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Exhibit Designer DHA Intern
Ref No.: 19-00118
Location: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/18/2020
Pay Rate : $ 12.00 /Hour
The need for preserving all of our nation's history has never been greater, and we're counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) is an 11-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation's history and culture. Participants gain real-world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.

Position Title Exhibit Designer DHA Intern
NPS Unit Name Harpers Ferry Center - Harpers Ferry, WV
Position Dates May 18 – July 31, 2020
Direct Hiring Authority Resource Assistant The DHA Resource Assistant internship (DHA-RA) is a unique internship opportunity within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The objective is to build a pathway to employment in the DOI for exemplary students in higher education.  DHA-RA interns will apply content expertise to NPS management and build a network with federal employees throughout the internship. These rigorous internships require specialized expertise and typically are available to upper-level undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates. The internships are designed to develop the participant's technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities.  DHA-RA interns will receive a weekly stipend of $480, park-provided housing or a housing allowance, and paid travel expenses.  Successful completion of the internship does not guarantee that the participant will be hired into a federal position.

To be eligible for a DHA--RA Internship, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident ("green-card-holder”) and enrolled or within one year of graduating from an institution of higher education.   

DHA-RA interns who successfully complete the internship requirements become eligible for two years from the date of their degree to be non-competitively hired by the Department of Interior.
Position Description Ferry Center (HFC) is situated in Harpers Ferry, WV and has a mutualistic relationship with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (HAFE), located just down the hill from HFC. HFC has traditionally worked closely with HAFE on various interpretive media projects such as interpretive wayside exhibits and interpretive museum exhibits inside the multiple historic landmarks at the park. HAFE is interested in a redesign of their "African American Voices" exhibit (the exhibit is over 20 years old). HFC will be initiating an exhibit planning and design project to develop a schematic design to refresh this exhibit. The Exhibit Designer will work as a team with a second intern, an Exhibit Planner. This team approach is a symbiotic relationship essential to the success of the project. The team will work closely with the professional exhibit planners and designers at HFC to engage park staff in preliminary stages of exhibit planning and design, which will include the following responsibilities:
  • Meet with park interpretive and education staff to determine the interpretive needs and desired outcomes for the project
  • Research park resources including historic documents, historic and modern images, and secondary sources relevant to the story of the park
  • Develop up to 3 schematic designs including 3-Dimensional layout of the exhibit space and a narrative of key topics, themes, and interpretive messages
  • Meet with the park to select a favored schematic
  • Revise and refine the favored schematic and further develop the 3D layout and narrative
  • Initiate design of graphic elements, tactile or custom elements, and draft exhibit copy.
  • Meet with the park to present and discuss the revised design.
By the end of the 11-week project, the park will have in hand a completed exhibit schematic plan which they can use to produce a new "African American Voices” exhibit.
Learning Goals The intern will gain specialized skills in the field of exhibit planning and design, including 3D design, graphic design, research, and interpretive writing. The intern will learn about NPS accessibility standards and requirements and exhibit structures and materials. The intern will have the opportunity to complete research, content development, and design as part of a team on a project at a nationally significant historic site. They will hone their interpretive skills by developing exhibits that enrich and deepen the public's
understanding of the African American experience relevant to Harpers Ferry National Historic Site.
Qualifications The exhibit designer should be engaged in graduate-level coursework in Graphic Design, 3D design, or Industrial Design. Knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, and SketchUp or similar design programs required. Knowledge of American Civil War and African American History preferred. Strong candidates shall have organizational skills, excellent including verbal and written communication, and experience with exhibit projects.
To be eligible for a DHA-RA Internship, participants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident ("green-card-holder”) and currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or Ph.D. degree program at an accredited institution of higher education during the summer internship. Persons enrolled in a certificate program do not qualify for DHA positions.

Additional qualifications:
  • Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
  • Must be between 16 and 35 years of age
  • Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
  • Must be able to pass a federal background check
Work Environment Daily work will be in an open office environment with a professional staff of exhibit planners, designers, and specialists. Coordination with HAFE will require regular trips to HAFE in what is known as "Lower Town,” less than 1 mile from the design offices at HFC.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is required for this site. A valid state driver's license is required to operate a government vehicle while conducting official government business.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $12 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • A housing assistance stipend will be provided for non-local interns.
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense-paid Leadership & Careers Workshop
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at www.serve.gyfoundation.orgResumes and cover letters are required to apply. Please combine as one PDF document and upload the file to the SERVE portal.
  • Use the link to apply to the selected position
  • First-time applicants must create a profile on JobDiva
  • Upload resume and cover letter as a PDF file
  • The file name should include your first and last name or initials
    • Examples: FI. Lastname-resume.pdf, Firstname Lastname – resume.pdf, or Firstname L.pdf
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