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2015 OFI Summer Interns

Posted on Jul 6, 2015 by in The OFI Blog |


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(Left to right, back row) Ian Napoleon, Kierra Aiello, Belle Aspinwall, Natalie Vandenburgh (Left to right, front row) Autumn Young, Jennifer (Jenny) Christakos, Elaine Mondy

The Office of Fellowship and Internships (OFI) is pleased to welcome our new crop of summer 2015 interns who come from around the country and are excited to learn more about the Smithsonian Institution.

Kierra Aiello: Kierra is the newest addition to our 2015 summer intern class at OFI. Kierra is currently studying Art History and Cello Performance at the University of Denver in Colorado. In addition to being interested in all things art and music related, she also loves biking, hiking and skiing. After her time here at OFI, Kierra is off to France to study at the Marchutz School of Art for the fall 2015 semester.

Belle Aspinwall: Belle is OFI’s youngest intern. Originally from Atlanta, Belle moved to Houston six months ago. She is a rising junior at Tomball Memorial High School. Since she arrived to Washington, DC in June, Belle has taken every opportunity to see the city. Her current favorite museums to visit (besides Smithsonian ones!) include the National Gallery of Art, the Holocaust Museum and the Spy Museum. In her spare time, Belle enjoys cooking, painting, and going out with friends. Belle is very enthusiastic about working at OFI and finds the staff members to be positive and encouraging.

Jennifer (Jenny) Christakos: Jenny is a rising sophomore at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, where she is double majoring in Studio Art and Brain and Cognitive Science with a possible minor in Psychology. Jenny plans to pursue a graduate degree in Art Therapy and become a practicing art therapist someday. Jenny is from Bethesda so she can share her knowledge of the city with her fellow OFI interns. In her spare time, she likes to cook and bake and is an avid Pinterest-er (her cooking board has over 1000 pins of recipes!) She recently discovered yoga and it has steered her life in a path that is full of wonderful surprises, much like her internship with OFI has done! 

Elaine Mondy: Elaine is a rising senior at the University of New Mexico Where she is double majoring in Evolutionary Anthropology and English, with a minor in Psychology. Elaine plans to attend graduate school for Museum Education. She serves as a writing tutor at the University of New Mexico and worked last semester as an intern at Explora!, an innovative science center and children’s museum. In addition, Elaine loves film and is currently writing a screenplay for a horror movie!

Ian Napoleon: Ian is a rising senior at  Landon School in Bethesda. Very involved in his school and the local community, Ian is a member of both the varsity soccer and basketball teams and a member of the Community Service Club and the Multi-Cultural Association all at Landon. Outside of school, Ian is a member of the Boy Scouts of America where he recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.  After he graduates from high school, Ian plans to attend a college or a university where he will major in economics or finance.

Natalie Vandenburgh: Natalie was born and raised in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. for two years. She decided to pursue food as a career and transferred to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she is a rising senior majoring in Food Systems. In Natalie’s free time she likes to cook and bake, spend time in coffee shops and restaurants, wander around farmers markets, travel and experience new cultures and foods, lift heavy weights, and try out just about any fitness activity she can find. Natalie has learned so much from OFI staff in the past few weeks including how to manage complex systems, communicate effectively through various media, use new software, and create an awesome resume, to name just a few.  She is excited to see what the rest of the summer holds!

Autumn Young: Autumn is a rising senior at Poolesville High School in Poolesville, Maryland. She enjoys studying art history and social sciences such as economics and human geography. Autumn plans to major in economics and international relations and one day working as a bank consultant. Her hobbies include playing softball, photography and reading mystery novels. Interning at the Smithsonian has helped Autumn learn the importance of details and teamwork.