Former MVC intern Charlotte Volpe is passionate about history, so when an opportunity presented itself to work with an upstate organization dedicated to the preservation of local history and architecture, the 2014 Barnard College graduate jumped at the chance.
“My interest was sparked by the preservation work,” the New York City native said of her four-month internship with the fledgling Mohawk Valley Collective. That was during the 2012 fall semester, when the organization — then known as Historic Fort Plain, Inc. — was in its formative stages.
During the nonprofit’s emergent period, the Bronx High School of Science alumna helped pen grant letters, and she clipped and archived news items about the organization, which was established to save a stately, century-old Romanesque church structure in the history-rich Mohawk Valley.
Charlotte, who would like to foster a career as a history teacher, a diplomat, or as a representative in the field of international affairs, has taught English abroad in Spain. Additionally, she spent six months studying film, history and literature as a student in Italy.
While she loves viewing the masterpieces housed in the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Collection, and the Rubin Museum of Art, Charlotte is not afraid to get a little dirt under her fingernails, having once participated in an archaeological dig.
For her, an understanding of the past involves the connection between the material culture and the architecture of a place.
Although she’s no longer actively involved with the Mohawk Valley Collective, Charlotte keeps tabs on the group’s progress and was glad to see it’s expansion into the adjacent community of Canajoharie with the acquisition of the historic West Hill School.