What Centre people are up to this summer: Part 5
RELEASED: August 21, 2008
DANVILLE, KY—In the final days before classes begin, Centre College students are spending their vacations in a variety of places, engaging in innumerable activities—stretching their legs and minds, enhancing their experiences and their bank accounts. Here are just a few ways in which students are spending their summers. (Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.)
Mayra J. Angel, senior, Danville, Ky.:
As a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) summer intern, I've developed personal and professional skills while working alongside our nation's current and future leaders. CHCI was established in 1978 to develop the next generation of Latino leaders. Approximately 32 students are selected to participate in this unique program, and this summer, I became a witness to its success.
Each year the program offers work experience, promotes community service, provides leadership development, and facilitates the cultivation of strong relationships. Each selected student works for an elected official on Capitol Hill, and I had the opportunity to work for Representative Hilda Solis (CA-32). I gained a better understanding of the legislative process, and I had the opportunity to apply what I've learned at Centre. Thanks to this internship, I've attained skills that allow me to better serve my community. The CHCI interns' graduation was held on July 30, 2008. Above all, this was an amazing opportunity. I look forward to sharing my experience on campus, and perhaps, at Centre Symposium. [Centre Symposium is an interdisciplinary anual event in which students present their personal research in a campus-wide celebration of academia.]
Amber Mills, junior, Danville, Ky.:
For the past ten weeks I've been traveling as a student with a program called Semester at Sea. Aboard a ship, the MV Explorer, approximately 600 students and teachers from all over the United States live and learn. When at sea, classes are held in a variety of subjects. I attend three classes each day including Global Studies, Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Upon arrival at our port-of-call, we have three to five days to explore that country on our own. The voyage began in Nova Scotia, Canada. From there we sailed across the Atlantic to Norway, Russia, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Egypt, Greece and Croatia. We are currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean on our voyage home. From the Pyramids of Egypt to the Russian Red Square, I've seen so much. Seeing these things made me realize that there's so much more to see in this world.
Amanda Shuck, senior, Shelbyville, Ky.:
This summer I've been interning with a nonprofit organization in Louisville called the World Affairs Council (WAC). It hosts delegations from abroad through the U.S. Department of State, Library of Congress, and USAID, and each delegation has a particular theme.
Recent visitors have included Iranians focused on "Peace and Conflict Resolution," Saudi Arabians discussing "Interfaith Relations," and a group of Iraqi teens here for a youth exchange program.
I've had the opportunity to delve into many projects, but one task that required great focus was planning the complete program for an Open World (sponsored by the Library of Congress) group from Ukraine. Their theme was "Accountable Governance," so they met with people in Kentucky who could appropriately speak about government transparency and openness. In Kentucky for a whole week, they met with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, City Council officials, Deputy Secretary of State Allen Eskridge, reporters with the Courier Journal, etc. Since I planned their program, I was able to accompany them to their meetings. The six individuals were very friendly, and they ranged from Ukrainian mayors to an non-governmental organization worker and a mayoral press secretary.
Sarah Swauger, sophomore, Ft. Thomas, Ky.:
I've spent my entire summer in Scottsville, Ky., working at the Center for Courageous Kids, and it's been absolutely amazing! It's a summer camp designed for children with terminal illnesses, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, sickle-cell anemia and many more.
Each week serves a different group of children, and the camp ran for nine weeks. Being a counselor at this camp was so rewarding because I had the chance to play with kids and make them smile daily. We danced every day, sang songs and cheered nonstop. We were going strong, doing various activities from 7:30 in the morning until late at night. Working with these kids had a great impact upon me because they have such strong spirits and don't let their illnesses get in the way of playing hard.
Jason Boldt, sophomore, Winchester, Ky.:
This summer, along with my friend Jack Compton (Centre '11), I met General Richard Myers, the Joint Chief of Staff until 2005. This took place at Carnival Imagination during the John O. Moseley Leadership School.
Caroline Stephens, sophomore, Louisville:
This summer is my tenth at a YMCA Girls Camp in Michigan (Camp Arbutus/Hayo-Went-Ha) and my third year on staff. My camp is known for our unique outdoor adventure trips, and recently I returned from a two-week canoeing and portaging trip through Killarney Provincial Park in Canada.
My six campers, all fifteen years old, my co-counselor, and I were on our own for two weeks as we navigated roughly 100 miles through lakes and rivers. Some lakes were so blue and clear you could see 28 meters down and others were the most beautiful shades of turquoise. The white quartzite mountains that surround the lakes inspired artists who were the first to start the movement to preserve the park. We carried everything we needed for the two weeks in our river bags: the food, the stoves, the tents, the map, the med kit, sleeping bags, journals, everything. The trip was of course physically demanding, but mentally challenging, as well. This helped bring our cabin group together and allowed the girls to bond. It was amazing to help create this experience, having once done the same trip as a camper.
