twin lights niels millicent johnsenPhoto: Niels and Millicent Johnsen visit the Twin Lights in 2012 for the Historical Society’s Pledge of Allegiance rededication ceremony. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited for the first time as America’s official national oath of loyalty at the Twin Lights on April 25, 1893.

Highlands, NJ —  The Twin Lights Historical Society announced today the establishment of the Millicent Mercer Johnsen Continuing Education Internship Program. Mrs. Johnsen, a longtime board member and active supporter of the Twin Lights, passed away in 2013; the program was initiated with funds donated to the Twin Lights Historical Society in her memory by friends and family members. The internship program is open to graduate students or first-term college seniors interested in pursuing a career in either a small or medium-sized museum.

“There is a deep talent pool of students interested in entering the museum field, but small museums like the one at Twin Lights only offer unpaid positions,” explains Mary Jo Kenny, President of the Twin Lights Historical Society. “Consequently, the best and brightest students opt for paying jobs outside the field. The Millicent Mercer Johnsen Continuing Education Internship pays between $10 and $11 an hour—not a lot, but enough to make a difference to a young person looking for an opportunity to jump into the museum world with both feet.”

The program is designed to stretch across a16-week semester, with approximately 130 working hours at the Twin Lights Museum. The 2014 intern has already been selected and recently began work at the lighthouse. Amy Mattoccia, a senior in the Art History program at the University of Denver, is receiving credit from UD for her work. The internship is program-driven, not project-driven, which means that current and future interns will experience a full range of museum management issues. Final selection of interns will be the responsibility of Twin Lights curator Margaret Carlsen.  

“This is a win-win idea,” says Kenny. “Future museum industry professionals get tremendous hands-on experience and an understanding of the day-to-day challenges that curators face. And we benefit from the focus, energy and new ideas that a young person brings to the Twin Lights.”

For more information, please contact Margaret Carlsen, curator, at 732.872.1814. The Millicent Mercer Johnsen Continuing Education Internship Program is funded through private contributions to the Twin Lights Historical Society. The Society also holds a lecture series funded by memorial and private donations named in Mrs. Johnsen’s honor.