Tag Archive for internships

Bisikalo ’17 Completes Writing Internship in Prague at Media Organization

Anna Bisikalo ’17

Anna Bisikalo ’17

Davenport Study Grant recipient Anna Bisikalo ’17, a Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies major, recently completed a six-week internship at Transitions Online (TOL), a nonprofit media organization based in Prague, Czech Republic. During her internship, Bisikalo published a series of articles, including her most recent article, “Art and Politics Do Mix.”

Bisikalo’s internship was five days a week at the TOL office.

“The office was English-speaking, but I did use my Ukrainian and Russian language skills for the articles I wrote,” she explained. “I wrote daily articles about new stories from the region, often focusing on ones that are not well covered by mainstream English language media. I also wrote several articles on my own initiative, including one about Pussy Riot and their legacy and continued activism after being released from jail and a translation of a Russian article examining the uses of a Russian law on ‘hooliganism.’”

Wesleyan Group Helps Discover First Philistine Cemetery

Assistant professor Kate Birney (pictured in foreground wearing a blue shirt and tan hat) and Joy Feinberg '19 (pictured in back with a long-sleeve shirt) work to unearth skeletons and artifacts buried in a Philistine cemetery.

Assistant professor Kate Birney (pictured in foreground wearing a blue shirt and tan hat) and Joy Feinberg ’19 (pictured in back with a long-sleeve shirt) work to unearth skeletons and artifacts buried in a Philistine cemetery.

Two Wesleyan students, one recent alumna and a faculty member contributed to a groundbreaking discovery of the first Philistine cemetery, a crowning achievement of more than 30 years of excavation in Ashkelon, Israel. Archaeologists and scholars have long searched for the origin of the Philistines, and the discovery of the cemetery is poised to offer the key to this mystery. Findings from the cemetery, dated to the 11th–8th centuries BCE, may well support the claim – long inferred and recorded in the Bible – that the Philistines were migrants to the shores of ancient Israel who arrived from lands to the West around the 12th century BCE.

Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of art history, is the assistant director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon and has been bringing Wesleyan students to the site since 2011 to participate in the research and excavation. The 3,000-year-old site, located in the southern district of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, offers clues to the Philistines’ way of life. Little is known about their origins.

Sarah McCully '16 has worked for the Leon Levy Expedition in Ashkelon for three years.

Sarah McCully ’16 has worked for the Leon Levy Expedition in Ashkelon for three years.

This summer, Joy Feinberg ’19, Jaimie Marvin ’19 and Sarah McCully ’16 worked on the Philistine cemetery. McCully ’16, who came to Ashkelon with Birney years ago, is now a staff member for the Leon Levy Expedition. In addition, Sam Ingbar ’16, Hannah Thompson ’17, Maria Ma ’17 and Sabrina Rueber ’18 are also in Ashkelon this summer working on the excavation of a 7th century merchants’ neighborhood.

Students Catalog Roman Gems during Museum Internship

Margot Metz '18 holds a tiny intaglio gem from the early Roman Empire that appears to be made of carnelian or sard, and depicts an athlete holding a strigil (a tool for scraping oil and sweat from the skin during exercise). Metz, Maria Ma '17 and Emma Graham '19 spent four weeks this summer cataloging about 200 gems during an internship at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. 

Margot Metz ’18 examines a tiny intaglio gem from the early Roman Empire that appears to be made of carnelian or sard, and depicts an athlete holding a strigil (a tool for scraping oil and sweat from the skin during exercise). Metz, Maria Ma ’17 and Emma Graham ’19 spent four weeks this summer cataloging about 200 gems during an internship at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. An intaglio is made by grinding material below the surface of the gem, leaving an inverse image.

During the Roman Empire, the art of gem carving or intaglio provided a way to characterize one’s self, family or acquaintances.

This summer, three Wesleyan students with an interest in classical studies worked with a Roman intaglio collection previously owned by J. Pierpont Morgan (father of J.P. Morgan) at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

As interns, Maria Ma ’17, Margot Metz ’18, and Emma Graham ’19 collaborated on documenting and cataloging about 200 intaglio gems, which made the collection accessible to a wider audience of scholars and museum visitors. The gems were hidden from public view for decades.

