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Wofford students spend their summer in internship, research and work experiences

Kilmanjaro 382
Living and learning in Tanzania: Working in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, these Wofford students spent the summer as interns with various nonprofit organizations in Tanzania as part of a program through The Space in the Mungo Center. From left are: Lydia Estes ’20, Kiara Williams ’18, Chris-Marie Mensah ’19, Madison Guyton ’18, Zainab Bhagat ’20, Helen Seddelmeyer ’20 and Elizabeth Beecy ’18. Tom Stack ’20 (not pictured) also participated in the internship program.
2017-09-27

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Now back on campus, Wofford students spent the summer in internship, research and work experiences around the globe. Below is a sampling of some of the students who made the most of their summer.

ERIN FITZPATRICK ’18
Majors in economics and religion; Chapin, S.C.

ALEX LEFEBVRE ’18
Major in accounting; Spartanburg, S.C.

Lefebvre and Fitzpatrick interned this summer with IES Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. Lefebvre worked with Breadline Africa, an NGO that retrofits containers to provide infrastructure in rural areas. The job involved international accounting and working with governing boards. Fitzpatrick worked with City Mission, a Christian nonprofit that coordinates citywide outreach programs. She helped prepare meals to take to the public hospital where patients often have to wait days to be seen by a doctor, played soccer with youth who are trying to escape gang violence and attended meetings and Bible studies designed to help ex-offenders transition back into society. In a country with 11 official languages, Fitzpatrick says she has learned how to interact with different people. “Although we come from very different backgrounds, in the end we are all human, and that lesson has made me more empathetic and open-minded,” she says.

ANNIE GENTRY ’19
Majors in biology and Spanish, minor in studio art; St. George, S.C.

Gentry interned at Edisto Beach State Park this summer in the sea turtle preservation and education program. Working with sea turtle specialists, Gentry was responsible for patrolling the beaches every morning to locate nests and install protective netting. She led weekly night walks and presentations on sea turtles and worked with the Edisto Island Environmental Learning Center to rehabilitate animals, help conduct DNA research and assist with other public programs. “I have learned what it means to be dedicated to a single cause, which, in this case, is wildlife conservation. It takes a lot of effort to preserve the natural landscape, but there is such a rewarding outcome for that dedication.”

AUSTIN JONES ’18
Major in Spanish, minor in religion, concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Chesnee, S.C.

Jones spent his summer in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, as a community service coordinator with Youthworks, an organization that takes students on service and immersion trips throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. He coordinated service projects for the students and worked at the service sites as a translator and project director. Off-site he taught Spanish lessons and salsa classes for the students. Jones found the internship through Terrier Black Book, one of Wofford’s career development tools. “I was able to improve my Spanish skills and learn about the history and current and past political situation of Puerto Rico. I also learned what it is like to work for a nonprofit in a place that is very different from my home.”

KIARA WILLIAMS ’18
Major in government, minors in history and business, concentrations in American politics and gender studies; Blythewood, S.C.

Through The Space to Explore internship program, Williams, along with eight other students, spent 10 weeks in Moshi, Tanzania, a small city nestled at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. “I worked as a marketing and sales intern for Totohealth Tanzania, which is a social enterprise that strives to contribute toward reaching Tanzania’s national vision of ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2035. I have worked on various social media platforms to raise awareness about the high infant and maternal mortality rates in Tanzania as well as the life-saving products offered by Totohealth. I also have gone out into the field to witness community health workers receive training and give medical advice to expectant mothers. Working in a field that empowers women and improves their livelihood has always been a dream of mine, and I have learned the importance of connecting with people on a personal level.”

CHIE MUSHAYAMUNDA ’18
Major in English; Winston-Salem, N.C.

Mushayamunda spent her summer interning with Greater Gift, an organization based in Wake Forest University’s Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.

EMILY CARTER ’19
Major in business economics; Greenville, S.C.

As the event services intern at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., Carter learned how to think on her feet when dealing with different concert situations. She assisted the production manager with planning and preparing for events and learned that “your attitude and how you make people feel is what they are going to remember. Being kind to everyone that comes through the doors is just as important as how the show turns out in the end.”

OMAR ELMORE ’19
Major in English, concentration in film and digital media; Greenwood, S.C.

Elmore worked as a media intern with MSNBC Longform in New York. He put together documentary-style pieces such as “O.J. Simpson: 20 Years Later.” He learned about scheduling, archiving, rights clearances and other topics on the business side of news production. He also shadowed anchors and producers. Wofford trustee Craig Melvin ’01 (co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY,” national correspondent for “TODAY” and MSNBC anchor) helped him secure the internship. “I enjoyed working in 30 Rock and being in the city the entire summer. One thing I learned is that news moves very fast, so it is a fast-paced work environment!”

