Students opt for varied summer internships
Working with a favorite writer from a favorite magazine, following the research of a Nobel Prize winner and hiking through the Alaskan wilderness: these are but a few experiences that internships have offered the students of Whitman.
Brett Addis, a sophomore Biology/environmental Studies major, applied for an internship with the National Science Foundation and was accepted to do work based out of Juneau this summer. “Brief projects I’ll be working on are studying the migration patterns and genetic flow of Boreal toads, a pilot study of the forest canopy and studying the costal estuaries and the river otters that live there,” said Addis.
Addis grew up hiking and camping in western Montana, but claims she has never done outdoor activities as intensely as she will this summer. The internship offers Addis mostly field research. “It’s an opportunity to get out there and actually participate in a real research project; I don’t really have the opportunity to do that at Whitman,” said Addis. Addis has tentative career plans to be a field biologist. “I want to dip my toes in the water and see if I like it,” Addis said.
Sophomore Melissa Andreas is headed to her hometown of Corvallis this summer to work on an internship she found through Oregon State University. “The program is meant to encourage undergraduates specifically to do internships,” said Andreas.
The project Andreas will be working on is an extension of the research that won last year’s Nobel Prize in biology.
“This is absolute cutting-edge stuff,” said Andreas. The research is on how plants respond to viruses and what genes are involved in the process. “It’s about how viruses and plants do the dance of death,” said Andreas.
The internship gives Andreas the chance to stay with one project from start to finish, similar to work done in graduate school. A recently declared biology major, Andreas is looking forward to the impact this will have on her future in regards to science. “I’m pretty psyched about it,” Andreas said.
Sophie Johnson, junior and editor-in-chief of the Pioneer, was recently accepted as a summer intern at The Nation magazine in New York City.
While working in Chicago last fall, Johnson discovered that The Nation offers internships and decided there was no harm in applying.
After a nightmare of calling to find out that The Nation had not received her application and a mad dash to resend her application materials that very night, Johnson was reviewed and accepted as an intern at The Nation. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Johnson.
Knowing that this particular internship was highly competitive, Johnson already had a summer job lined up in her home town of Portland. “I was hoping to work at the Willamette Week,” she said.
Forty percent of the internship at The Nation is made up of duties such as photocopying and helping with other desk work. The majority, however, involves working with her favorite writer for The Nation for the duration of the summer. Johnson hopes to choose to work with either Patricia J. Williams, who writes about race and rights, or Eric Alterman, who writes about liberal media.
The Nation will provide Johnson with a weekly monetary stipend.
“This is like the ultimate summer internship for me. I think I will basically die from happiness when I get there,” Johnson said.
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