Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Manhattanville Alumna Offered NYU Internship in Florence


Lauren “Michelle” Pings ’12 has been awarded a summer internship in Florence, Italy through her Master’s program in Museum Studies at NYU. In her first year of the program, Pings was one of three students chosen for the Florence internship program.

Pings will be starting her professional career in museum studies through her work at Villa La Pietra and the Stibbert Museum, the two sites she will be working at in Florence. In her new role Pings will be giving tours of the art collection, organizing concerts and other cultural events, and cataloguing the art collection filled with the more than 5,000 various pieces from the Renaissance, the Baroque and other art periods. 

“I think spending the summer working as an intern for Villa La Pietra and the Stibbert Museum will be an excellent opportunity for me, personally and professionally,” said Pings. “Not only is living and working in Florence a wonderful and exciting way to spend two months, this position will add variety to the museum experience I already have.”

As a graduate student at NYU, her course work is dedicated to teaching her the practice of creating exhibitions and collections for museums. Much of her introductory course work built on the foundations of her Museum Studies minor at Manhattanville. For example, at Manhattanville Pings produced an exhibit during her final semester so when the project to create an exhibit was assigned to her at NYU, unlike many of her classmates, she had prior experience. 

“My experience at Manhattanville, specifically working with the Art History and Museum Studies departments, helped me to grow as a student; ultimately allowing me the opportunity to attend NYU and apply for the Villa La Pietra Internship,” said Pings. “I look forward to future opportunities that I'll encounter as a result of beginning my career with a Manhattanville education.”

Upon joining the Art History program as a freshman at Manhattanville she proved her commitment by involving herself in the on goings of the department. Very quickly she stood out to Megan Cifarelli, professor of Art History and Pings’ advisor, and it came of no surprise when Pings was accepted to NYU or offered this competitive internship.

“Michelle distinguished herself in her classes with her outstanding attitude and exceptional work ethic, and her love of Art History,” said Cifarelli. “She proved through a capstone Museum Studies course to have a great talent for creating exhibits, her work was so remarkable that the class voted to name her "student curator" for the exhibition. It was apparent to me at that moment that Michelle will have a future as a museum professional.”

Pings will spend two months in Florence over the summer before returning to complete her final year of study at NYU in the Fall. In addition to her graduate studies she continues to be involved in the Manhattanville Community through her position as First Year Experience Assistant.