A Postcard From: Eunsoo Jang ’20

I’m a digital curriculum intern working under LITS. Throughout this internship, my partner and I have been taking on three projects. One of them is helping one of the economics professors with making Moodle lessons. From this project, we’ve been learning a lot about what goes on in the back end of Moodle. It’s very interesting because as BMC students, we also use Moodle, but we never see the back end of Moodle. I probably would not have been able to have the experience of that if it weren’t for this project. Also, through this project, I learned to do a lot about troubleshooting because everything was very new to me.

The next project that I’m working on involves the BMC library scavenger hunt. Because there was a lot of problems with accessibility in the previous one, our project was to make an augmented reality scavenger hunt. So we are using software called Aris to help us make this AR scavenger hunt. In this game, we mostly use QR codes. People who have iOS devices can use their own, but otherwise will have to borrow one of the iPods from the library. They will use the iOS device to download the app, Aris, and will go around the library to complete the missions in the game. Also there will be iBeacons that will help them learn information about each floor in the library. While we were making this game, we were deciding which colored paper we would use to put the QR codes. So we put different colored paper in the office where I work with interns, and they voted for what they liked. And the last two candidates were pink and yellow. Below is a picture that shows this.

QR Codes for Scavenger Hunt

Learn more about the scavenger hunt for BMC libraries.

The third project that I’m working on is making interactive content with the topic of digital competencies. The BMC digital competencies are very useful tools for BMC students, but many students don’t know about it. I took a lot of time learning the digital competencies myself and started trying out different ways to make content about digital competencies that could be active and fun. The one my partner and I decided on doing was making an interactive video. The interactive video is about learning all the digital competencies and reflecting on what kind of skills the person has gained or would like to gain in the future. We used a website called Biteable which we used for putting in animations for the video. Learn more about digital competencies.

This internship reminded me of my BMC academic semesters because there was a lot of multitasking to do. I’ve learned so much about communication and reflective practice and am still learning many more things as a digital curriculum intern. I am hoping that this experience would not only help me with my future after graduation, but during my remaining BMC years.

A Postcard From: Gwen Vandivere ’20

Name: Gwen Vandivere
Class Year: 2020
Major: Philosophy
Hometown: Lewisburg 

Internship Placement: Springboard Collaborative
Job Title: Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship? 

Springboard is a nonprofit focused on closing the literacy gap in American schools. They engage students, teachers, and families in a five-week summer program and an afterschool program during the school year. My internship allowed me to explore different roles in the office such as; HR, sales, operations management, and surveys and data collection. I also got to work with and observe teachers at participating schools while they worked with their scholars during the summer programing.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I wanted to work with children but also have the opportunity to build skills in an office environment.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part about this internship was being exposed to the conditions in various Philadelphia schools and getting to make connections with students as they learned to read.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

The hardest part about the internship was fighting boredom; there were days when I had nothing to do for hours. In the beginning it was hard to create things for myself because I was unfamiliar with the things that needed to be done.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

No, not completely. I knew it would be a new experience for me and I would come out of It having learned and grown. But I did not expect it to be both extremely boring some days and very motivating others. I also thought I’d be doing less important things, but I had a big role in the summer process.

A Postcard From: Aubrey Donisch ’20

Name: Aubrey Donisch
Class Year: 2020
Major: Dance and Sociology
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

Internship Placement: Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts
Job Title: Summer Intern and Assistant Teacher
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.

Hello hello from the hot, high desert!

It’s been a great five weeks so far at Keshet (a seemingly popular name for many internship opportunities for BMC students this summer!)—a non-profit center for dance and the arts. Keshet works with the Albuquerque community in several different ways: As a professional company, they employ professional dance artists for performance opportunities, as a studio they work with all ages and abilities, and as educators, they teach movement curriculums in Albuquerque’s juvenile justice facilities.

I have been working on research projects involving the M3 curriculum as well as organizing and compiling national, state, and county juvenile justice data. I have also been working on outreach projects for an Arts and Juvenile Justice Convening happening in August and hosted by Keshet.

In addition to this office work, I have been able to do something that I really love: teach dance.

