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Amy Pipher spending summer as intern at historic Atlanta site

While most college students head home for the summer break, others take the opportunity to pursue interests through internships. Lakeland High School graduate Amy Pipher is taking that route, living in Atlanta, Ga., to intern with the Atlanta History Center.

 Pipher, a junior majoring in history at Agnes Scott College, learned about the internship program at the prestigious history center through a professor. “I have a professor here who has take an interest in me since I arrived at Agnes Scott because she believes I have a promising future as a historian,” Pipher said in an e-mail explaining her summer internship. The professor took Pipher to an open house for possible interns at the history center. This summer was the first opportunity Pipher had to apply for a position.

Pipher went through the application process this spring, which included essays and recommendations from her professors, followed by several interviews and ending with a final interview with the internship supervisor who offered Pipher the position. According to Pipher, the qualifications the center sought included experience in working with the public and public speaking and an interest in “all aspects of history.” Qualifications also included creativity, flexibility, historic insight and a sense of fun, Pipher added.

Pipher applied to be a Historical House Administrative Intern at the Swan House and was offered the position during the final interview. Swan House is one of the most recognized landmarks in Atlanta. The mansion was completed in 1928 for the Edward Inman Family, who were heirs to a cotton fortune, and is a popular attraction.

Pipher noted that the history center recently began developing first-person presentations for visitors. As visitors walk through the house, they are being told the history from the perspective of the people who lived in the house at that time, such as the architect of the house, the gardener, and others, Pipher said.

Those in the Swan House will be portraying the year 1933. Throughout the summer, Pipher will go through the news of 1933 and find events that happened locally, nationally and internationally, and fit them into the presentation. Pipher said she will utilize resourced at Agnes Scott College, the Kenan Research Center, and the archives at the Atlanta History Center.

Those at the house can then use the information Pipher provides to enrich their portrayal of the period.

Although the internship will only last for the summer, Pipher said she hopes to continue with the program in the future. First, though, she will be studying abroad for the next school year, attending Vesalius College in Brussels, Belgium, in their peace and securities studies program. Pipher’s concentration in history is post-WWII political change and international relations, with concentrations in peace and security studies. She will be taking courses such as “Diplomacy and International Negotiations,” “Contemporary Political Debates,” and “International Humanitarian Law.”