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

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 with the community.                                    

- ToniAnn D. Trevino, 2014 THC Diversity Intern

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) is a program 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 cultural 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 ethnic 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.

  • Click here to read about our 2016 interns
  • Read Lara Fields' interview about her 2015 internship in the THC's Medallion newsletter, page 12
  • Click HERE for a printable flyer to post in your school or appropriate organization


  • 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
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 system (or comparable GPA)
  • Preference may be given to candidates from underrepresented cultural, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Prior recipients are ineligible

To apply for the 2017 Diversity Internship:


1) Determine your top 3 divisions/areas of interest from this list.

2) Applications open January 2nd, 2017. 

3) Request two Letters of Reference. Access your explanatory letter to give to references HERE. 

Application, official transcripts, and Letters of Reference are due and must be postmarked by March 17, 2017. Applications received after Midnight CST on March 17th will not be accepted. Applications can be submitted online. Send official transcripts and Letters of Reference to Diversity Internship Program, Texas Historical Commission, PO Box 12276, Austin, Texas 78711.

If selected, interviews for prospective Preservation Scholars will be held between April 17th and April 21st, 2017.