CRDIP | 2021 Member Introductions

Written By ACE'r

On June 2, 2021
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The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) is a professional development internship that introduces undergraduate and graduate students, from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities within Cultural Resource Management in the National Park Service. The program places interns with National Park Service units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Host sites provide work experiences that assist interns with building their resumes in this field. Typical experience is 11 weeks in duration during the summer months to allow for school end/start dates. Continue reading to meet our CRDIP 2021 Members!


Luis Berrizbeitia

Minute Man National Historical Park

Hello! My name is Luis Berrizbeitia and I’m from Concord, Massachusetts. This summer I will beworking as a Public History Interpreter at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord,Massachusetts. I have been working at Minute Man in various capacities since May of 2020. Icompleted a National Council for Preservation Education internship during the summer of 2020and then continued as a part-time Natural and Cultural Resources Steward while I work on myBiology degree. I am an avid outdoorsman and former musician, but my main passion over thelast 3 years has been carving wooden spoons out of green wood. I’m interested in telling the storyof landscapes in a way that combines their cultural and natural histories into one narrative thatexplains the interaction between humans and the natural world. I am fascinated by the partnershipthat emerges when humans collaborate with nature. As a Public Interpreter at Minute ManNational Historical Park, I will develop the skills necessary to tell both the natural history of the trailand the historical events that unfolded there and changed the course of history. Learning tointerpret the history of the park, combined with my knowledge of ecology will ultimately form thebasis for making informed land management decisions, and thus I am excited to learn how theinterpretation side of the park works and how it contributes to its overall mission. My future goalsare to have a career in public service at the upper management level, preserving the history of ourlands and making historically and ecologically informed land management decisions that willprotect our foundational landscapes for generations to come. If possible, I would also like to teachenvironmental science and math at a community college, and to instill a love for our historicallandscapes in young people who will carry on the mission of the Park Service.


Diego Borgsdorf 

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Diego Borgsdorf (he/him/his): I will be working in Museum Services at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia this summer! I am a rising second year student studying Anthropology & Environmental Analysis at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. My interest in cultural resource management primarily stems from a desire to engage the public in anthropological and historical work. My background is in community-engaged ethnography, particularly amongst the Latinx community in Los Angeles, as well as local political organizing. I also worked as a coach for the non-profit Multiplying Good, where I mentored local high school students in designing an environmental education and restoration project in one of our local wildlife areas. At Pitzer, I’m involved in the Latinx Student Union, Student Senate, and Spanish tutoring program. I’m currently working on an interview-based historical research project focused on the history of Latinx students at the College. I also had the incredible opportunity to participate in this year’s National Park Service Academy! My introduction to the NPS through Academy drove me to apply to this internship. I hope to build a career in museum management or a related field of cultural resources following this summer! I’m a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, California. In my spare time, I love gardening and playing with my dogs.


Eric Chiasson 

Northeast Regional Office

Hi all! I am Eric Chiasson from Portland, Maine. I grew up in the Belgrade Lakes region in the central part of the state. I am participating this summer in an internship with National Park Service, Office of Tribal & Cultural Affairs (TCA) in Lowell, Massachusetts. The project is specifically related to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). I was inspired to pursue the CRDIP opportunity following a field placement with TCA as part of my program at UMass. It was both exciting and fascinating to experience the Atlantic Region CR Division over MS Teams as it proactively responded to all of the events of the summer 2020. My educational background is in public policy, and I probably most enjoyed reading labor history and economics along the way. I think it is fair to say that my education informs my interests in social justice issues, particularly with expanding/preserving the spaces of the public commons (physical and intellectual). On the other hand, my family history informs my interest in promoting Native sovereignty. My mother and grandmother come from the Mi’kmaq reservation in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia. Unpacking their encounters with misguided government policy—the Canadian Indian Residential School system for my grandmother and the Maine State foster care system for my mother—drive my concern for Native sovereignty and human rights. I have worked in human services for non-profits that support independence of adults with intellectual disabilities, and with others that support individuals struggling with diagnosed mental health issues, substance abuse, and recidivism. In keeping with a millennial tradition, I have student debt and wanted to pick up a law background, so I spent four years as an Army paralegal. My no-holds-barred introduction to the federal space! My wife and I lived in the DC area while I served, and we took advantage of long weekends to venture out in the Tacoma across the mid-Atlantic crossroads. I truly believe the chance to experience public spaces (lands, parks, monuments, etc.) naturally makes a person want to protect them! My goals following this internship are to find my way into federal employment related to my newly minted law & policy background and to begin a career in the cultural resource management space, hopefully in the area of consultation with Indian tribes.


