July 8, 2002
THIS SUMMER, MORE THAN 450
SMITH STUDENTS ARE LEARNING ON THE JOB, IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD
With Praxis Program, Students
Develop Custom Summer Internships, Paving the Way for Creative
Career Development After Graduation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Editor's note: To reach Smith
student interns or Praxis program administrators for comment,
contact Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-For many college
students, it's a classic struggle. A summer internship- or two-is
increasingly expected in order to get a job after graduation.
But most internships, particularly those in non-profit, cultural
or social service organizations, are unpaid. And earning money
for next year's tuition is not optional.
Enter Praxis, Smith College's comprehensive internship program,
begun in 1999, through which every undergraduate is guaranteed
access to at least one college-funded summer internship during
her years at the college.
As Praxis participants, Smith's undergraduates can apply to the
college for funding for as much as $2,000 for internships that
are unpaid or minimally paid. Now in its fourth year, Praxis
has enabled more than 1,400 Smith students to gain valuable on-the-job
experience through a range of interesting, self-generated internship
positions in social welfare and human services, the arts, media,
health, education and other fields.
The "self-generated" dimension is an important one.
"Praxis mirrors the real world that our students will be
entering," explains Barbara Reinhold, director of the college's
Career Development Office, which administers the Praxis program.
"As our economy develops in new and unexpected ways, they'll
need to find and develop their own jobs, not only now, but for
a lifetime. Through Praxis, we've reversed the traditional internship-hunt.
We teach our students to figure out where they'd really like
to be working and learning, and then offer themselves to that
organization, rather than trying to squeeze into one-size-fits-all
This summer, more than 450 Smith students are participating in
internships funded by Praxis in the United States and abroad.
Here is a sample:
Frances Brickman, a senior from New York City majoring in government,
is assisting the director of the education department of the
Wampanoag Tribe, a Native American residential community in Aquinnah,
Mass., on procuring funding for a program to engage students
in science and math. She is also involved in preserving oral
histories of tribe members.
Ida-Shiela Salusky, a senior from Downey, Calif., majoring in
history, is interning with MOSCHTA, a nonprofit organization
in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, that serves people from
that country and from Haiti. Salusky is teaching literacy and
implementing an adult literacy program in two communities.
an Ada Comstock Scholar from Amherst, Mass., majoring in mathematics,
is working as an advocate for Safe Passage, a nonprofit organization
in Northampton, Mass., that supports and assists battered women.
Scott provides information regarding restraining orders, safety
planning and support services.
a junior from Southfield, Mich., majoring in American Studies,
is decorating children's rooms in hospitals and homes as an intern
for the Suite Dreams Project, a nonprofit organization in Rochester,
Mich., that creates fantasy bedrooms for children suffering from
a senior from San Marcos, Texas, majoring in psychology, is assisting
doctors with experiments in newborn and infant growth and development
in the Child Development unit of Boston Children's Hospital.
a senior from Carrboro, N.C., majoring in biochemistry, is working
with the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia, the Mexican
government's anthropological research organization, based in
Yucátan. Veranes is participating in a research project
titled "The Economic Foundations of Mayapán."
a junior from Interlochen, Mich., majoring in mathematics, is
spending her summer as an intern with Defenders of Wildlife,
a conservation organization focused on protecting wildlife and
its habitats through education, litigation and research. Schack
is assisting with the preparation for negotiating international
treaties that will affect wildlife.
a junior from Cypress, Calif., majoring in psychology, is interning
with the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Orange County,
accompanying crime victims during court proceedings, corresponding
with witnesses and the district attorney, and assisting victims
in applying for state compensation.
Catherine Rafferzeder, a senior from Northampton, Mass., majoring
in women's studies, is interning with Endless Possibilities/River
Valley Midwives, an organization in New Salem, Mass. Rafferzeder
is assisting the preparation of a medicinal garden while learning
about the application of herbs in midwifery.
a junior from Miami majoring in biological sciences, is building
boats and obtaining her captain's license from the U.S. Coast
Guard as an intern with Crusader Boats, a boat construction company
in Miami. She will also assist with testing boats at sea and
delivering finished products.
Alexandra Fleming, a junior from Springfield, Ohio, majoring
in history, is developing historical camps for children and will
plan a living history fair as an intern with the George Rogers
Clark Park in her hometown, which educates the public on the
history of the Shawnee people.
a senior from Greencastle, Ind., majoring in neuroscience, is
an intern with the Humane Society of Putnam County, based in
her hometown, which houses and cares for homeless dogs and cats.
Smock is helping to design an educational outreach program in
the local schools and works with the animals.
Smith College is consistently ranked
among the nation's foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling
2,800 students from every state and 55 other countries, Smith
is the largest undergraduate women's college in the country.
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