Meet #CrusaderIntern Juliana Holcomb ’19, The Ana Grace Project

Dr. Noel Casiano, my supervisor (L) and me (R)

 

Full Name: Juliana Holcomb ‘19

Summer Internship: The Ana Grace Project

 

1. What were you up to this past summer?

This past summer, I was a research and data intern at The Ana Grace Project in New Britain, CT.   Created after the tragedy at Sandy Hook which took the life of Ana Grace Márquez-Green as well as many others, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to bringing social emotional learning, trauma-informed care, and school-based mental health services into New Britain Elementary schools through their “Love Wins” program.  In this role, I analyzed teacher, school administrator, and faculty-reported responses from the ARTIC (Attitudes Related to Trauma Informed Care) measure; collected, organized, and explained trends in disciplinary-related outcomes between 2012-2018 from the Connecticut State Department of Education; and wrote, edited, and prepared APA-style manuscripts for publication.  I was able to contribute to three manuscripts that will hopefully be published in the near future and two manuals for the “Love Wins” program.

 

2. What was your favorite part?

My favorite part was learning about the specific ways in which the “Love Wins” program impacted the elementary school-aged children of New Britain.  Through the data and trends I analyzed, I was able to witness the ways in which the implementation of “Love Wins” quantitatively improved school-based outcomes such as in- and out-of-school suspensions and chronic absenteeism.  On a more qualitative level, I was able to learn about individual stories of how “Love Wins” impacted the New Britain community which was equally as inspiring. Hearing these testimonials made me very hopeful for the future of school-based mental health services.

I also was awestruck by the strength, dedication, and passion of Nelba Márquez-Green as she worked tirelessly each and every day to improve the educational system for low-income students and students of color so that a tragedy like Sandy Hook, which took the life of her daughter, would never happen again.  Her dedication was unlike any I had ever seen before, and I was fortunate to work with her.

 

3. What surprised you?

I was surprised by the amount of collaboration that took place within The Ana Grace Project.  People from all different backgrounds and career paths came together to create this not-for-profit and manage its implementation within schools.  For example, mental health professionals such as Marriage Family Therapists, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists all worked together in order to provide the school-based mental health services to students as well as counsel them individually and in a family or group setting.  Teachers, within the many elementary schools of New Britain, were also a critical piece of the “Love Wins” program which I saw when I went to a talent show at one of the schools. The administrators and staff of the school were also highly involved. Seeing this community collaboration was a happy surprise I saw during my time at The Ana Grace Project.  They practiced what they preached and emphasized community relations and support in all that they did.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Princy Sindurakar ’20, Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Name: Princy Sindurakar

Class Year: 2020

Internship (position & employer): Research Assistant, Northeastern University

 

1. Tell us about where you interned over the summer and the kind of work you were doing.

I interned and worked for the Sridhar Lab at Northeastern University, Boston, MA. I was part of a cancer cell biology research lab, where I was assigned my own research project and had the chance to assist in many of their ongoing studies. I performed several lab techniques, mainly surrounding different cancer cell lines. I was able to learn cell cultures, several biological assays, and work closely with experimentation on mice. My project focused on the development of “spacers”, radioactive implants used for efficient drug delivery system, specifically advancing cancer treatment plans. Beginning from the biological level with cancer cells to the development of these spacer implants, the project combined a lot of fields to make an impressive treatment plan to tackle prostate cancer.

2. Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

While the combination of my chemistry and biology courses prepared me for working at the lab and taking proper precautions, being part of a research lab at Holy Cross helped me understand the extent of planning and the work put into research projects, which prepared me at my internship. I was prepared to be involved from the beginning, being active and ready for the training.

3. What has surprised you about being an intern?

I was amazed by the wide connections within the field of research and the impressive scale of translational research, especially for cancer studies. I had the opportunity to learn about different ongoing projects such as that of lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. While my main focus was prostate cancer and its treatment, I also learned about the different drug deliveries and lab techniques within the other projects so I was grateful to have the chance to participate in weekly lab meetings where I learned about other projects in the lab as well. I didn’t expect to be as involved as I was in the lab!

