Thank You,
Intern Class of 2023

This summer, our Foundation welcomed six interns who supported three departments. We appreciate their enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to supporting our mission and are excited to reflect on their accomplishments.

To learn more about Foundation internships, visit or follow us @StatueEllisFdn.

  • Lucy Bernstein interned at the American Family Immigration History Center, helping visitors search our Ellis Island Passenger Database. Lucy’s summer research project examined connections between Ellis Island immigrants and passengers who contributed to sites on the National Register of Historic Places and other cultural institutions. Over the course of the summer, Lucy collected, researched, and mapped over 300 cultural and historical sites in the U.S. to which Ellis Island immigrants made significant contributions. Lucy is a senior at the University of Michigan.


  • Claire Hunt served as our Communications and Social Media intern. In the role, she created material for the Foundation’s blog and social media platforms. Claire’s projects included utilizing findings from last summer’s intern research for content and producing posts for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Her favorite endeavor was creating a social media video featuring the Foundation’s limited-edition Liberty Barbie visiting Liberty and Ellis Islands. Claire is a senior at Barnard College.


  • Retta Karpinski was the Foundation’s Fundraising intern, supporting the Advancement team by writing and prospecting for grants, researching the fundraising strategies of similar institutions, and analyzing multiple years of donor geographic data. Retta enjoyed learning more about the Foundation’s operations, including understanding financial statements, fundraising tactics, and website structure. Retta is a senior at Brown University.


  • Nico Kossakowski interned with the American Family Immigration History Center. In addition to helping visitors explore their  connections to Ellis Island, Nico researched how official language in ship manifests from 1903 to 1927 reflected attitudes towards immigration and how terminology changed over time. Throughout Nico’s studies, he found 45 such variations. Nico is a Junior at Pomona College.


  • Fiona O’Reilly was an American Family Immigration History Center intern. Her research project involved exploring connections between immigration and technology during WWII, focusing on the Manhattan Project and a U.S. military operation called Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists to the U.S. after the war. Fiona studied the immigration stories and contributions of 40 scientists, including Wernher von Braun and Enrico Fermi. She also helped visitors to the History Center investigate their own family histories. Fiona is a sophomore at Wesleyan University.


  • Gemma Oshiro interned with the American Family Immigration History Center. She conducted in-depth archival research using news articles,, and the Ellis Island passenger search database, producing 20+ genealogical reports. Gemma also supported the visitor experience at the History Center by helping visitors explore their family heritage and witness their original arrival records. Gemma is a junior at Fordham University.