Keshet is in Summer Camp mode right at the moment, and I’ve taught a modern dance to 14 6- through 8-year-olds. Together, we created a piece that was performed at the end of their camp week. I was told by one of the students that it was “the hardest piece they had to do all week,” so I’m glad I was able to give them a challenge. There was much jumping, leaping, rolling, negative space statues, and imagery of monkeys picking fruit—it was really fun to make.

I was also able to teach some All Abilities/Adaptive dance classes in Farmington, N.M. I went on a three-hour excursion through the mountains with another Keshet teacher, and the mix of dance and incredible scenery really made the weekend special.

I ended up at Keshet through a series of serendipitous events, but mainly because I love dance and arts communities that are truly inclusive and active in community-building and social justice. Keshet’s M3 program, working in juvenile justice facilities and their practice of dance for all abilities shows, to me, the true potential and impact of the arts. Keshet is also very similar to the organization I danced with in Minneapolis from the age of eight, Young Dance, and so it’s very interesting for me to be able to compare and contrast, to learn and to give input.

The biggest challenge:

The totally new location (where’s the water??? I mean, yes the Rio Grande is here and the Sandia Mountains are gorgeous but … I miss lakes, my friends). I’ve never been to Albuquerque, so the elevation, culture, weather, and arts scene adjustment has been pretty … a lot. Not to mention being on my own. It is definitely growing on me. And I would not change anything because being here is just as much a part of my internship with Keshet as being in the office and the studio.

I am learning so much about communication—I am actively trying to up my game in the asking questions department, in feeling confident teaching or instructing, even in having everyday conversations with the staff. Because I’m pushing myself in this way, I’m meeting so many people, creating my own little system of support in this new place.

I love watching the dancers make movement transformations, make discoveries about dance and their bodies and their peers while moving. I’m learning how to combine my interests, passions, and skills. Dance can be a foundation for so many aspects of education and development, which I love and can’t wait to explore more of.

It’s a hard summer, but a good summer!

A Postcard From: Alexis Giron ’20

Sadie Nash Leadership Project group picture

This diverse group of young, powerful women and trans/gender non-conforming folks have provided so much for me this summer. Entering Sadie Nash Leadership Project, I was not sure what to expect. This is the first time that Sadie Nash uses an intern at the Newark, N.J., site, so I was nervous of being seen as small or an unimportant part of the team or even trying to fit in. Let me tell you, that is DEFINITELY NOT the case! Sadie Nash reminds me of my small Bryn Mawr community. We cover pronouns, diversity, empowerment, etc. I wonder where I’ve heard that before?

The staff have been nothing but wonderful to me. Often times, they thank me and make me feel like one of the most valuable parts of our day-to-day operations. Whether it’s fixing the printer, creating spreadsheets, scanning documents or posting flyers of our events, the staff makes me feel like my work is the best product it can be, because I have worked hard to create these products.

Now, besides all the boring stuff, I have gotten the opportunity to connect with Nashers in a very beautiful way. Most of the time, they have been helping me! Hyping up my style and hair-dos, my creativity, and most commonly, my eyebrows, these Nashers make me feel so confident in myself. One Nasher continuously checks in with me throughout the day, once telling me they “hope to grow up and be like me” (although they are only a couple years younger than me). This Nasher is also a Nasher that I gave the tour to, that helped me learn about this internship, so we go a bit back. Additionally, the deans are so loving and caring. I’ve actually been able to think of them as my friends, rather than just my coworkers.

This place is beautiful and I’m beginning to really fall in love with it.

A Postcard From: Cara Navarro ’20

Name: Cara Navarro
Class Year: 2020
Major: Growth and Structure of Cities
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
Internship Placement: Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Job Title: Immigrant Leadership Outreach Specialist
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

I’m interning at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, a nonprofit that helps immigrants integrate economically and socially into the Philadelphia area. Specifically, I am working with the Immigrant Leadership Institute (ILI): a five-month program that trains immigrants to become civic leaders within their communities. Participants learn about common barriers to integration that immigrants face, and then work in teams to plan events that address these barriers. Along the way, they learn skills that are useful in any context, such as leadership skills, relationship building, effective communication, and fundraising. The program also helps participants improve their English skills and become more familiar with American culture.

