United States Holocaust Memorial Museum The Power of Truth: 20 Years


Christen ParzychChristen Parzych is originally from rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, roughly thirty miles outside of Philadelphia. “I was raised in a home that put a strong emphasis on education and creativity,” she says. “My childhood was punctuated with educational trips to the historical sites in Boston and Washington, as well as other cities throughout the country and around the world.”

In 2007, Christen moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University to study English and Political Science, and minor in German. She graduated in 2010 but not before falling in love with the intellectual, artistic and musical pulse of the city. However, her scholastic pursuits and interest in issues of conflict and gender led her to move to Ireland where she earned a master’s degree from Dublin’s Trinity College in International Peace Studies.

“My thesis addressed issues of sexualized violence in conflict, specifically within concentration camps during the Holocaust,” she says. “I also focused my course work on non-violent direct action, international development, gender inequality in education, and memorials and commemoration.”

She applied to be a Museum intern not only because of her thesis topic, but also due to her belief that education is the driving force behind prevention and tolerance. “I long since recognized the Museum's role in fighting injustice and bigotry and was eager to become a part of its mission. It seemed like the natural place for me.”

As an intern, she worked first in Visitor Services, where she was able to interact with the general public on a daily basis. Now as a full-time intern in Academic Publications, she works primarily on the preparation of material for the academic journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “I format and input editorial changes, conduct research, and maintain correspondence with authors who are submitting manuscripts, awaiting publication, or reviewing books.”

Christen adds that working in this role has nurtured her love of reading, writing, and conducting research, while also providing her the opportunity to engage with some of the newest material and trends in the field of Holocaust studies. In fact, she feels lucky to have had the dual experience of working with visitors and supporting academic publishing projects. “I gained knowledge of customer service, crowd control, public speaking, and at times, diplomacy in my role as an intern with Visitor Services,” says Christen, “and strengthened my editing, writing, and research skills.”

Christen’s eye is on a career path that focuses on issues of injustice and intolerance within an organization that addresses historical and civic education. “It is an exciting time to be interested in the pursuit of global acceptance and tolerance,” says Christen, “and I believe the Museum is providing me with a foundation to continue on this path. It is a rewarding and challenging experience, and I am so grateful to be a part of it!”