The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) is recognized as one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive repositories for the documentation of the history and culture of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and other parts of the world. As one of Howard University’s major research facilities, the MSRC collects, preserves, organizes and makes available for research a wide range of resources chronicling the Black experience. Thus, it maintains a tradition of service which dates to the formative years of Howard University, when materials related to Africa and African Americans were first acquired.
The MSRC recruits and accepts Interns throughout the year from the University’s several schools and colleges. The Internship Program offers both graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to gain professional experience within the MSRC. Students must complete an Application for Internship and be recommended by the appropriate Dean, Director, faculty member or administrator. Only the Director of MSRC can approve an applicant without a recommendation.
Students may perform work that is directly related to their academic field or to some other area of interest. A planned project or set of activities is designed by the student’s instructor and/or the assigned MSRC coordinator. Paid internships are normally restricted to Howard University students. However, unpaid internships are offered to both Howard University students and students from other universities.
In many instances, students are placed in field studies, which provide a practicum, and special research projects, as well as other learning experiences. Students can be hired as temporary employees for short periods of time to perform special assignments. MSRC interns assume real responsibilities and are viewed as a valuable part of the work force.
About the Internship
An Internship/Field Study Program in the MSRC is an opportunity for a student to combine classroom theory with practical experience in the workplace. Internships are positions for which students receive school credit and/or a monetary stipend. It is also of mutual benefit to the student and to the MSRC. With training, interns can complete special projects which frees staff to complete the regular office workload. Students gain valuable work experience and skills vital to future employment.
| Gregory Benjamin, Student Intern
Students are directly responsible to the Director of the MSRC. However, they are assigned to one of four areas: Library Division, Manuscript Division, Archives or Administration. In most instances, the internship is structured by the instructor, MSRC division chief, and/or the Director. Project goals and work objectives are established and activities are identified to achieve them. Writing samples and computer skills may be required for certain assignments. The student receives planned work assignments from the MSRC supervisor, who also supports and evaluates his or her performance. A strong relationship between the supervisor(s) and the intern(s) is essential.
Work Schedule and Training
The MSRC is very flexible in terms of student intern work schedules. Work schedules are developed to accommodate the varying student class schedules and academic calendars. Interns receive on-the-job training and are encouraged to ask questions and make suggestions for performing tasks more efficiently and effectively.
Graduate student interns currently receive a nominal stipend of $13.00 an hour and undergraduates receive $9.00 an hour. A bi-weekly timesheet must be approved and submitted by the supervisor to the Director for payment.
In many instances, students need work experience or classroom credit more than an hourly wage. Unpaid interns are afforded the opportunity to receive classroom credit while working a real job. These positions provide valuable work experiences while the student’s skills are being developed. The student also receives exposure for future
experiences and employment.
Job Expectations must be agreed upon as a prerequisite to being employed by the MSRC. In addition to general expectations of the MSRC, each division establishes job- specific expectations for its student interns. These expectations are discussed during an orientation session with the respective division head.
The purposes of the performance evaluation are to provide an opportunity for discussion between supervisor and student intern of work related expectations and to provide an opportunity for discussing goals for improved performance. The supervisor will complete a performance evaluation of the student intern at the end of each semester.
A student intern may be dismissed at any time his/her services are found to be unsatisfactory or not in the best interest of the MSRC.
Other Requirements & Procedures
Students who are employed with the MSRC must meet all requirements and procedures as outlined in this document, including the following:
- Submit a completed Application for Student Internship.
- Submit a current resume and a copy of the latest transcript or
cumulative grade report (student copy is acceptable).
- Graduate students must have a cumulative grade point average
- Undergraduate students must have a cumulative grade point
average of 2.5.
- Must be in compliance with the Immigration Reform
and Control Act of 1996, which governs authorization
to work in the United States.
- Must be able to handle, lift, and move materials, boxed
and unboxed, as necessary to support the operation of
- Must be competent in both oral and written English.
- Must be able to establish and maintain effective and harmonious
working relationships with staff, students, donors,
researchers, university officials, and the general public.
All qualifying applicants will be interviewed by the appropriate division chief. The final decision will be made by the Director. The applicant will be notified of the Director’s decision within 48 hours of the interview.