Smithsonian Institution Website

Digitization Program Office

A Showcase for Digitization Projects at the Smithsonian

Meet our summer interns!

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:11 -- DattoriaM

Bio: Xiyue Yang

My name is Xiyue- I know you’re trying to pronounce it. It’s ok if you can’t. I am a sophomore at Lycoming College majoring in Commercial Design and Photography. I was born in China and am studying abroad. I love travel and I’m interested in anything new. That is why discovering a new city and learning new skills are exciting to me. I am also a huge fan of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and anything fantasy related. Cooking and playing volleyball are big parts of my life - even though I’m not an expert on either of them. I’m currently trying to be a healthy person, but I keep failing all the time!.


How did you find out about our office and what interested you to apply?

I found about this internship through my college. Lycoming College has a partnership with the Smithsonian where students apply to come here and the Smithsonian places us in appropriate offices. After I was accepted, I did some searching online through the Office of Fellowships and Interships. I liked this office because it relates to my major. Working in such a technical environment offered a chance to use the design skills that I’ve learned in college plus the opportunity to learn new things.


What do you like most about working here?

The work environment at the DPO is very productive and creative! The Smithsonian in general has huge benefits for interns and opportunities to explore the museums and network with other interns. All of the museums’ many resources are open to us! The physical location is great because you’re right in the middle of the city, immersed in a new environment. The chance to work in a professional environment has taught me a lot about designing with specific requirements and a purpose in mind. Considering user experience was a new challenge for me.


What advice do you have for future interns?

Maintain an open heart and don’t hesitate to ask questions because that is what you’re here for.


Any fun stories of your time in the office?

We had a tour of the photography studio at the National Museum of Natural History, lead by staff photographer Kate Sherwood. It was great to learn about how she uses technical photography skills in a professional museum environment. Touring the collections space in a back of the museum was a really eye-opening experience; we all know that what is on display is only 1% of the Smithsonian's collection. Seeing the magnitude of the other 99% in storage was impressive. The opportunity to shadow a professional photographer and chat about the field was special and will guide me in my future career choices.


Bio: Taylor Houlihan

I was born in Fujian, China and raised in sunny Miami, Florida. I recently graduated from the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with my BFA in Art and Design. I have also participated in a sustainability project Gabon, Africa and studied Chinese film and economics in Beijing, China. My hobbies include gymnastics, reading sci fi novels, and watercoloring. My favorite sounds include 3D printers and CNC mills running correctly. And my favorite smell is blooming peonies in the Nichols Arboretum.


How did you find out about our office and what interested you to apply?

A few months ago I was scrolling through instagram and I found @smithsonian3d through the Smithsonian’s main instagram. The post that caught my eye was the intricate Ancient Chinese bronze vessel from Freer Sackler. I thought the work that their office was doing was amazing and wanted to learn more about their digital fabrication processes. In order to get their attention, I posted a picture of a project I made recently and tagged them in my post -- and it worked!


What do you like most about working here?

I am excited by the access to cutting edge technology and working alongside talented artists and designers. I also enjoy being behind-the-scenes, witnessing the process of preserving and disseminating knowledge through mass digitization.


What advice do you have for future interns?

It is so important to document and share your work online. Social media can be a means to find organizations and projects that you admire.


Any fun stories of your time in the office?

Kate from the The Natural History Museum’s Photography and Media Department gave us a tour of their photography studio. We got to see the process behind producing high quality images of specimens. When we were visiting, they were photographing Diatryma gigantea (giant flightless bird) from the Deep Time exhibition. The large room also contained original specimens such as dinosaur and mammoth skulls. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I worked under Dr. Bill Sanders at the vertebrate fossil preparation lab, so I was intrigued by the preparation process the Smithsonian utilizes.


If you’re interested in interning with us in the future, please apply through SOLAA and specify the Office of Chief Information Officer, Digitization Program Office. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on social media or email



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