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I2F Alumni

I2F Cohort unites at the National Air and Space Museum. Photo credit: Chris Wu

The I2F Program

The Smithsonian’s Internship to Fellowship (I2F) Program is a two-tiered learning experience designed to introduce recent college graduates to the diversity of career opportunities within the fields of museum sciences and support. Each Cohort embarks on a 15-week internship where they are placed with a mentor and spend time learning about the Smithsonian, it’s facilities, collections, staff, and it’s role in the global museum and research fields.

During their internship, interns participate in bi-weekly cohort programming that gives them a broader understanding of where their placement sits in the larger context of the Smithsonian, and explore the many facets of the museum profession through seminars, other cohort members, and site visits.

Interns interested in continuing with the second half of the program work with their mentors and programming staff to conceive a project, research Smithsonian resources needed to complete the project, and write a fellowship proposal.

I2F Fellows return for a second semester to complete their independent project over the course of their 15-week fellowship. Fellows also participate in bi-weekly cohort programming that will focus on career skills and planning. The program will conclude with a symposium where fellows present their work.



2018 I2F Cohort: the Beginning and the End. Photo credit: I2F

The 2018-2019 Cohort

The inaugural I2F Cohort arrived in Fall 2018 as interns and embarked on their fellowships in Spring 2019. The 11 member cohort explored DC and the Smithsonian through I2F Cohort experiences and on their own. You can read more about their experience in this blog post.

In 2018, this program was supported in part by Federal funds from the Latino Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center and from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.




The 2018-2019 I2F Cohort

  • Gracia Brown is a San Francisco native and a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz where she majored in History of Art and Visual Culture. Her research interests include examining the representation of ethnic minorities in museums and exploring untold stories of the Asian diaspora (e.g. the history and visual representation of Chinese Mexicans). Gracia’s interest in American narratives of inclusion/exclusion, stem from her experiences as a mixed race woman. Gracia will be working with Theo Gonzalves at NMAH.
  • Isabel-Antonette Cajulis (Isa) is a community organizer and writer from Queens. As a creative and an academic, she seeks to use storytelling to transfigure the face of power. Isa completed her B.A. in Human Biology and Sociology at CUNY Hunter College, where she began her career in public service and non-profit. She previously interned under Alice Tracy at the External Affairs Office of the Freer|Sackler galleries of Asian art. Isa’s current fellowship research project at the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, SPACE, applies critical race frameworks to reimagine the museum in post-colonial space. SPACE strategizes AAPI community engagement through targeted Southeast Asian/-American outreach.
  • Vicky Chan went to the University of California Santa Barbara and studied Ecology and Evolution. She has worked with animal and plant collections and would like to help facilitate STEM outreach. Vicky has a strong interest in art and hopes to find ways to combine art and science. Vicky will be working with Gale Robertson in Family Programs at the National Museum of Natural History.
  • Natali Chavez recently graduated from California State University, Channel Islands with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Applied Physics in a Medical Imaging Track. In her hometown in California, she works as a Quality Improvement Research Analyst at a diabetes clinic, and paraeducator at a local high school. Natali’s work experience has taught her the precious value of education thus; she utilizes her out-reach abilities to mentor many local minority students. Natali is an alumna of the UCSB-SCBI program, also funded in part by LIP. She will be working with Jesus Maldonado in the Smithsonian Genetics Laboratory.
  • Dulce Gutierrez Vasquez is a graduate from Eastern Washington University, where she double majored in Anthropology and Race and Culture Studies. While at Eastern, her research focused on the effects of representation in media on the identity formation of historically marginalized groups. In her spare time, she works with organizations focusing on advocacy for immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities. While interning at the Museum Support Center she worked under Carrie Beauchamp digitizing and rehousing collections. Her fellowship research focuses on the representation of Latinos in advertisements and ephemera from the 1950s to present time and the implied larger socio political conversation surrounding Latinos each decade.
  • Diego Jauregui is a graduate from James Madison University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, as well as a Minor in Mathematics. Diego’s fellowship project, titled “Estrellas y Cuentos: An examination of Latinofuturism and Space History,” is a study of Latinofuturist portrayals of space and the relationship between technology and culture. Previously as an intern at NASM, Diego assisted the Space History Department in maintaining the Air and Space Museum’s TMS database system. In addition he assisted the AirSpace podcast team with research and transcribing episodes. Diego was also a former intern of three years at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, where he participated in their inaugural, Youth Engagement through Science, (YES!) Program, and served on the Youth Advisory Board for the design of their new Q?rius exhibit.
  • Odalys Lugo-Morales will complete her Master’s degree in Cultural Agency and Administration this spring with the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Her work focuses on the democratization of culture through increasing accessibility to arts and education for minorities and underrepresented communities. Odalys previously interned under Geraldine Provost-Lyons at the Docent and Interns Program of the National Portrait Gallery to recruit bilingual docents. Her current fellowship research project (and her Master’s thesis project) explores Latinx representation in the museum field, focusing on the connection between exhibitions and visitors, including educational programming. Prior to the I2F program, Odalys served as Project Manager and Program Coordinator at a non-profit, providing professional development and community work to college students.
  • Carolina Núñez Martinez graduated from the University of South Florida in 2018 where she received a Bachelors in Anthropology. She has previous experience in planning and creating a photography exhibit. Carolina hopes to have a career working in museums where she can focus on creating an environment that accurately presents information on culture and identity. Carolina interned at NMNH/MSC with Carrie Beauchamp digitizing and rehousing collections. Her fellowship research focuses on looking for Queer Latino representation in museum collections.
  • Vilma Reyes considers her internship at the Smithsonian to be one of the most profoundly enriching experiences in her academic and professional career. Now, during her fellowship, she will continue acquiring knowledge and developing skills that will be applied to cultural and education projects in her native Puerto Rico. Vilma has worked for nearly three decades in commercial and public broadcasting and has a B.ED, specializing in Pre-School and Elementary Education.  Inspired by her time at the Smithsonian, she hopes to continue developing herself by continuing on to postgraduate studies, aiming to develop educational programs targeted at underprivileged communities.
  • Steven Trinh is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, he also pursued a double minor in Leadership and Sociology. Although Steven is still exploring his career paths, his goal is to find a profession that helps people while also learning everything he can to become a more well-rounded individual. Steven will be working with Samantha Snell at NCP.
  • Chris Wu grew up in Virginia and pursued studio art and Asian studies at Colorado College. Since graduating in 2016, he has worked with a number of public service organizations in the D.C. area, including the International Leadership Foundation, a non-profit that promotes the public service of young Asian Americans. In the Fall of 2016, Chris was accepted into the White House Internship Program where he worked in the Office of Calligraphy during the last months of the Obama Administration. This past year, Chris returned to his alma mater to facilitate programming for the Art Department students, faculty and staff. He will be working with Jia-Sun Tsang the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute where he hopes to continue learning about the arts and public service.