My responsibilities have been far more varied than my job title suggests. While I have worked on outreach-related tasks, such as redesigning the program brochure and online registration page, I also provide general support for Institute participants. In particular, I design a lot of event flyers and agendas. 

Why did you apply for this internship?

During my time at Bryn Mawr, I’ve become very interested in the dynamics of urban immigrant communities and their role within the city. I knew interning at the Welcoming Center would be a great way to learn more about this in relation to Philadelphia. I also admire the Immigrant Leadership Institute as a program — for one, it elevates immigrants’ voices, which often go unheard in decision-making processes. It’s also an innovative model for immigrant integration. When I learned about the program, I wanted to support it in any way that I could.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Definitely working with the Immigrant Leadership Institute participants! They are incredibly intelligent, creative, and friendly people, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. The events they’ve organized as part of the program have also been a huge plus. In my Cities courses, I’ve read about the barriers that immigrants face, and hearing personal stories from the event organizers and guests has added a new dimension to my understanding of these issues. Moreover, I’ve met people who do important work for immigrants in Philadelphia.

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

I spend most weekends in Philly during the school year, but this is my first time living in the city on my own. I’ve definitely had my fair share of challenges; I’m still trying to strike the right balance between work, social life, general adult responsibilities, and sleep. But overall, I’m really enjoying the experience! I’ve explored different parts of the city, eaten an excessive amount of brunch food, and met some really cool people.

Cara Navarro

I’ve had to work late fairly often, but the program participants and the view from the conference room make it worth it.

A Postcard From: Jamila Ghazi ’20

Name: Jamila Ghazi
Class Year: 2020
Major: Economics and Political Science
Hometown: Rabat, Morocco
Job Title: Research assistant fellow
Location: Philadelphia

This summer, I had the opportunity to work with three faculty members on their respective book projects, each a part-time experience, amounting to a full-time job as a rising scholar. The projects I am working on are within my fields of interest as a double major in Economics and Political Science, and are each challenging and interesting in their own ways. Two of my advisors are Bryn Mawr professors, and the third is a Swarthmore faculty member. I had taken classes with each one of them and enjoyed their fields of expertise, and they were graceful in offering me the opportunity to work with them for the summer.

Whereas I work from the comfort of my home in the city, I am always working on new tasks, and my schedule never gets repetitive. The freedom and autonomy that these projects allow me in terms of how to approach the topics researched but also, how to interact with the materials, be it data or literature, has helped me a lot in my personal and intellectual growth  and for that I am forever grateful for this experience.

What I like most about my summer is the fact that the faculty members I am working with are highly invested in my growth and are providing me with so many tools and challenges to foster my learning. In the short run, my work definitely has informed my brainstorming for my thesis both in economics and political science, but it has furthermore strengthened my interest in pursuing a graduate degree after Bryn Mawr. I feel more empowered to do the work I really enjoy, and grow as a writer, thinker and speaker, thanks to the faculty’s support and the depth of the experiences I am able to avail myself of.

Other than research, living in Philadelphia has been great. This is my second summer spent doing research in the city, and I am absolutely in awe of this city’s beauty. My work requires a lot of reading and data construction, and I am always looking for excuses to have more coffee. My list of secret places to be productive and caffeinated has grown over the two years. Now, I am able to go two weeks without having to revisit the same coffee shop, and I consider that one of my biggest achievements.

As I walk around the city, I am always fortunate to see Bryn Mawr folks, current students and alumnae alike, and it is always a great pleasure to hear about their summer plans. I learnt a lot from the amazing things people are doing, and it is heartwarming to see everyone working towards the best versions of themselves, with so much integrity. My respect and appreciation for the epistemic circle that Bryn Mawr has introduced me to is indeed never-ending.

A Postcard From: Helen Harman ’20

Name: Helen Harman
Class Year: 2020
Major: Growth and Structure of Cities

Internship Placement: Johns Hopkins University, Department of Anthropology
Location: Baltimore

Hello from Baltimore! This summer I’ve been working as a research assistant for Professor Alessandro Angelini in the Anthropology department at Johns Hopkins University. He’s using the summer to start work on his book on play and imagination in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, so my job is helping him out with the research and proofreading process. As a Cities major with tentative thoughts of pursuing a career in academia, it’s been a great experience to be around the process behind the production of scholarly work. While fieldwork-based research and the academic publication process are new to me, a lot of the topics Professor Angelini is working with are covered in Gary McDonogh’s course on global suburbia, which I took this past spring (and which I highly recommend, even though it’s required for Cities majors anyway). I was driven to pursue research with Professor Angelini because I could see how much more there was to learn about the margins of cities, and wanted to take the opportunity to get a better sense of what working in academia is really like.