The student researchers determined this Roman intaglio (at right) pictured Ajax carrying Achilles over his shoulder. An arrow is sticking out from the top of Achilles' foot. By using The Handbook of Engraved Gems by C. W. King, the students were able to find an illustration of a similar gem. "This is how we came to the conclusion that it is Ajax carrying Achilles," Margot Metz said. 

The student researchers determined this Roman intaglio (at right) pictured Ajax carrying Achilles over his shoulder. An arrow is sticking out from the top of Achilles’ foot. By using The Handbook of Engraved Gems by C. W. King, the students were able to find an illustration of a similar gem. “This is how we came to the conclusion that it is Ajax carrying Achilles,” Margot Metz said.

“It’s so exciting that our students had the opportunity to work in the local community and to employ what they know about Greek and Roman antiquity in a partnership with a wonderful museum like the Wadsworth Atheneum,” said Lauren Caldwell, associate professor of classical studies.

Graham, a College of Letters major, felt the internship would perfectly combined her two intellectual passions: classics and art history.

“I have always been interested in how these two areas of study overlap and influence each other,” Graham said. “Also, I have always been a great lover of museums and I was interested in what goes on behind the scenes at a museum.”

The students would frequent the museum three days a week for about six hours a day. During their time, they documented the gems’ measurements, material and imagery.

“The subject matter of the gem determined how long we spent on each one. For example, we were able to identify animals very quickly but other gems, such as badly weathered gems or gems with more complex imagery, took more much time,” Graham said.

In order to determine the symbolic meaning of each gem, the students worked together and consulted intaglio collections online owned by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and The British Museum, as well as a huge collection of imprints of intaglio gems housed at Cornell University.

“We were able to personally work with every gem in the collection, which was truly an amazing experience,” Graham said.

Metz was interested in the internship because she wanted to explore another area of ancient civilization. “It was fascinating being able to apply what I had learned in the classroom at Wesleyan in a practical manner at the museum. We were able to identify generic figures as gods and goddesses, such as Neptune and Ceres, by using the objects they were pictured with in gems and comparing them to stories in mythology,” she said. 

The internship, which concluded June 23, was jointly supervised and organized by Wesleyan faculty and Atheneum staff including Caldwell; Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center; Linda Roth, the Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts; and Johanna Miller, school and teacher programs specialist at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Watson Squire Fund in the Department of Classical Studies supported the students’ room and board expenses. Students applied and interviewed for the internship through the Atheneum.

“The interns did a great job and their work will be entered into our database and made available to the public through our website,” Roth said. “There already is a small selection on view now in a gallery devoted to Art and Curiosity Cabinets.”

Students Receive Patricelli Center Grants, Priebatsch Summer Internship

This month, five Wesleyan students received Summer Experience Grants, supported by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The honor comes with a $4,000 stipend to supplement costs associated with a summer internship experience.

The grants are available for Wesleyan sophomores and juniors currently receiving need-based financial aid who plan to do socially innovative or socially responsible work during summer break.

The recipients include Theodora Messalas ’15, Dara Mysliwiec ’16, Keren Reichler ’16, Geneva Jonathan ’15 and Jared Geilich ’15. In addition, film major Aaron Kalischer-Coggins ’15 received a Priebatsch Internship Grant. All grantees report on their experiences on the Patricelli Center’s ENGAGE blog.

Theodora Messalas

Theodora Messalas ’15

Sociology major Theodora Messalas is working with a food pantry, soup kitchen and women’s homeless shelter called Crossroads Community Services in New York City, exploring ways to implement successful social services in which the needs and preferences of the end-users are paramount.

“I am interested in finding out exactly how Crossroads is run in the hopes of one day spearheading my own similar organization,” Messalas said. “I want to see firsthand how they have translated the desire to provide food and shelter to underserved New Yorkers into a running operation that can actually get these services to people. I want to see all their successes, and I want to get to know the roadblocks that they meet.”

Biology and earth and environmental studies major Dara Mysliwiec is addressing food sovereignty in Lamas, Peru, using sustainable – and previously lost – indigenous farming techniques

Price Appointed Coordinator of Internships

Melanye Price.

Melanye Price.

