive and exploratory attitude toward art, always aiming to improve and innovate. She is also very dependable, trustworthy and respectful. She collaborates well with others and appreciates constructive criticism. She has a positive outlook and a great sense of humor. Ileana is driven and inspired by her love for art and her aspiration to make a difference.”
Ileana recently won the Google Doodle competition in the grades 10-12 group for Maryland. The Nationals winner will be announced June 6.
In her spare time, she enjoys video games and spending time with her family. And, of course, Ileana loves to create art.
“I draw. I draw so much,” she said.
WHO WAS JEAN CUSHWA?
Regina “Jean” Cushwa was born in Philadelphia on June 2, 1922. She graduated from West Catholic Girls School in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia School of Design (now Moore College of Art and Design). In 1946, she married David K. Cushwa III and moved to Williamsport, Maryland., where she lived for the rest of her life. She was a housewife and mother of three children.
She also was a member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Williamsport, for more than 65 years. Jean was very involved in her community and was a board member of Girls Inc., Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and The Historical Society of Washington County. Over the years, she was a member of the Women’s Club, various gardening clubs of Hagerstown and she was very proud to have been one of the first volunteers for Hospice when the organization was first put together in Washington County. She mentored children at the local Williamsport schools and enjoyed that very much in her later years.