BRECK PETERSON ’18
Major in French, programs in Middle Eastern and North
African Studies and pre-veterinary science; Jacksonville, Fla.

Peterson spent the summer in Las Vegas, N.M., interning with a veterinary hospital. Not only did she work with typical cases involving cats and dogs, she also was able to go on ranch calls to tend larger animals. Peterson has begun the process of applying to veterinary school and is thankful for her internship and the experience and insight into the realities of life as a veterinarian.

ELEANOR WADE ’18
Major in English, minor in art history; Charleston, S.C.

Wade’s internship with local station ABC News 4 WCIV in Charleston, S.C., had her out in the field daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. She worked with other reporters and learned about multimedia journalism, which required her to write, shoot and edit each story.

MAYA WARD ’18
Majors in philosophy and psychology, concentration in gender studies; Greer, S.C.

Through the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program, Ward spent the summer in New York City studying international affairs issues while completing an internship with MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization.

ELIZABETH LINDSEY ’20
Major undeclared; Birmingham, Ala.

Lindsey interned with Smuggler, a film, commercial, music video and theater production company in New York City. “The amount of crazy experiences and tasks that I had daily was invigorating. It was always something new and unexpected. For example, one day I found myself having a conversation about my hometown on the roof of the company building with an orthodox Jew from Canada and a British man who thinks virtual reality is a religion. I once dropped off a director’s visa papers at a law office that overlooked Central Park so the director could travel to shoot a commercial in Shanghai. I learned so much about the industry while developing office and networking skills that can be applied to any field. Working with Smuggler, I was surrounded by people who are making it happen. No dream is unrealistic here, and it’s awe inspiring to see a group of differing people work together toward a unifying goal.”

NATHAN PATNAM ’19
Majors in chemistry and computer science; Greenville, S.C.

Patnam worked as a technology development intern for UnitedHealth Group in Schaumburg, Ill. His team worked to build and design an app that may be used by health professionals both nationally and internationally. He also worked on creating search algorithms to aid in finding information more quickly and efficiently across the company.

LIBBIE REED ’18
Major in government, minor in international affairs; Farmville, Va.

Reed interned in public affairs with Anthem health insurance in Washington, D.C. She attended hearings on Capitol Hill that pertained to health care, conducted research and helped craft Anthem policy memos. “With the reform going on in health care, I picked a busy and exciting time to work in the field. The summer has been an incredible opportunity, and I have learned the ins and outs of health care and the complexity of reform. ... I can see myself working here in the future.”

SAM PADULA ’20
Major in biology, concentration in neuroscience; Irmo, S.C.

For 10 weeks Padula interned with the Department of Neuroscience and
Cell Biology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J. His project in Dr. Huaye Zhang’s lab involved documenting better understanding of a specific kinase (MARK1) in synaptic development and cognitive function. He says it was exciting to see how scientists generate knowledge and to participate in that process.

ALEX THELE ’18
Major in biology, concentrations in neuroscience and medical humanities; Boca Raton, Fla.

Thele participated in a research fellowship through the Jackson Laboratory’s
Summer Student Program in Bar Harbor, Maine. The fellowship program accepts 48 high school and undergraduate college students each year and is focused on mammalian genetics and genomics. Thele worked with Dr. Gregory Cox, whose lab researches several motor neuron diseases. Her specific project focused on spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress, type 1. She presented her data at the end of the summer. “I enjoyed my experience, especially because my project has direct implications for a human disease. I designed the entire project, performed the experiment, analyzed the data and wrote a research paper, and I got really great results and made a cool discovery that my mentor will follow up on. ... I also learned how to adapt to unanticipated problems in creative ways. Ultimately, it cemented my desire to be involved in clinical trials and biomedical research when I am a physician.”

LYDIA MILLER ’18
Majors in history and humanities; Gainesville, Ga.

Miller was the programs intern at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C. The museum teaches visitors about the thoughts and conversations held by the Lincoln family during their stays at the cottage, and strives to inspire its visitors in their own path for forward thinking. Some projects Miller assisted in planning and executing were the Students Opposing Slavery International Summit and the Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows program. “This internship showed me that my passion for history can and should be applied in a public setting.”

GRANT MCCLURE ’19
Majors in English and environmental studies; Charleston, S.C.

McClure worked at Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge in Katmai National Park as a fly fishing guide. He led groups of people from around the world on fly fishing trips along the Alagnak River, which is home to salmon, rainbow trout, char and grayling. McClure says his summer experience taught him how to handle conflict and challenges. “There are bears, the river is fast, boats break down and tempers flare between people. In somewhere so remote and wild, things can go wrong quickly, so learning to be vigilant and calm in the face of adversity was formative.”

By Kelsey Aylor ’18