Ella Scalese smiling with her collage at a Berman craft event.
August 18, 2023

Summer Intern Profile: Ella Scalese

Ella Scaelse, Susquehanna University ’24, spent her summer developing educational materials at the Berman Museum.

The Berman Museum of Art has benefited from the support of a hard-working summer crew this year. Made up of current Ursinus students, interns, and contractors, the summer crew worked on a number of major projects, including exhibition preparations, programming, and sculpture cleaning.

One of this year’s stars was intern Ella Scalese (she/her). This fall, Scalese is entering her senior year at Susquehanna University, where she studies Anthropology with minors in History, Spanish Studies, and Creative Writing. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school for History or work in the field of museum education.

Why did you choose to pursue a summer internship at the Berman?

I have wanted to work in museums for a while, and I’ve been trying to get a broad range of experience in the field as I try to figure out my future career path! I am local to the Ursinus College area and have visited the museum at different points throughout my life. I always loved how accessible the museum was to the local community and the students on campus as well as the variety of its exhibitions.

How did you get interested in museum education?

I am passionate about developing ways for a broad range of people to interact with their local museum. Last summer, I worked as an Education Intern for a historic mill where I developed an interpretation plan. I’ve also spent some time working in an art gallery, so the Berman allowed me to combine my two passions of museum education and art into the same internship.

Visitors at the Cut and Paste: Collage Workshop at the Berman Museum.

What projects did you get to work on at the Berman?

I worked on a variety of tasks, primarily projects centering on museum education. These projects included developing tours for Printmaking | Worldmaking and Heaven is a Line. Additionally, I helped prepare for and monitor museum events, such as the collage and model magic craft nights that the museum hosted for the local community.

Looking back on the summer, what are your biggest takeaways from the internship?

I loved getting a small window into the broad range of tasks and jobs involved in the daily operation of a museum. I’m undecided on which path my career will take, and I feel more secure in the knowledge that there are a variety of careers available to me no matter what direction I end up taking.

Working specifically with educational materials made me feel more connected to the experience of the museum visitor. Museums are often perceived as pompous institutions, but working at the Berman was an entirely contrasting experience; I’ve loved getting to chat with visitors at events and learn what they enjoyed about the museum!

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Ella, thank you for all your help this summer. You played an integral role in ensuring the success of our programs, and the tours and scavenger hunts you created will be so useful to have on hand going into the fall semester. It has been a pleasure working with you. Good luck in your senior year!