Interpretive Ranger Stephanie Cohen
Park Service Profiles
Stephanie Cohen was born in New York, but spent most of her formative years in South Florida. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in psychology, she went on to law school at the Florida International University College of Law and earned her Juris Doctor. Cohen’s work background prior to joining the South Carolina State Park Service was varied as well. She worked for several years at a children’s science museum where she did everything from handling animals with visitors to performing science-based shows. Cohen also worked as the Education Coordinator at a Holocaust museum. She said, “My time at the Holocaust museum not only increased my interest in educating people about the dangers of prejudice, but also enhanced my skill set of educating individuals about difficult and sensitive topics.” These combined experiences lend themselves well to her current role as Interpretive Ranger at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site.
At Rose Hill Plantation, Cohen does a little of everything. “I interact a lot with visitors including giving historic house tours, prepare and implement programs, vacuum and clean the historic house, stock and sell retail for the park gift shop and do lots and lots of research. At times, I even need to grab a chainsaw and buck and limb a downed tree.” We asked Cohen what she finds most satisfying about her job and she said, without hesitation, putting on a successful park program. Cohen said, “All the work, and at times frustration, in pulling together a program is completely worth it when I see participants having a wonderful time, learning new things and making memories.”
Cohen says she would encourage others to become a park ranger. She loves not being stuck behind a desk all day! “A park ranger learns a lot of new skills on the job and they never know what a new day will entail.” And to sum her job up in one phrase? “Expect the unexpected.” We couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Ranger Cohen, for all you do!