Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.
  • Preservation intern Cynthia BrzostowskiPreservation intern Cynthia Brzostowski
  • Norris White, preservation fellow, in the fieldNorris White, preservation fellow, in the field
  • Diversity interns gain hands on experienceDiversity interns gain hands on experience
  • Sehila Casper in the field at the Zion Cemetery in Hilton Head Island, SCSehila Casper in the field at the Zion Cemetery in Hilton Head Island, SC
  • 2013 THC Diversity Interns, Sehila Casper and Joel Zapata2013 THC Diversity Interns, Sehila Casper and Joel Zapata

The THC Preservation Scholars Program

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) seeks to increase the diversity of professionals working in historic preservation, acknowledge the variety of cultures that enrich Texas’ heritage, and engage a wider range of organizations and communities in supporting efforts to protect and preserve the history of our state. 

The Preservation Scholars Program (previously known as the THC Diversity Internship) was created to build interest in and awareness of historic preservation, specifically among students from underrepresented cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Begun in 2007 by THC Commissioners and Friends of the THC board members, this initiative reaches out to higher-ed students from or studying in Texas to encourage their interest in pursuing fields of study in history, preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, archeology, downtown revitalization and heritage tourism; to participate in the full and authentic telling of Texas history; and to learn and understand the impact preservation programs can have on a community's economic development. Students are offered paid internships over the summer, and participate in active projects within THC that offer them a view into the profession of historic preservation. 

Program Goals

  • Increase the representation of all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups in historic preservation careers
  • Increase the number of historic and cultural resources associated with the state’s diverse history that are identified, documented, preserved and interpreted
  • Increase the number of diverse organizations and communities involved in the historic preservation field and served by public and private preservation programs

Preservation Scholars complete a rotation amongst all divisions headquartered in Austin and then complete a special project in a division of their choice. The interns will receive a stipend of $5,000 for an eight-week internship provided by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. They work under the supervision of the THC, at its headquarters in Austin and/or “in the field” with its historic sites, an associated preservation organization such as a Main Street program, a heritage tourism program, a history museum or a historical association. Brief progress reports are required, both during the employment period and at the conclusion of the student’s internship. 

Working with THC staff and programs expose the interns to the various and exciting vocational opportunities in the field of historic preservation, with the goal of encouraging more students from underrepresented cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups to pursue careers in this field upon graduation. In return, the THC and its partner organizations have the opportunity to meet promising students who might choose to work in this field.

Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is building two endowments, both of which will fund one or more internship stipends. The Matthew Honer and Larutha Odom Clay Preservation Scholars Endowment was created in 2015 in memory of Larutha M. Odom Clay, and provides a stipend to a Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) student intern. The second endowment, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission Preservation Scholars Endowment, was created by the organization’s Board of Trustees.


  • U.S. Citizens
  • College students who have completed 50 or more credit hours upon start of internship
  • Attending a college or university in Texas, or a Texas resident attending school out-of-state
  • Recent graduates or college seniors applied to or accepted into a graduate program are eligible (proof of application or acceptance to a graduate program will be required)
  • Grade Point Averate (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 syste, (or comparable GPA)
  • Prior recipients are ineligible



Read about past Preservation Scholars Program interns

View and download a printable flyer to post in your school or appropriate orgnization

An Evening at the Crystal Ballroom, June 22, 2017 - Underwriters and Sponsors


"It was wonderful to work in a welcoming environment where staff members were willing to share their immense knowledge and encourage my own development as a historian. This internship was immensely important to my academic and professional development, which made me realize that serving the Texas public is central to my future work after graduate school. I highly appreciate that the Texas Historical Commission values the work of upcoming scholars and encourages the next generation of historians to be involved in the community."
​-ToniAnn D. Trevino, 2014 Preservation Scholars Program Intern