4. How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

Being a Biology major on the pre-med track, research has been an important part of my academics and career. From this internship, I was able to truly immerse myself and learn about the vast field of research. I learned about the extent of planning and organization that goes into a research study, especially with cell cultures and live animals. It has amazed me to see the vast field of cancer research and how many different minds have to come together to create a successful advancement. It has further elevated my interests in the research field and since this was more biological, I have learned I would like to pursue some type of research during or after medical school. Although I still love being around patients and in the hospital, I have also started loving research and the amazing work the field has to offer. I would like to work in the field of research during my gap years before applying to medical school and devoting myself to that path.

5. Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Set personal goals and work on them! Take full advantage of your opportunity by networking and doing your research because you don’t only develop a certain set of skills, but also learn so much about that career field. It is your chance to ask questions, develop lasting relationships, immerse yourself within the field and find your interests!

Meet #CrusaderIntern Delaney Wells ‘20, The Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section

Name: Delaney Wells ‘20

DC Internship: The Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section

 

1. What were you up to this past semester?

I worked as a legal intern in the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice. Interns came in before attorneys, architects, and investigators to begin work. My supervisor collected projects and tasks from other employees and assigned them among interns. This ensured we all had the opportunity to work on different cases concerning the ADA. I worked on a variety of projects at the same time, keeping my supervisor updated on my status through a spreadsheet tracking my progress. We reported directly to the attorney overseeing our project. This allowed me to establish excellent working and personal relationships through setting deadlines, editing assignments, grabbing lunch and  even attending an oral argument at the Supreme Court together. I took advantage of opportunities including brown bag lunches with attorneys, a special tour of the White House, and attending working groups with different agencies. These allowed for a holistic understanding of the Disability Rights Section, the organization of the Justice Department, and the inner-workings of politics in the Capital.

 

2. What was your favorite part?

I was able to complement my time at the Justice Department with sharing time in a local L’Arche community in Arlington,  VA. This allowed me to achieve a holistic approach to disability through technical and social perspectives. Sharing life in this home throughout the semester gave me a deeper and more complete understanding of how the work done by lawyers, architects, and investigators impacts the daily life of citizens.  Along with interning every day, I spent my Fridays and weekends at the L’Arche 6th Street home in Arlington, VA. Sharing time with the core members has provided a social dimension to complement the technical understanding of disability that I have gained through the DOJ. Learning about accessibility challenges, institutional conditions, rights and regulations introduced in Section 504 all come to life when I go to 6th Street and witness the struggle that many core members work through each day. From voting poll accessibility to lack of ASL translators at medical facilities, I have gained a full appreciation of the importance of the work within the Disability Rights Section. The complementary technical and social dimensions allowed me to begin discerning my vocation through practice of techniques I have learned on retreats and in spiritual groups on campus. My mind often jumped to the questions, “who am I, who do I want to become, and who do I want to be for and with others?”. I am leaving with some sort of understanding of the direction my life may take in disability advocacy. I will take this semester to reflect intentionally on my experience and see how it shapes my future regarding law school and further involvement in area of disability study, which is where I have truly found my home.

 

3. What surprised you?

I expected to work exclusively with lawyers each day as I was working in the Justice Department. However, this was not the case. Each day was totally different and I never knew what to expect. I was able to work on a case being actively litigated, with architects, service animal cases, and more. The variety  I was amazed at the amount of case work we were able to work on throughout the semester. On a day to day basis I worked on several memorandums for attorneys. These assignments allowed me to hone my writing skills and analytical thinking. I learned how to blue-book, a type of legal citation, when citing violations for a settlement agreement. I became acquainted with the Westlaw, Relativity, and Lexis platforms when performing background research on witnesses for a case that is being actively litigated. The varied experience I had at the Department of Justice has resulted in an ultimate understanding of the American Disabilities Act and its impact on citizens through advocacy as a platform for equality. I was treated like another employee within the Justice Department, not just as an intern.

