Press Release for Monday, December 13, 2010

UNF Student Selected for US Holocaust Museum Internship

Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 


UNF Student Selected for US Holocaust Memorial Museum Internship  


Olesya Dudenkova, a junior and Honors student in the Department of History at the University of North Florida, was recently selected to complete an internship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She will join a team working with the maps collection of the museum archive to establish a historical geography of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.  


“Olesya’s internship at the Holocaust Museum is an ideal internship opportunity. Her work there constitutes a significant service to the museum, and at the same time will help her with her own Honors in history research project,” said Dale Clifford, chair of UNF’s Department of History. “Her history professors are happy and proud that she was chosen for one of these highly competitive positions.” 


Dudenkova, a Northside resident, is currently working on an undergraduate Honors thesis titled, “Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Soviet Ukraine.” She will complete her internship at the Holocaust Museum from Jan.10, to Feb. 25, 2011, and then in March, she will study abroad in Germany, where she will continue her archival research and learn German.  


“Olesya is the most outstanding student I have taught, at any level, in 26 years at UNF. She’s exceptional in every way, with natural intelligence and language skills that include Russian and Ukrainian,” said Dr. Theo Prousis, professor of History and Dudenkova’s Honors thesis supervisor. “She is focused, resourceful, intellectually curious, responsible, mature and a humanitarian.” 


The Museum’s internship program provides an environment for qualified candidates to learn about the Holocaust and about Museum operations. Included are hands-on projects and opportunities to work with Holocaust scholars and Museum professionals to learn about their roles, responsibilities and backgrounds. 


At UNF, Dudenkova is a member of the Honors Program and is the recipient of several scholarships, including the UNF Presidential Scholarship. In May 2009, she participated in the Honors Program’s Ghana Project and spent three weeks in West Africa working with a local civic union to conduct a survey to help determine key social issues in the community. She is also the event coordinator for the UNF Chapter of Invisible Children United.  


Last summer, she interned with the United Nations World Food Programme in Bangkok, Thailand, and worked with the head of the programme to help develop strategies for countries in the Asia Bureau.  In the local community, she has volunteered with the Trinity Rescue Mission and the Jaguars Foundation Mentoring Program. 


Dudenkova graduated as valedictorian and student body president from First Coast High School in 2008. While attending high school, she worked with World Relief, teaching English as a Second Language classes to newly-arrived refugees, and tutored children at Sheffield Elementary School. 


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated to presenting the history of the persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi tyranny from 1933 to 1945. The Museum’s mission is to inform Americans about this unprecedented tragedy, to commemorate those who suffered, and to inspire visitors to contemplate the moral implications of their civic responsibilities.