Melanye Price, adjunct associate professor of government, has been appointed to coordinator of internships for the Center for the Study of Public Life.  This half-time position will be focused on developing new internship opportunities for Wesleyan undergraduates.

Housed within the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the appointment complements Price’s continued teaching and scholarly work in the Department of Government. She assumed this new role in January.

Price will be working with members of the Career Resource Center to develop the program, and to coordinate with the Educational Policy Committee and academic departments. She also will be consulting with peer institutions and potential internship sponsors.

The availability of internships is very important to many Wesleyan students, who view them as the perfect opportunity to apply their education to specific projects of interest. At the same time, host organizations are ever more keenly interested in providing an internship experience that is fully integrated into the student’s academic work. In her new role, Price will seek additional internship opportunities for Wesleyan students, work with hosts and faculty colleagues to ensure that these placements are consistent with Wesleyan’s educational mission and standards, and collaborate with colleagues in the Career Resource Center to ensure that students are aware of opportunities and encouraged to pursue them when appropriate for their academic and career goals.

Students interested in contacting Melanye Price may do so via e-mail at mprice@wesleyan.edu. Her office is located in Room 117 in the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

Valentino ’10 Teaches High-Potential, Low-Income Students

Lauren Valentino '10 taught French to rising 9th graders as part of the Breakthrough Collaborative in Denver, Colo.

Lauren Valentino '10 taught French to rising 9th graders as part of the Breakthrough Collaborative in Denver, Colo.

For 12 weeks last summer, Lauren Valentino ’10 taught underprivileged rising 9th graders how to speak French and read Hamlet – all while most of her students were still learning English as a second language.

Valentino was in Denver, Colo., working with residents who had recently moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Kenya, Mexico and Columbia, to name a few.

“One student was a refugee from the Ivory Coast and had no formal schooling until three years ago,” says Valentino, a sociology and French major. “He was one of my brightest kids.”

Valentino keeps in touch with Teo, pictured, through e-mail. Teo, a student from Mexico, wants to study sports medicine.

Valentino keeps in touch with Teo, pictured, through e-mail. Teo, a student from Mexico, wants to study sports medicine.

As a student-teacher working at the Breakthrough Collaborative location in Denver, Valentino, who is from Charlotte, N.C., had the opportunity to work with high-potential, low-income middle school students. More than 80 percent of Breakthrough student alumni are accepted to college preparatory programs.

Valentino applied for the highly selective student-teaching internship while studying abroad in France during the spring 2009 semester. From May 31 through mid-August, she worked 11-hour days, excluding time devoted to lesson planning.

The teachers also shared lunch and playtime with their students.

“Most of the students will be the first person in their family to go to college,” says Valentino, who also mentors a student through the North End Action Team. “They value education. They have perspectives about education that most public school children don’t have.”

Christine Capeless, executive director of Breakthrough Denver, says more than 135 applicants applied teaching spots last fall. Of those, 65 were interviewed. Valentino was one of only 15 students to be selected as a Breakthrough teacher.

Valentino taught Omar, who is from Kenya and wants to return there after his education to be a nurse.

Valentino taught Omar, who is from Kenya and wants to return there after his education to be a nurse.

“Our competition is highly competitive,” Capeless says. “The ideal teacher at Breakthrough comes from an academically rigorous high school or college, is passionate and dedicated to education has an understanding of urban youth and education and would like to pursue a career in education. We really evaluate the entire applicant as match to our program, students and community. ”

In addition to teaching the rigorous summer sessions, Valentino and fellow teachers were expected act as liaisons between the school and students. They made weekly calls to parents to inform them about their child’s progress.

“It was very challenging to make these calls, because many of the parents didn’t speak English,” Valentino says. “Fortunately some of the teachers spoke other languages, so I could call parents and speak French to them, and other teachers could call and speak Spanish.”

Valentino helped set-up an informational guide about the different types of colleges, and ran a seminar on college and career planning. She’d play games with the students, and hosted a “Tour de France” race for the French class. Winners were awarded yellow t-shirts adorned with puff-paint.

“My students were so fun to teach. It was effortless because they loved learning so much,” Valentino says. “Especially with French, they were like sponges. I’d walk down the hall and hear a couple students reciting the months in French. They loved learning, and we ran the program with the intention that learning is fun and it’s OK to be smart.”