Meet Summer Intern Laura Escolero ‘19, Research Assistant, Boston City Councilor Kim Janey

Full Name: Laura Escolero ‘19

Summer Internship: Boston City Councilor Kim Janey

What were you up to this past summer?

This past summer I was a research intern for Councilor Janey’s office of the seventh district of Boston. Most of my work had to do with researching and brainstorming plans for many issues that the city of Boston is facing such as gentrification, gun violence, trauma, homelessness, and education. During my time working for the city councilor, I was able to sit in many briefs and meetings and understand the process of local government rulings and procedures. I was also able to meet many of the local constituents and hear their voices and opinions on the issues we were directly working on at town hall and community/neighborhood meetings. This was definitely an eye opening and transformative experience as I was able to network and learn about the many challenges my home is facing and how I individually can hold my city representatives accountable.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part about the internship was that it was very student oriented and I was able to work on issues that I cared the most about. For example, every intern did a research project of their choice and I researched police surveillance through the use of new emerging drones as it was a very concerning issue for many of the residents in Boston. All of the other offices also had college interns and every Friday we would all take “field trips” to local service centers and other community venues to learn about organizations that are helping the city with issues of housing, emergencies, and law enforcement to name a few.

What surprised you?

The most surprising part about my internship was how city councilors and many employees in city hall work all hours of the day and really take into consideration every single complaint or petition of constituents. I really didn’t realize how local officials take their work home everyday in order to improve conditions for each of their districts and how they work tirelessly to really get to know and be in solidarity with their residents.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Rachel Checo ’20, Sanctuary for Families

Meet #CrusaderIntern Rachel Checo ’20, Sanctuary for Families

(Pictured second from the right)

 

Full Name: Rachel Checo ’20

Summer Internship: Sanctuary for Families

 

What were you up to this past summer?

This past summer, I interned at a nonprofit organization called Sanctuary for Families. This organization particularly helps survivors of violence, such as domestic violence, human trafficking, sex trafficking and violence within the LGBTQ community. I helped with updating the volunteer packet with information that are useful for future volunteers to know who would like to help the organization in any way that they can. I also helped with a few research projects in regards to violence, and helped set up for the Zero Tolerance event, an annual event that helps raise awareness on violence.

 

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part was being able to bond with other interns at Sanctuary for Families, and getting to know them personally. I enjoyed bonding with my coworkers and learning more about the important work Sanctuary for Family does.

 

What surprised you?

What surprised me was the amount of information I learned about violence in general. I learned a lot about what human trafficking is and how domestic violence not only affects the victims but their children as well. I also learned a great deal about teen dating violence and what are the signs of being in an healthy and unhealthy relationship.

Meet Crusader Intern Laura Escolero ’19 at Generation Teach

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

I am interning at an academic program for middle school students located in Boston and I specifically teach health and fitness.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

Working at Generation Teach has made me realize all of the training and skill building teachers have to go through in order to be able to teach during the school year. It has definitely shown me that teaching may be one of the most difficult jobs and it is a job where you never stop growing and adjusting your teaching to better reach out to students.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

This experience influenced my goal of working with children in an academic setting and has allowed me to realize what career path I want to follow.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

This internship had a lot of expectations and demanded long hours, which consisted of 9.5 hours daily and on some days of the week, programming was 12 hours long. My advice for Holy Cross students would be to expect to work long hours and have enough available time during the summer to devote to this internship.