My first week here, I read drafts of some of his papers, which we discussed alongside reviews that other academics had written as feedback. After that, I spent a couple weeks researching more about community groups in Baltimore for when Professor Angelini teaches Urban Anthropology, while he got his notes together for the book. That project was a great opportunity for me to get more familiar with the city, since I’m a newcomer, and even brought me to city meetings where I met new folks that have been able to teach me more about Baltimore from their experience. Now, Professor Angelini and I are back to working on his book, so I’ve spent the past couple days tracking down potential sources from the Hopkins library catalog. Next week I’ll be skimming them for sections that might be particularly important. The source topics range from the cultural politics of children’s play to race in Brazil to the cultural history of walking.

What’s also been really pleasant about this work is the flexibility of it, in large part because the position didn’t officially exist until I contacted Professor Angelini and he invited me to help out. Because we had to figure out what exactly my job would be, we had a lot of flexibility in terms of defining what work I might find useful and what kind of work he would most benefit from (for example, my spending a week or so going through 70-plus books with my trusty Post-It tabs). It’s also meant that we can spend a large part of our meetings talking about books he found useful when he was an undergraduate, of which he’s lent me several already. It all ties back to cities, but in new ways that I haven’t come across in my classes before. This has been a great summer for learning in new ways and getting to be a part of more in-depth research.

A Postcard From: Aurielle Hampton ’20

Name: Aurielle Hampton
Class Year: 2020
Major: Sociology

Internship Placement: Galaei
Location: Philadelphia

This summer I am interning at Galaei, a Queer Latinx Social Activist Organization and youth center in Philadelphia.

Most days, I watch the front desk, answer calls and direct people in the center. Since this is a queer center, June is our busiest month for the summer. We started the Month of Gay by attending a flag raising ceremony at City Hall. I watched the pride flag lift up to meet the U.S. flag with Anu, my intern partner, before we had to run back to the car. I also participate in tabling events across the city. My first one was at the LEAD conference at the administration building for the Philly school district. It was so cool to see kids, parents, principals, counselors, other queer organizations, and community members coming together to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, and to educate each other about better ways to keep these kids safe in school mentally, emotionally, and physically.

The following weekend, I attended my second Pride. I didn’t do anything with my organization since Galaei does not officially support the Pride festivities in this city because of the police involvement. The next weekend I helped one of our testers at the Philly Aids Thrift Store. We do rapid HIV testing and STI testing at three different locations. First at Galaei Monday through Friday. On Tuesday Anu or I go with one of the testers to the Washington West Center in the Gayborhood to do tests there. The third location is the Philly Aids Thrift Store on the second floor. At every location I perform secretarial duties such as answering phones, giving people forms, and making copies for the testers.

The main event of June was the alternative prom. Galaei has hosted the longest-running gay prom. This was the 23rd anniversary and the theme was Purple Rain. I was put in charge of the budget report for prom, picking out decorations, and promoting it on social media. Also, Anu and I went out to organizations around the city such as the Attic and promoted the prom and gave them tickets to sell. The prom was amazing! Half of the tablecloths I ordered didn’t come in and part of my centerpiece also did not, but with the help of everyone, the prom was beautifully decorated.

Other than the prom budget, I also was in charge of the budget for the Essentials Closet, which is a closet of items that youth may need when transitioning homes or when they come to the center. This could be shampoo, laundry detergent or toothpaste. It took a few tries to get the budget right because it was smaller than what was needed, and it was the first time I had ever created a budget like that. The other main part of this internship is watching over youth drop-ins. Kids from the neighborhood can come in and hang out in the center from 3 p.m. until closing. We will host socials and workshops for them in July.

A Postcard From: Hope Jones ’20

Name: Hope Jones
Class Year: 2020
Major: History
Hometown: Salisbury, Md.
Internship Placement: The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts
Job Title: Special Collections Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship? 

