Previous Fallingwater Interns

Hands-on experiences and tasks exploring Fallingwater’s operations, preservation practices and landscape interpretation helped seven summer interns learn how Frank Lloyd Wright used techniques to blend Fallingwater with its natural surroundings, and how the site is stewarded and preserved today. Read below to learn more about each intern and see what projects and insights they accomplished and discovered during their internship opportunities.

Daniel Rothermel

Cedarville University

2023 Fawcett Digital Multimedia Intern

I have gained a new perspective on the current and historical impact of Fallingwater. This summer has been a good chance to learn more about effective communications strategies.

Daniel assisted with video elements for the upcoming launch of the new Fallingwater YouTube channel, created a social media campaign for @VisitFallingwater, and conducted marketing research for the Fallingwater Institute. Working as the multimedia intern at Fallingwater has given him a chance to grow in his professional and personal skills. When he’s not working on a new design, Daniel enjoys backpacking, soccer, running and writing music.

Elizabeth “Emmie” Voss

Jefferson University

2023 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

Removing the large 20’ burning bush was a cathartic experience. Working on invasive removal has been a majority of our work this summer and has opened my eyes to the importance of maintenance and upkeep even after a site is considered ‘done’.

Over the summer, Emmie and her fellow landscape intern, Grazelle Giray, designed a new planting for the rock face adjacent to Fallingwater and undertook various forest restoration projects. Emmie has learned a lot from longtime landscape intern advisor, George Longenecker, about native plant identification as well as invasive plants found at Fallingwater. When she’s not designing a new landscape, Emmie enjoys reading, hiking and being an active member of her campus American Sign Language Club.

Grazelle Giray

University of Maryland

2023 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

Maintaining the site on a daily basis taught me the do’s and don’ts of planting design for future projects. Everyone here has been very helpful and it’s a different experience for me compared to where I grew up.

Grazelle helps with planting and invasive removal at the community learning garden at UMD during the school year, but working at Fallingwater has given her a new appreciation for the multifaceted nature of site-specific plant design. She and fellow intern, Emmie Voss, designed a new installation for the rock wall adjacent to Fallingwater and undertook various forest restoration projects. This is the first project that she has implemented a plant design from plan to soil. She was also excited to have the opportunity this summer to use all the things that she learned so far. In her downtime, Grazelle enjoys working out, listening to music, thrifting, hiking and taking care of her new tadpole.

Alexa Shaulis

Point Park University

2022 Fawcett Digital Multimedia Intern

I have always been fascinated with history and media in general, so getting to create and produce videos and content to show people Fallingwater’s history has been a wonderful experience.

A native of Somerset, Pa., Alexa is working on a bachelor’s degree in broadcast production & media management with a minor in graphic design. In addition to coursework, she has taken on many vital roles at the university’s television station, U-View, and currently is its social media manager. Under the supervision of Carmen Bray and James Carr, Alexa created video outlines showcasing past exhibitions on display in Fallingwater’s Speyer Gallery and photographed and interviewed fellow interns on their internship experiences at Fallingwater. She enjoys creating art, photography, writing and taking care of her plants.

Amelia Parkes

University of Alabama

2022 Judy Cheteyan Collections Intern

Every day, I have witnessed the wealth of local history and connections to the property, and just how important maintaining the collections is to Fallingwater as a whole. It has been incredible to be able to contribute to that.

Amelia is working on her master’s degree in library and information studies, with a focus on archival studies, previously receiving bachelor’s degrees in Russian and French. As part of her internship and with supervision from Rebecca Hagen, Amelia cataloged, organized and prepared for the digitization of previously unprocessed audio-visual archival material in the Fallingwater collection as part of the Historical and Archival Records Care Grants. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time in nature.

Hewan Berhane

Addis Ababa University

2022 Preservation Intern

Having worked in different aspects of heritage conservation, this has enabled me to understand context and history, and discover the potential of heritage as a foundation for a diverse inclusive future.

Hewan Berhane is an architect focused on the conservation of cultural heritage. Having received her master’s degree in urban and architectural heritage conservation from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, she has dedicated her career to nurturing inclusiveness, authentic conservation and adaptive reuse directly contributing to sustainable development. Under the supervision of Scott Perkins, she worked to organize more than 20 years of digitized photographs on the preservation server to establish a system of cataloging the images in a practical way. Her work will help and improve the way Fallingwater’s curatorial and preservation team views restoration projects by date, project category and restoration methodology. She also has a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning from Arba Minch University of Technology.

Macy Dreizler

Cal Poly Pomona

2022 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

Fallingwater is set in an unbelievably beautiful landscape. I feel so lucky and grateful I have had the chance to spend a summer working here.

Along with another landscape intern and with supervision of Mike Kuzemchak, Macy worked on redesigning The Barn at Fallingwater’s hillside garden. She also worked on redesigning the small landscape around the Rose McClendon sculpture, which is located between the main house and the guest house along the staircase. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Macy likes hiking, reading, rug making and being near an ocean.

