Meet the recipients of our first-ever Graduate Student Internship Fellowship

by Erik Martinez, Graduate Career Peer
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:51 AM

Congratulations to Melissa Barthelemy (Doctoral Candidate in Public History) and Sarah Lerner (​Doctoral Student in Film and Media Studies) on receiving the 2017 Graduate Student Internship Fellowship! ​Learn more about the ​great organizations they ​will be working with this summer and how this work is helping them prepare for a variety of career options after ​completing their graduate programs.

The Graduate Student Internship Fellowship will be offered again in coming years thanks to a fee-based sponsorship through the Graduate Student Association. Stay tuned to the GradPost for the latest information and consider applying for this ​opportunity in the future!

Melissa Barthelemy

(Public History)
Interning at:
Pacific Pride Foundation


This summer, I will be working with the Pacific Pride Foundation, which provides services to the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ community of Santa Barbara. After the tragic shooting last year at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, I decided I wanted to get more involved in local LGBTQ+ advocacy work.

Pacific Pride is moving to a new location, so I will use my background in archiving and public history to help them coordinate various aspects of the move, ​such as ​handling and processing sensitive materials. I will also be assisting with fundraising and event planning for the Pride Festival ​in August. I'm looking forward to building a stronger collaborative partnership between Pacific Pride and UCSB’s Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity and other units on campus.


This internship will enable me to learn more about how nonprofit organizations function, and it will give me a hands-on immersive ​experience that complements my academic coursework in Feminist Studies and LGBTQ history. In addition to university teaching positions, I'm also interested in careers in nonprofit organization management and Student Affairs, so this position will allow me to further develop skills in those areas. Most importantly, this internship allows me to give back to the LGBTQ+ community of which I am a member, and that is personally meaningful to me.

"It's important for all students to explore a wide range of work experiences and build valuable personal connections while in school. I'm thankful to the Graduate Division for their holistic approach to supporting grad students and for their commitment to giving back to our community."


Sarah Lerner

(Film and Media Studies)
Interning at:
San Jose Museum of Art


This summer, I will take a position at the San Jose Museum of Art working for the Associate Curator, Rory Padeken. My job includes assisting with research and writing for an upcoming exhibition that features photographic scrolls and documentary films, among other media. During my time at the museum, I want to become acquainted with the daily tasks of exhibition researchers and curators, especially as they pertain to catalogue and exhibition preparation. I'm also especially keen on learning how to extend the research and visual-analytical skills I’ve developed in my graduate studies for new ends.


The impact the fellowship has on my scholarly development is far-reaching. I'm in the beginning stages of developing a dissertation that concerns women’s engagements with sound and music. Working in the museum enables me to clearly understand institutional frameworks and meet people who are in close contact with the artists themselves. ​I'm able to use a larger palette of skills to conceive of the work I plan to do in the future, such as engaging with students and community members through research, writing, and teaching. ​

"I want to thank the Graduate Division for funding this opportunity. It wouldn't be possible for me to work at the museum without the Graduate Student Internship Fellowship, and I know it will support my growth in ways I cannot yet imagine."