Shaina Peterson, senior, St. Louis, Mo.:
I'm involved in a wonderful internship this summer with a non-profit organization called Nest. It's based out of my hometown in St. Louis. Nest funds micro loans to women artists in developing countries to help them begin or maintain art/craft-based businesses. The women pay their loans in hand-made products, which we then sell at our online boutique. Additionally, we partner with women designers in the developed world; they create items for our "Nest" line, and all the proceeds are reinvested into funding more loans. Nest has existed for less than two years and already operates loan programs in eight countries and partners with over 150 designers!
Since Nest is such a young organization, as an intern, I have the opportunity to do a lot of different things. I have done everything from updating our designer mailing list and taking inventory, to writing grants and national press releases! Recently, I interviewed our facilitators (we have one in each of our 8 operating countries, who leads the loan program, nominates loan recipients, organizes loan repayment plans, etc.) for the Tanzania, Turkey and Guatemala programs. I'll be turning our interviews into web stories, which will be featured on the website each season.
Since Nest operates primarily online, a lot of my work involves viral networking—spreading the "Nest" name through Facebook, blogs, online articles, etc. Additionally, we're set to launch a viral campaign (i.e, conducted mainly through social networking like Facebook and YouTube), so I've been contacting schools around the country to gain support and awareness.
More than anything, this internship has exposed me to the idea of social entrepreneurship, which combines the ideas of entrepreneurship with social action. Rebecca, the founder of Nest, wanted to combine these two passions, and she did so when she was only 24! Interning with Nest has given me the opportunities to both work behind-the-scenes in a small business, entrepreneurial enterprise and also to work on projects that are, literally, life-changing.
Chrys Jones, sophomore, Harrodsburg, Ky.:
This summer has been great. I released my debut solo Christian hip-hop album "Transformed" and the release went great! I've also done a few concerts in Harrodsburg and Stanford.
I've also been attending a new church and Bible study every Thursday morning at 7 a.m. (yawns). We've been studying the book called "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John MacArthur. It's an amazing book that really breaks down the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Bible.
I have also been reading the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. This book has shown me a way to live my life to glorify Jesus Christ.
I've also been working in the science lab with Dr. Brian Cusato researching quail psychobiology.
Danny Noll, junior, Ft. Mitchell, Ky.:
I've kept busy all summer. I started off the summer by studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, with Dr. Rick Bradshaw and Dr. Lori Hartmann-Mahmud. We also spent time in Munich and Paris. Notable moments include sniffing the oldest wine in the world, conquering Rob Matthews '09 in an epic battle of rock-paper-scissors, and bathing in nude Roman baths.
Since I've been back, I've taken trips to Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota, and South Carolina. In the meantime, I've been getting on the basketball court whenever possible. The highlight was skydiving in Missouri with my girlfriend, Kasey Jackson '11, which was insane.
Katya Alimova, junior, Lexington, Ky.:
This summer I'm working in a lab at the University of Kentucky doing research with plants. Our lab is doing research on natural pesticides and fungicides that can be obtained from leaf surfaces of plants such as tobacco. We are trying to find out if they can be collected from the leaves, isolated, and sprayed on other plants like golf grasses. I'm involved in a couple of my own projects in this field, and I also help out with the lab's projects.
Rachel Skaggs, sophomore, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.:
This summer I was a camp counselor for the Girl Scouts of USA. I spent my weeks with groups that included a greening and conservation camp, a backpacking and hiking camp, a two-week teen leadership program, and had a wonderful time. There were counselors from all over the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Germany. My job included climbing trees, riding horses, jumping off 40-feet high zip-lines, shooting archery, and sleeping under the stars...all while helping young girls have a great time!
Ronnie Phillips, sophomore, Henderson, Ky.:
I'm at Flame Run Glass Studio in Louisville where I have been assisting other artists and helping take care of the hot shop.
Peter Zurkuhlen, junior, New York, N.Y.:
I am having a phenomenal summer so far in New York City. I am working as a summer associate for Thomson Retuers—a $13 billion company based in New York and London, with offices in 93 countries! I have had some unbelievable opportunities this summer.
Andrea Bishop, senior, Union, Ky.:
This summer I interned at Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, a non-profit organization in Ohio. The center works with low-income and immigrant workers to protect basic workers' rights. While there, I worked to establish a Rapid Response Team for Greater Cincinnati to meet the legal and physical needs of immigrants and their families after large-scale immigration raids. I'm also working with a team to create a new communications network among many non-profits in Cincinnati.
Victoria Crowell, junior, Providence, Ky.:
I spent the first part of my summer working a program called Upward Bound near my hometown to help underprivileged high schoolers get into college. I taught classes in algebra, German, and web design, as well as a study skills course and a book discussion. It was loads of fun, and I really love and enjoy all the kids and staff I met there. Our final week, we took a trip to D.C., which I also chaperoned. It was sort of a coming-full-circle, as I had also been in the program when I was in high school and gone to D.C. while I was in the program.