Valentino taught Abdul, a student who immigrated to thehe is a student who immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan one year ago.

Valentino taught Abdul, a student who emmigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan one year ago.

She also had the opportunity to connect with Wesleyan alumnus Dave Bryson ’99, who is a teacher network specialist at the Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco. Bryson supports the National Program Team in recruiting, training, and building an alumni network of Breakthrough Teachers.

Valentino, who is writing her senior thesis on internships, is applying for a 2010-11 English Teaching Assistantship through the French and U.S. governments. Afterwards, she plans on attending graduate school and becoming a sociology professor – at Wesleyan.

“Breakthrough allowed me to have a classroom teaching experience while interacting with a population that I wouldn’t have contact with otherwise,” Valentino says. “I think about my students every day. They have changed my life and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to hopefully change theirs.”

Draper ’12 Interns at Cannes Film Festival

Nathaniel Draper '12 and his friend Matt Firpo (NYU '12) stand in front of Festival de Cannes emblem in the Grand Lumiere Theater. Draper was an intern at the Festival de Cannes.

Nathaniel Draper '12 and his friend Matt Firpo (NYU '12) stand in front of Festival de Cannes emblem in the Grand Lumiere Theater. Draper was an intern at the Cannes Film Festival in southern France.

For 15 days, Nathaniel Draper ’12 mingled with top filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival while participating in educational workshops, seminars, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions and screenings. He also happened to pick up an award for a film of his own while he was there.

As a student intern at the 62nd annual Cannes Film Festival, held May 13-24 in southern France, Draper had a hands-on opportunity to explore the film industry through the prism of perhaps it most prestigious international event.

“It was, to put it lightly, a surreal experience,” Draper recalls. “I was able to meet iconic directors such as Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola, and found myself interacting with actors and directors such as Inglorious Basterds’ Eli Roth.”

Draper applied for the internship though the American Pavilion Student Filmmaker Program at Cannes, which is the festival’s center for American film and filmmakers.

Draper spent a week with avant garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas in Paris.

Draper spent a week with avant garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas in Paris.

The internship program included a three-day pre-Festival orientation and tour of Cannes, including workshops and seminars on the business of filmmaking; nightly festival premiers; roundtable discussions with industry professionals; and an opportunity to network with industry insiders and observe the business of filmmaking firsthand.

“I was granted full festival accreditation–basically a carte blanche to go anywhere in the festival, which allowed me to interact with filmmakers, explore the Cannes film market, and essentially network with the incredibly array of industry professionals that were there,” Draper says. “I took part in panel discussions ranging from screenwriters to the screen actors guild to premier directors.”

Senior Writes for 2 Film Publications

Matt Connolly '09

Matt Connolly '09

Matt Connolly '09 is the author of several film reviews , published in Reverse Shot, a quarterly, independently published film journal. Last winter, Connolly sent writing samples to the Reverse Shot editors and he was offered a contributing writer position. Since, he has written reviews on the films Boy A, The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian, Felon, The Incredible Hulk, Frozen River, and others online here.

Connolly also had the opportunity to attend press screenings for select films and have his reviews published the day a film is released.

“As film criticism is ultimately a field I want to pursue, its been a truly amazing experience,” he says. “I’ve even had the privilege of having my articles looked at by the editor Michael Koresky, who has offered wonderful advice on both writing and film.”

In addition, Connolly had the opportunity to intern with American Theatre Commuications Group this summer, where he wrote articles for American Theatre magazine on notable upcoming productions throughout the country for the September and October 2008 editions.

“Interning at American Theatre was a dream, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in arts journalism,” he says. “The magazine allowed me to interview playwrights, actors, directors and even makeup artists.”

Student Interns with NY Magazine, Today Show

Jonna Humphries

Jonna Humphries

Two articles written by Jonna Humphries '10 appeared in New York Magazine recently. Humpries worked as an intern for the magazine as a member of their public relations department during the summer.

She wrote a story about  Christian Siriano, a fashion designer and Project Runway winner; and another featuring Nigel Barker, a fashion photographer and judge from America’s Next Top Model who hosted a photography exhibition on Canadian seal hunting.