Chriziel Childers 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Hello everyone, my name is Chriziel Childers and I currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada where I am an undergraduate student majoring in English at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I previously worked as a collections assistant at UNLV Lied Library and Nevada State Museum, which inspired me to pursue a career in libraries and museums. My future professional goal is to pursue a career in record management in academic institutions. I am very excited to expand my knowledge on collections management by having the opportunity to work as a CRDIP Archives Technician for Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Boulder City, Nevada. I’m excited to take a collection through the entire process of archival collections management.


Holly Fieglein 

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Hello, my name is Holly Fieglein! I’m from Katy, Texas and am a senior Geographic Information Science and Technology major studying at Texas A&M University where I’m a member of the Corps of Cadets. This summer, I’ll be an Archaeology Survey Intern at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, New York. My motivation to work with ACE came from a desire to work in conservation and the environment in a role with the National Park Service. Following this internship, I plan to finish school in December then pursue short term, project based internships, before pursuing my masters in geoscience. 


Jacob Hakim 

Haleakalā National Park

Aloha, my name is Jacob Hakim. I am a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I am originally from Texas, but I have called Oʻahu my home for almost four years. As a student and researcher, I study language documentation and conservation, and I work with speakers of a minority language spoken on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Outside of school, I spend a lot of time surfing, reading, and playing games. This summer I will be a CRDIP intern at Haleakalā National Park on the island of Maui, Hawaiʻi. This will be my second internship at the park, and I am excited to work with the interpretive rangers again. After this internship, I plan to finish my PhD and eventually work with the NPS as an interpretive park ranger. Mahalo nui!


Loissa Harrison-Parks

Gateway National Recreation Area

Hello! My name is Loissa Harrison-Parks and I am from the Grand Rapids/Central Michigan area. I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Art History. During my undergrad, I worked as a student archeologist through the Najerilla Valley Research Project, in Najera, Spain. The overall goal of the project was to better understand the cultural sequence in the valley and to investigate the changes in settlement and material culture between the Late Iron Age and the 14th Century A.D. This included a study of ruins from 9th Century Jewish quarters ruled by one of the largest and most prominent Arabic governments within the Kingdom of Navarre and, later, in the Kingdom of Castile. My love and admiration for archeology led me to my current Volunteer Research position within Columbia University’s Archeology lab. During the mentorship of Dr. Zoe Crossland, I assisted in the analysis and categorization of 15th Century Madagascar rice samples. This summer I am thrilled to be working as an archeology tech at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York, New York. Gateway preserves some of the last remaining open space surrounding New York Harbor and contains the remains of important maritime structures, harbor fortifications and vestiges of military post life with extant structures dating back before the Civil War.