A few days after I returned, I flew out to New York, where I have a Centre Internship Plus internship at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project. [Margaret Sanders founded the American Birth Control League.] I work at the project Tuesday through Friday, and I'll be here for about a month. The project's goal is to put the important papers left by Margaret Sanger in to four different books so that students and other academics can have easier access to them, as currently they're only on microfilm. My bosses are writing the footnotes to put confusing parts of the letters in context, and I do the research for the information that goes into the footnotes. It's very fun work. I just finished a report on the 5th International Conference on Planned Parenthood and am currently working on a report on Weimar Germany. Otherwise, I'm living in lower Harlem and sightseeing about New York!
Megan England, junior
I am currently working at the alumni house here at Centre, but I will soon be traveling to Belgium to visit my family. After visiting family and friends in Belgium, I will be traveling to Frankfurt, Germany, to embark on my study abroad adventure in Strasbourg, France.
Lyndon Jones, sophomore, Taswell, Ind.:
I took a trip to Tampa to see my friend and classmate Jack Compton...we're having a good time.
Laura Behrendt, senior, New Philadelphia, Ohio
I spent last summer in Alaska; this summer I'm in Hawaii! With the help of Centre's Internship Plus Scholarship I applied and and was able to acceptan internship on Hawaii's Big Island at an Organic farming company. I'm learning a lot about the environment and the need to protect it. Hawaii is going through a huge drought and last week we had to buy 5,000 gallons of water! Can you believe it? I'm learning a lot about the "green" way of life and why the people of the world should take it seriously. Living simply and knowing how to protect the environment are key ideas.
Plus, it's really a treat to plant, care for, and harvest a lot of the food you eat daily. At the farm we currently have a lot of lychee, avocados, bananas, tomatoes, taro, cucumbers, and pineapple, and a lot more plants we sell and eat. The internship has been a great learning experience, and I have met a lot of people who are trying to protect the environment.
I work a lot, but I have also found time to explore the island. Seeing the lava and volcanoes in Volcano National Park has been a highlight, as well as the many beaches and opportunities to snorkel, swim, and surf. This summer has been quite a change from last year in Alaska!
Molly Lindle, senior, Louisville:
This summer I'm participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates at Oregon State University. I'm doing research in isotopic geochronology; specifically, I'm studying the Louisville seamount chain, an undersea trail of volcanoes in the South Pacific Ocean. I get to fire samples from the seamounts with a laser and use the gas released to find the age of the given sample.
It's really amazing out here! Oregon is a beautiful state, and I spend a lot of time traveling around and taking in the sights. I spent a weekend in Hood River, just at the base of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, where I went cliff jumping and got to see a windsurfing competition. In addition to that, I'll be going to Crater Lake with my fellow research students in a weekend camping trip, which is sure to be a great time! I also went to the Oregon Country Fair, which is a three-day long festival for music and the arts. It was a complete blast!
Katie Hutchinson, senior, Rockport, Ind.:
I am in the middle of what I think is a pretty awesome internship, actually. I am working as a summer research intern at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. During WWII, Y-12 was the site where the atomic bomb was first engineered and partially assembled - the "Manhattan Project". As a part of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Y-12 still works with the Department of Energy's Nuclear Weapons Complex, creating safer ways to manufacture, store and utilize nuclear weapons components. Similarly, Y-12 is involved in homeland security operations to protect the United States from threats by other WMD-capable countries. But nuclear safety and security isn't the only issue Y-12 deals with...
My work has been under the Technology Development Division. I work with various salt and ceramic components looking at how they might be used for hydrogen storage in alternative fuel applications, which with rising gas prices is definitely of concern right now. Because I am not a full-time employee at Y-12 and therefore do not have the necessary clearances and because Centre is obviously an entity outside of and unaffiliated with Y-12, I cannot give out more information than that. I do hope to be presenting my unclassified research to Centre faculty and students in the coming year, maybe at the RICE symposium.
I have been able to work with top-of-the-line chemistry equipment that I would never get to work with otherwise: instruments to study material surface features such as an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), and optical profiler and a stylus profiler; thermophysical analysis equipment such as a ThermoGravimetric (yes, it's one word) Analyzer (TGA) and a ThermoMechanical (one word) Analyzer (TMA) to study the effects of temperature and humidity on a sample; microscopy imaging equipment such as a digital microscope with video and still-image capture capabilities and a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM); and chemical composition analysis equipment such as Fourier-Transform Infrared and Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectrometers.
I have attended several talks both unclassified and classified concerning future research, identity theft and homeland security, and I have worked closely with analytical, physical, inorganic and organic chemists and materials scientists who are the top people in their field. I have helped my supervisors create, edit and present several proposals and updates for our group's research and development (R&D) managers. I have hosted and escorted several vendors for the instruments we utilize in my group as well as assist in the execution of a metrology workshop where Y-12 employees as well as certain guest scientists were able to inquire, learn and get hands-on experience with several of the surface profiling equipment we use (the AFM, optical and stylus profilers I mentioned above).
It has been a wonderful, meaningful and resume-boosting experience for me, definitely.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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