Themy Frangias

University of Illinois

2022 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

Every day is a new experience here. Learning how to maintain a landscape that I made has been really impactful on my own design and how I go about designing landscapes.

Along with another landscape intern and under the supervision of Mike Kuzemchak, Themy worked on redesigning The Barn at Fallingwater’s hillside garden using native flowers and plants. He also worked on redesigning the garden located near the gatehouse at Fallingwater. In his spare time, Themy enjoys soccer, biking and rock climbing.

Zoe Kleeman

Kenyon College

2022 Robert and Harriet Kirkpatrick Education Intern

As the education intern, I relaunched the public library program and designed an hour-long children’s program around Fallingwater and architecture. I enjoyed the chance to bring this program to the public through presentations at five local libraries.

Zoe received her degree in art history from Kenyon College, where she got the chance to complete her thesis on baroque Italian painting in Rome, Italy. Under the supervision of Ashley Andrykovitch, she helped relaunch Fallingwater’s public library outreach program where she created, organized and taught children’s library programs. She became a Fallingwater educator (also known as a tour guide) so she could obtain first-hand experiences sharing information about Fallingwater. In addition, she worked at the touch table at the Visitor Center where she welcomed guests and organized hands-on activities.

Brian Melchionni

University of Georgia

2021 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

It was interesting that in the quarry there are some cut stone pieces that were shaped for the house left over from the construction of the house.

Along with another landscape intern and under the supervision of Ann Talarek and Mike Kuzemchak, Brian began uncovering the old stone quarry near the house to prepare for a new visitor experience. They studied the historic photos of the quarry and created a planting plan. A native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Brian is an avid rug collector and in his spare time enjoys listening to live music.

Hiromitsu Suetake

Cal Poly Pomona

2021 Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation Landscape Intern

We focused on exposing some of the bedrock. Using that as part of the design conveys the Fallingwater aesthetic such as the living room floor.

Hiromitsu’s project, along with another landscape intern and under the supervision of Ann Talarek and Mike Kuzemchack, was to uncover the old stone quarry near the house to prepare for a new visitor experience. They studied the historic photos of the quarry and created a planting plan. He hails from Nara, Japan, and enjoys hiking and watching movies. Learn more about the landscape interns’ work on the quarry project in this news article for Pittsburgh Earth Day.

Hannah Ciocco

Johns Hopkins University

2021 Virtual Collections Intern

Because of my love for museums, I was extremely excited for this project because Edgar Kaufmann jr. was the director of the industrial design department of the Museum of Modern Art.

No stranger to Fallingwater, this Latrobe native worked for the Museum Store in 2019. She is also the office manager of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University. She is studying museum and digital creation, and of course loves to travel and visit museums. Under the supervision of Rebecca Hagen, she created an index of all extant published writing by Edgar Kaufmann jr., crafted an abstract for each and wrote a proposal on making this material accessible to the public through Linked Open Data.

Delaney Szekely

John Carroll University

2021 Robert and Harriet Kirkpatrick Education Intern

It was really important to become an educator because I learned how guests interacted with the space, and I needed to make educated conclusions about the tour for insights on my major project.

A native of North Huntington, Pa., Delaney has a self-designed major in art history, repatriation and social change, and she is editor-in-chief of “Her Campus” Under the supervision of Ashley Andrykovitch, she extensively researched and created a survey to determine guests’ perception of their tour. She became an educator so she would have first-hand experience. Delaney also helped the Fallingwater education department prepare for virtual summer camp and photograph resident artists and scholars.

Kenneth Painter

Point Park University

2021 Fawcett Digital Multimedia Intern

I’m usually telling people’s stories through the gutters of the American justice and class systems. So, Fallingwater was a different space for me.

Kenneth is working on his master’s degree in documentary, with a focus on wrongfully convicted prisoners as well as outsider artists, musicians and filmmakers. Under the supervision of Jen Kissel, Kenneth created Fallingwater in Focus videos featuring staff members discussing their personal connection to aspects of their work, and created commercials to promote A Closer Look webinars. He also photographed ancillary buildings, landscape and visitors.

Lily Elbaum

Simmons University

2021 Judy Cheteyan Collections Intern

I’m really interested in how museums and other cultural institutions manage their physical and digital collections, so this internship really allowed me to get a full grasp of the archival process.

Lily is studying library and information science with a focus in cultural heritage informatics. Under the supervision of Rebecca Hagen, she catalogued, organized, digitized and re-housed previously unprocessed archival material in the Fallingwater collection. No stranger to higher education, Lily has a master’s degree in medieval studies from the University of Toronto.

Emma Bowers

Stanford University

2021 Preservation Intern

All of those interests combined nicely for the work I did at Fallingwater. It was my dream job.

An architectural design major and art history minor, Emma plans to pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering. Under the supervision of Scott Perkins, she worked with structural engineer John Matteo to help his firm document current Fallingwater preservation projects such as bridge restoration and bolster repair. She researched two elements at Fallingwater that aren’t visible today – the original bridge and a canopy column. Emma enjoys creating structures to test her engineering acumen and spending time with her dog, Jack.