Historic Ithaca recently welcomed two new interns—Alexa Flinker and Joseph Jurasinski–from Ithaca College. For-credit internships give IC students valuable real-world work experience and a chance to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. In turn, Historic Ithaca benefits from the students’ enthusiasm and skills.

Architectural Studies Major Joseph Jurasinski
Joseph Jurasinski 1During the school year, Ithaca’s South Hill is home to Ithaca College senior Joseph Jurasinski. So it was a natural fit for the Architectural Studies major to begin his HI internship by tackling research for this spring’s That Old House Tour of South Hill. Joseph has delved into the photo archives at The History Center in search of historic images of homes and the old South Hill School. These images–and local history in general–Joseph notes, take the focus away from the overemphasized “grand story of presidents, kings, and powerful people” to highlight what everyday people experienced in the past.

Joseph appreciates the hands-on research and the opportunity to gain a perspective on what it means to be a professional historian. He also values the contacts he’s made, citing City of Ithaca Historian Mary Tomlan as an especially knowledgeable and helpful resource. His next task: researching and writing brief histories of building materials for Significant Elements store displays. A true architecture fan, Joseph views these seemingly “mundane” objects as giving us a “history of the everyday.”

Communications Studies Junior Alexa Flinker
Alexa Flinker2A Massachusetts native, Communications Studies junior Alexa Flinker just completed a semester abroad in London. Upon her return, she launched into the new semester with an HI internship focused on social media and community outreach. She’s already evaluated existing social media platforms and offered strategic insights for improving HI’s reach. Look for Alexa’s Instagram and Facebook photos of historic homes and buildings to highlight the county’s built environment.

As a Communications student with a minor in Counseling, Alexa is especially interested in interpersonal interactions and how those play out at the community level. She wants to foster HI’s connections to college students so that they can better appreciate the history of the town where they spend a significant slice of their lives. “Students are interested in our history,” she explains. “We have the ability to reach out through social media and make an event that connects” to their interests. No doubt those connections will foster an early interest in historic preservation that students will take with them after graduation.

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