I am working through the National Museum of American Jewish History’s internship program, with material from the Katz Center, but my desk is at the Kislak Center at Penn’s Van Pelt Library.

I am working with the Katz Center’s B.Z. Goldberg Collection. This collection has over 100 boxes and so far I have 20 of those boxes with me at the Kislak Center. B.Z. Goldberg was the son-in-law of Sholem Aleichem, a very famous Yiddish writer whose book Tevye the Milkman inspired the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. Goldberg himself was an editor at the American Yiddish newspaper Der Tog for decades. He also authored multiple books, some of which are available in Canaday Library.

At this time, I am responsible for reading through the boxes available, whose material is almost all in Yiddish. I translate the documents so that I am able to understand the topic of the article or which book the draft belongs to. Once I have gone through a folder, I type up information about the documents, and relocate the materials into larger folders and acid-free boxes. On each folder I have to write what language the documents are in, the contents of the documents, and the time period of when the documents were published or written. This work is very helpful to those at the Katz Center, as not many people know Yiddish enough to translate the material properly. This will help the Katz Center to continue processing the collection, and hopefully in the future, make it available online to the public.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to this internship as a result of a newfound love for the Yiddish language and because it is exactly what I want to do post-graduation from Bryn Mawr. Since high school, I knew I wanted to work in a museum, either in the archives or special collections. This internship will help me gain vital knowledge on how to process a collection, and the levels of archival processing. As I am planning to minor in Jewish Studies at Penn, this material is perfect for me as it contains much information about Jews in America and around the world during the Cold War.  

What is most rewarding about your internship?

I think the most rewarding part is being able to immerse myself in a time where Yiddish was a prominent language. I am also gaining a lot of new Yiddish vocabulary and growing to appreciate the uniqueness of the language even more. I love to be able to handle drafts of B. . Goldberg’s books. There was a draft of the English version of Tevye the Milkman which I recently read, so it was a very exciting moment to find a typed draft of it in one of the folders.

A draft of “Tevye the Milkman”

A draft of Tevye the Milkman

I love that I am able to read the headlines in Yiddish for major events in history such as the Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Goldberg kept the newspapers for the day the war started and for the day the war ended. The newspapers also report on the presidential races and meetings with other foreign leaders, which I think is very interesting.

The newspaper is telling the end to the Six Day War and the number of casualties from the war.

The newspaper is telling the end to the Six Day War and the number of casualties from the war.

A Postcard From: Sorenie Gudissa ’20

Name: Sorenie Gudissa
Class Year: 2020
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Internship Placement: The Glenmede Trust Company
Job Title: Manager Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia

Sorenie Gudissa and other Glenmede interns at Escape the Room Philly

A team building activity for Glenmede interns at Philadelphia’s Escape The Room (We weren’t successful in escaping.)

What’s happening at your internship?

As a Manager Research Intern at Glenmede, I assist the department in the evaluation of external investment managers whose investment strategies the company utilizes to provide the best financial planning for its clients. The tasks of the department I directly work with (Manager Research Group /MRG) include monitoring, researching, and selecting managers based on their statistically measured long standing performance and qualitative analysis of the team making the investment decisions. Additionally, I work with the Manager Research Group to provide analysis on the different available securities that Glenmede could potentially invest in.

By being part of the internship program at Glenmede, I am also participating in the Glenmede Intern Challenge in which I work alongside six other fellow interns to formulate and present a plan that the company can implement to further differentiate itself as an investment management company in the industry. The plan is to be presented to the company’s management committee and board members at the end of the internship.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to Glenmede because I wanted an opportunity to gain experience in the corporate world and in the financial industry that I believed would be valuable in my professional life after Bryn Mawr. I knew Glenmede would help me decide whether a career in finance is the right path for me.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

The biggest challenge of working at Glenmede for me has been learning how to use the different software programs that Manager Research Group employs to keep track of and evaluate the financial markets and the performance of investment managers currently hired by the company. I also found making up for my nonfinance background by familiarizing myself with finance terms and concepts somewhat tasking. However, as I near the halfway point of my internship, I believe that I have learned and gained so much experience and understanding that has made my time at Glenmede worthwhile.