working with U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum center
Michael Fauser, a graduate student in Shippensburg
University’s applied history program, is serving a summer graduate resident
assistantship with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).
According to information from the USHMM website, the
program’s objective is to acquaint
promising master’s-level students with Holocaust studies by encouraging
participation in a broad range of scholarly and publicly available educational
programs USHMM offers during the summer.
Fauser, one of
just four assistants selected from 60 applicants, said the center is dedicated to creating new scholarship on the Holocaust internally and
funding fellowships and scholars-in-residence for outside researchers.
Fauser, the position gives students considering pursuing a doctorate in
Holocaust or related studies an opportunity to immerse themselves in the
“While I have a departmental project that I am expected to complete
by August, they encourage me to dedicate at least two days a week to my own
interests and research. In addition I have a mentor at the center who guides my
progress, provides supplemental readings based on my research topic and
connects me with people who might be useful for my career goals.”
He said the
program also includes weekly seminars, discussions and presentations. “Overall
their goal is to foster a nurturing environment for budding academics,” he
said. “Everyone’s door is always open and the atmosphere is team oriented.”
He said his
project is to research the state of Holocaust education in universities. “The
aim is to see if Holocaust specific/related courses are increasing, decreasing
or remaining static. Based on the results we can implement certain programs to
help bolster these programs.”
It’s not the
first prestigious program for which Fauser was selected. During the break
between the Fall and Spring semesters, he participated in the Lipper
Internship Program Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the
Holocaust in Lower Manhattan. He was one of 16 interns who learned how to teach
20th Century Jewish history and the Holocaust to young people.
During his time in New York, he studied the museum’s
exhibitions, heard testimony from Holocaust survivors and attended seminars led
by the museum’s scholars. He then visited high school classrooms in the greater
Philadelphia during the Spring semester to discuss the museum’s offerings and
pave the way for the young learners to visit the museum in New York.