Melissa Hurtado

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

Hi, I’m Melissa and I’m originally from Colombia but was raised in Miami, Florida. I’ll be participating in the Native American Archaeology Internship this summer at the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. I’m really inspired by all stakeholders involved in this project and the model for collaborative work that they have created. I am excited to see how my internship will contribute to the broader long term project at the Harbor Islands and the types of archaeological work and educational content that I will be able to work on and produce. I first became interested in archaeology while I was attending Miami Dade Community College through a workshop that the Florida Public Archaeology Network hosted on the importance of monitoring sites and preserving them from the threats of climate change. My passion for this type of work led me to transfer to Boston University for a BA/MA program where I was part of the Ancestral Alutiiq Food Project. This research allowed me to learn how to conduct community based collaborative research and grew my interest in learning more on restorative archaeology. After I graduate from Boston University this fall, I hope to use the skills I have learned to work for the Park Service, hopefully back in my hometown of Homestead, Florida where I want to inspire other people like me to get excited about science and history. When I have some free time, I enjoy photography, cooking, and curating Spotify playlists.


Jessica Lynch 

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Hi there! My name is Jessica and I am from Herndon, Virginia. I will be working as a Cultural Resource Specialist at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia this summer. I was inspired to seek this CRDIP opportunity to learn about cultural resource management in our National Parks. I am a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington’s Historic Preservation and American Studies Programs, which is where I found my passion for making history engaging for the public. I hope to transfer my skills and passions into a position with the National Park Service in the future!


Jamie McBryde 

Northeast Regional Office

Hello everyone! My name is Jamie McBryde (she/her/hers) and I am from northern Utah. I graduated from Colorado State University in 2018 with a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. I will be interning at the National Park Service Northeast Regional Office of Tribal & Cultural Affairs through the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). Last winter I was a GIS Intern in Grand Teton National Park. I assisted with glacier surveys, monitored hydrological features and created maps. I enjoy snowboarding, backpacking, fly fishing, cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, reading, and traveling. I am looking forward to meeting you all and am excited for this summer! 


Victoria McKeller-Peoples

Intermountain Regional Office

My name is Victoria McKeller-Peoples, and I was born and raised in North Carolina. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Art in History and a minor in Religious Studies from UNC Charlotte. I am also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. This summer, I will be interning as a Historian for the Intermountain Regional Office of the National Park Service. As an undergraduate, I developed my interests in creating educational programs, mostly about underrepresented communities, traveling, rugby, and cultural preservation. I am excited to learn more about how history and culture are applied in the National Park Service which is what drew me to this opportunity. The diversity of paths that could lead to the NPS is immense, which excites me to meet others and hear their goals and interests. My main goal is to break the traditional view of what the NPS looks like and does. This internship will help me succeed in figuring out of to apply my passions to a career.


Sofía Muñoz

Capitol Reef National Park

Hello! My name is Sofía Muñoz and I am from Houston, Texas. I am participating in ACE CRDIP with the National Park Service and I will be serving as an Archaeology Intern at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. I sought out this opportunity because I am interested in cultural resource management and the preservation of diverse voices. I am currently a sophomore anthropology major at Trinity University in San Antonio and hope to continue my studies in graduate school and hopefully work with the National Parks, or really anywhere outdoors! 


Marjorie Anne Portillo 

Boston National Historical Park

Hello! My name is Marjorie Anne Portillo. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, California and currently reside in Orange County, California. I am a graduate student at San Jose State University completing the Master of Library and Information Science program with a primary focus on Archives and Manuscripts. This summer I will be interning as a Curatorial Assistant at Boston National Historical Park and will be assisting them with the annual inventory of their collections! This will be my second season with ACE as a CRDIP member and I am excited to learn so much more about cultural resources from the National Park Service staff! I learned so much from my first summer internship in 2018 and it was honestly one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. (It was actually at this internship that cemented my interest in working in the museum and archives field!) Back then, I was not yet admitted to SJSU’s MLIS program so it will be great to be able to apply all I’ve learned so far (both from my last CRDIP internship and from my current studies) towards my summer internship in Boston! My goal after I graduate next Spring is to work in the field of museum and archives—ideally, I’d like to have the opportunity to help give a voice to marginalized groups of people that have made a great impact on our society but were never given the chance to share their stories. These groups of people–such as women and people of color–deserve to have their stories heard and I would love to play a part in sharing them with the world.


