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C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Comegys Bight Summer Fellowship Program

The Comegys Bight Fellowship Program matches outstanding Washington College students with summer internships at some of the nation’s leading historical and cultural institutions – and pays those students a stipend for their work. The program, offered through the Starr Center, annually provides up to ten students with high-level work and research experience on topics related to American history and culture.

Fellowship opportunities exist at the following institutions for summer 2014:

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg, VA)
Gilder Lehrman Institute (New York, NY)

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (Harpers Ferry, WV)
Historic Jamestowne (Jamestown, VA)
Library of Congress (Washington, DC)
Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore, MD)
Maryland State Archives (Annapolis, MD)
Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, VA)
National Archives and Records Administration (Washington, DC)
National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA)
National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, PA)
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)
President Lincoln’s Cottage (Washington, DC)
Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)
UNESCO Slave Route Project (Paris, France)
U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian (Washington, DC)

To download a detailed description of internship positions, click here.

The Comegys Bight program recognizes students’
“intellect, curiosity, and resourcefulness.”

imageInstitutions where the Starr Center has placed student interns in the past include the National Portrait Gallery, the National Constitution Center, the Maryland Historical Society, the National Park Service, the Virginia Historical Society, Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, American Heritage Publishing, the Maryland State Archives, the American Revolution Center, and the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Students’ work has included helping to script a film on African Americans in 18th-century Virginia; cataloguing early maps and travel accounts of Brazil and Peru; leading tours as a National Park Service ranger at Harpers Ferry; and delving into original manuscripts to document black Marylanders’ participation in the War of 1812. 

Administered by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the program recognizes students’ “intellect, curiosity, and resourcefulness,” and serves as a bridge between Washington College and the world beyond. Fellows are provided unique opportunities to integrate their academic work with real-world practice, resulting in experiences that have, in some cases, changed the course of their intellectual and professional lives. Past fellows have gone on to study at major graduate schools, and to careers in museums, journalism, book publishing, and teaching.

Stipends for selected Fellows will be dependent upon the length of the internship, but will average $10/hour, to a maximum of $4,000 (ten 40-hour work weeks).

These funds may be used to cover living expenses during the internship period, or spent/saved at the recipient’s discretion.

L to R, Research Archivist Owen Lourie with interns Daniel Blattau, a student at the University of Maryland, and Jeffrey Truitt '14. Behind them are Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins and former State Archivist Edward C. Papenfuse.L to R, Research Archivist Owen Lourie with interns Daniel Blattau, a student at the University of Maryland, and Jeffrey Truitt '14. Behind them are Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins and former State Archivist Edward C. Papenfuse.



Applicants must have completed at least 12 credit hours of coursework in History, Art History, American Studies, English, Political Science, Anthropology, or Black Studies. (This requirement may occasionally be waived on an individual basis; please contact the Starr Center before applying.)

Most positions are open to students of all class years, including graduating seniors, although preference is given to sophomores and above.


Recipients are required to write a 6-8 page report on their summer experience, attend a dinner with the fellowship donors, and give an oral presentation on campus the following fall. Academic credit for these internships may be available on an individual basis through the office of the Assistant Dean for Academic Resources.

Samples of papers by previous Comegys Bight Fellows are available for download. A Washington College log-in is required.

Application Information

All applications should include:

1.  A cover letter (1-2 pages) describing your strengths and interests, and explaining how a summer internship will help you to achieve your career goals. You may be considered for multiple positions.

2.  A ranked list of desired internships in order of preference;

3.  A resume;

4.  A copy of your Washington College transcript (WebAdvisor copies are acceptable);

5.  The names and contact information of three references (two of whom must be Washington College faculty members).

Applications should be submitted by email to tmariswolf2@washcoll.edu or hand-delivered to the Starr Center’s office in the Custom House (101 S. Water St.). 



Applications will be reviewed by a faculty selection committee looking for:

  • Exceptional ability and commitment
  • Excellent academic record
  • Pronounced interest in/knowledge of American history and culture
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated maturity and reliability

The number of students selected as Fellows will depend on donor support and other factors, but will be at least ten in 2014. The Starr Center will work to place Fellows in one of their preferred positions, although we cannot guarantee that each Fellow will ultimately be matched with one of his/her top choices.

The Starr Center will notify applicants if they have been selected as Fellows on or before FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014.


Selected interns will arrange their start/end dates directly with their host institutions. Most institutions have some flexibility in scheduling, although a few will need their interns to start by a certain date.

To read about past Comegys Bight summer internships, click here.


For more information about specific positions or questions about the application process, contact Ted Maris-Wolf at the Starr Center at 410-810-7154, tmariswolf2@washcoll.edu.