The 2018-2019 I2F Calendar

Internship Calendar

  • Monday, September 10 – Program Kickoff
    • I2F Orientation
    • Unit Orientations (Internship locations, or as otherwise directed by the mentor/coordinator), after lunch
  • Friday, September 28 – Smithsonian History and Fellowship Introduction
    • Smithsonian Castle Tour
    • Meet & Greet with Andrea Neighbors, APAC
    • Seminar on fellowships and the proposal process
      • Fellowships utilize Smithsonian collections, facilities, or experts
      • What to expect on the Exploring SI days
  • Friday, October 12 – Exploring SI: Collections
    • Museum Support Center:
      • Anthropology Workspace and Collections
      • Mammals Collections
    • Museum Conservation Institute
  • Thursday, October 25 – Exploring SI: Research
    • National Zoological Park
      • Conservation Genetics Lab
      • Research Talk
      • Tours of Small Mammals and Reptile Houses
    • National Museum of American History Archives Introduction and Tour
    • Meet and Greet with Eduardo Diaz and Diana Bossa Bastidas, SLC
  • Tuesday, October 30 – Resume Workshop
  • Thursday, November 8 – Exploring SI: Education and Engagement
    • F|S Development Tour
    • SE Asia Initiative and Elevator Pitch Activity
    • National Museum of Natural History
      • Education and Outreach Collections Tours
      • Q?rius Tour
    • National Portrait Gallery
      • Bilingual Initiative
      • Curator Tour
  • Friday, November 16
    • Fellowship proposals due
  • Friday, November 30 – Exploring SI: Exhibits
    • National Air and Space Museum Exhibits: Complete Redesign
    • National Museum of American History Exhibits: Diversity of Perspective
    • National Museum of African American History and Culture Museum Exhibits: Starting New
    • Fellowship decisions announced
  • Friday, December 14
    • Presentation Skills Workshop & practice session
  • Tuesday, December 18
    • Final Presentations
  • Friday, December 21
    • Last day of Internship


Fellowship Calendar

  • Tuesday, January 22 – First day of Fellowship
  • Friday, January 25 – Orientation (AM only)
  • Friday, February 1 – Check In (AM only)
  • Friday, February 8
    • National Air and Space Museum, Udvar Hazy Center
      • Collections Tour
  • Friday, February 22
    • National Museum of the American Indian
      • Americans Exhibit Tour
    • Anacostia Community Museum
      • Collections Tour
      • A Right to the City Exhibit
  • Friday, March 8 – Exploring museums beyond SI in Baltimore, MD
    • Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
    • American Visionary Art Museum
  • Friday, April 12
    • Academic, Career and Financial Goals & Planning
  • Friday, April 26
    • Presentation practice session
  • Thursday, May 2
    • Final Presentations
  • Friday, May 3
    • Last day of Fellowship


I2F Cohort convenes a discussion on identity after viewing Americans at the National Museum of the American Indian. Photo credit: Chris Wu