Hudson River Valley Institute Launches Johnson Student Research Fund for Internships

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
Dr. James M. Johnson and Lois S. Johnson. Photo courtesy of the Hudson River Valley Institute

The Hudson River Valley Institute (HRVI) at Marist College has launched a new endowed fund to increase opportunities for Marist students participating in the Institute’s internships. The Dr. James M. and Lois S. Johnson Student Research Fund began public fundraising outreach with an announcement last month. 
Named for HRVI founding Executive Director Colonel (Ret.) James M. Johnson, and his wife Lois, the fund will increase intern access to research materials and provide support for project-related travel, registrations, and admission costs. This new fund will allow students from a variety of economic backgrounds to have equal access to the enrichment potential that comes from a fully realized internship experience with HRVI.
“An HRVI internship is a unique opportunity to complete professional work for a public audience as an undergraduate,” said HRVI Interim Executive Director Andrew Villani '08, MPA '13. “Regardless of major, the focus of projects is on creating a product that contributes to our understanding of the Hudson River Valley in a meaningful way. As a former HRVI intern and student of Jim’s I know firsthand how transformative this internship can be, and I am excited to offer future interns even greater access to resources throughout the region,” he said.

Established in 2002, HRVI is a Center of Excellence at Marist College and is the academic arm of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Its mission is to study and promote the Hudson River Valley and to provide educational resources for students, academics, and the general public. Since its founding, HRVI has hosted nearly 200 Marist College student interns from a variety of disciplines and offers internship opportunities each semester.

Since 2013, Dr. Johnson has served as the Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Chair in Hudson River Valley History at Marist, an endowed academic post in the School of Liberal Arts, which advances the study of the Hudson River Valley's rich history and culture through undergraduate courses, scholarship, and public lectures.

“From our beginning twenty years ago, interns have been the lifeblood of HRVI,” said Johnson. “Their work becomes part of HRVI’s publicly available content through its website and The Hudson River Valley Review, and provides them with valuable experience that prepares them for graduate school and for their careers. Lois and I have each spent many years as educators and as supporters of Hudson River Valley history, and we are deeply honored to have an initiative that combines both of those passions and bears our names,” he said.

To learn more about the Johnson Student Research Fund and to make a gift, visit

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