Mahnoor Rahman 

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Hi my name is Mahnoor Rahman and I will be an archaeological intern with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area this summer. I received my bachelors in Anthropology and focused in Archaeology at California State University of San Bernardino. During that time, I pursued a focus in California Archaeology and have developed an interest in that and I hope to pursue it as I further my education. I plan to join California State University of Northridge as a graduate student in Archaeology. I have a passion for archaeological work and hope to build my career further in it.


Jade Ryerson

Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation and Education

Hello! My name is Jade Ryerson. I’m from the southwest suburbs of Chicago, but will soon move to enroll in the Heritage Studies and Public History M.A. program at the University of Minnesota. This summer, I will work as a Resource Assistant with the NPS Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation and Education (CROIE). CROIE is based in Washington, D.C. and I’ve been working remotely with the office since September 2019. When I started as a volunteer Virtual Student Federal Service intern, I contributed to the NPS’s 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration. As a National Council for Preservation Education intern, I’ve continued producing place-based digital resources about women’s history. Because I share CROIE’s commitment to telling the stories of historically excluded and marginalized groups, I’ve very excited to develop more ways for the public to access and use these resources. This summer, I will create “Pathways through American History,” sort of like thematic and actionable finding aids, that will focus on leveraging what we know about the past to advance social change in the present. I’m confident that this project will constructively build on my undergraduate studies in public history at DePaul University, and support my professional goals to work at the intersection of public history and historic preservation.


Maria Smith

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Hi! I’m Maria Smith and I’m so excited to be back with ACE CRDIP and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. I’m originally from Michigan, but I’ve lived in Syracuse, NY for the past 5 years. I’m an anthropology doctoral candidate at Syracuse University. I’m excited to continue developing my public interpretation skills during this internship. After this position, I hope to obtain a career in the National Park Service.


Rachel Steffen 

Haleakalā National Park

Hello! My name is Rachel Steffen. I am from Moloka’i, Hawai’i, however I currently reside in Missoula, Montana where I am a Master’s degree student in Anthropology at the University of Montana. My primary research has been focused in lowland Maya archaeology in Belize, where I have spent my field seasons for the last few years. I am currently finishing up my thesis on Late Terminal Classic Maya Architecture, from Cahal Pech, Belize. I focus on non-monumental architecture that was used by lower elites during the transformation of the Maya divine kingship system. While my background is primarily Maya archaeology, I am also interested in contemporary heritage issues and cultural anthropology. I am very excited to expand my archaeological knowledge and experience by having the opportunity to work as a CRDIP Archaeological Technician for Haleakalā National Park, in Maui, Hawai’i. Working in Hawai’i as an archaeologist has been a goal of mine for many years now. I will be surveying the Denman parcel of park land in southeast Maui and documenting the archaeological resources.


Sophia Triantafyllopoulos 

Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation

Hello! My name is Sophia Triantafyllopoulos and I am from Carmel, Indiana. I’ll be working this summer as a Digital Media Specialist for the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation located in Boston, Massachusetts, but I’ll be working remotely from Cincinnati, Ohio. Our cultural heritage is extremely important to us as a nation and I want to contribute to increasing awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of our historic cultural landscapes, buildings, and structures throughout the United States. I am currently a 3rd year architecture PhD student at the University of Cincinnati and also working towards my historic preservation certificate. My research interests are primarily focused on the built and natural environments of Ottoman Crete during the late 19th century. I received my B.A. in Architecture at the University of Kentucky and my professional Master of Architecture from Kansas State University. I am a first-generation American born to parents from Greece and Iran. I am primarily interested in an academic position, or government / NGO historic preservation position. Our nation has much to offer in terms of cultural, physical, and built landscape and I want to help preserve, record, and research this heritage so that we can benefit from past experiences and work towards a sustainable future. I would like to become more involved in the historic preservation community at the local, state, or national level.


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