COLA Connections Newsletter: Fall 2015

Student Spotlight: Ruth Starr-- Double Majors lead to Prestigious Internship

Ruth Starr is a double major in both Museum Studies and ASL-English Interpretation who spent her summer completing an internship with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

How did you end up getting the internship at the Museum of Modern Art?
Ruth: “It all happened really quickly, honestly. Last spring I interned at the Memorial Art Gallery,  which was way more general, but I wanted more experience learning about museum accessibility, which is how museums work with opening up their programming to those with disabilities. I knew I wanted to be in a place that was really well-established so I could know what it really took.

I think, ultimately, I was hired because I had experience as both a visual artist and as someone who’s worked with people with disabilities.”

What were the highlights and some of your favorite memories from working at MoMa?
Ruth: “A lot of the time, people with disabilities don’t really expect to have a good time when they go to a museum because it’s difficult for them to get the information they need. Being able to change that for people and being able to be a part of their excitement was really great.”

How would you attribute your dual major to the success of your internship?
Ruth: “I don’t know if it was simply having a dual major that was able to land me that internship. It was more about having a knowledge base in multiple areas, which is definitely a benefit. Having a dual major allowed me to hit courses across multiple disciplines, and I think that’s what really gave me the opportunity.

I’m hesitant to say “dual majors made me successful” because it was less about simply having the majors and more about how I was able to combine and synthesize them.”

Would you recommend having a double major? Can it be too stressful at times or is it worth it?
Ruth: “Staying on top of it is what’s really important, so it’s an organizational thing more than anything else. If you feel motivated to do so, do it! At RIT we have such specialized majors so it can be beneficial to have more diverse classes and fields to look into. It’s not that it’s more stressful, it’s just a manner of managing the stress. If you feel like you can do that, you can go for it.” 

What are your plans for the future?
Ruth: “I’m recruiting for the Peace Corps right now, which I’m really excited about. I’m really open to a lot of things!”