 

Meet Crusader Intern Alisha Collazo ’18

Sales Intern at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer I worked for Arthur J. Gallagher’s nine week sales-based internship program. Throughout the course of my internship I was able to travel from a week-long training in Chicago, to a client meeting in Manhattan. While stationed in Boston, I met with various carriers, shadowed on conference calls, and sat in on several presentations discussing all four divisions the company has to offer.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

A concept that was stressed to us during our internship was relationship-building and critical thinking, whether it be establishing a relationship with a prospective client or networking with fellow employees at our company. Through our courses and extracurricular activities, we were taught to be critical thinkers as well as “men and women for others.” Nonetheless, networking and relationship building were not difficult for me when beginning the program as I have already learned through our Jesuit education how to establish meaningful relationships with others. Throughout all of our courses, especially in my math courses, we are always told to “ask more,” while being pushed to think outside the box. This became a key asset to me in terms of critical and analytical thinking as I began to understand both the various plans our carriers offer and how to find the best plan at the best price for our clients.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

Definitely how hands-on my experience has been. For example, on my first client meeting I did not just shadow or take notes, but was given a speaking role at the presentation.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

This experience greatly influenced my career goals. Throughout the program we have been given exposure to insurance, risk management services, and sales. Before beginning the program I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation; however, now I can say sales is definitely at the top of my list.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Be a sponge and take everything in and definitely network. This is an opportunity to have a first-hand experience in a career you are considering or a chance to learn about a career you have never considered. Network with everyone! You never know who you are going to run into again or who may be able to help you in the future. We had an example of an intern who decided the job really wasn’t for her and wanted to pursue marketing. The following year, the company was establishing a marketing division and she was hired through the connections she maintained!

Meet Emily Zeno ’19 Intern at New York Sound & Motion Productions Inc.

Meet Emily Zeno ’19 Intern at New York Sound & Motion Productions Inc.

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer, I have been interning at New York Sound & Motion Productions–a video production company located in Springfield, Massachusetts–which produces more than 500 video projects annually for clients from a variety of different industries. The company is responsible for many of the local commercials you see on TV in the area, and I have had the opportunity to both write commercials and assist in production on the days of the shoots for them. The main project that I have had the opportunity to work on is a documentary about stress and anxiety for a health industry client. From assisting in shooting the interviews, to taking notes on them, to forming the story arc of the documentary as a whole, and finally to sitting in in the editing room, I have been able to be a part of the production process of this documentary from start to finish. It is very gratifying to have the opportunity to see a project come together from its inception to its final state.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

Holy Cross has sharpened both my analysis and synthesis skills which proved to be very helpful when I was going through hours of interview footage and deciding what quotes and perspectives best contribute to the story of the documentary as a whole. These two skills were also crucial in choosing what order the clips should be presented in so that the final product flows as organically as possible, and my experience writing essays at Holy Cross has greatly helped me with this.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

I have been most surprised by the amount of responsibility that I have been given in producing the documentary. I have been able to work directly with the client as well as many of the people we have interviewed, and I have had the chance to contribute a lot of input on how the project should be structured. I have had much more hands on work than I could have ever expected, and it has been a really great and immersive learning experience.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

In the future, I want to write for and produce television shows, and this internship experience has allowed me to see first-hand what the production process is like from start to finish. It has also taught me the importance of creating a story in all of the video projects that we produce, which directly connects to the storytelling that is done in TV.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

The advice I would give to other Holy Cross students who will be interning at some point during their college career would be: to always ask questions when you are unsure about something, and to never sit around and wait to be told what to do next after you’ve completed a task or assignment because taking initiative will help you stand out to employers.

Meet CrusaderIntern Rebecca Stanton’18

Meet Rebecca Stanton’18 Research Assistant Intern at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

My internship is held in New York City at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. My tasks mainly involve conducting extensive research and literature review for one of the organization’s on-going reports. This report is on early prevention programs and my job is to research and analyze the effectiveness of current programs and write overviews. These overviews will be analyzed and referenced in the report. Also, I am completing data entry for a report that will evaluate each state’s insurance coverage for substance use services. Additionally, I have been given the opportunity to write a blog post on opioid addiction and the elderly. Therefore, I have been researching the most recent data on this topic and its significance.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

As a psychology major, I have taken a substantial number of courses on mental health and courses that reference addiction. Therefore, I understand the majority of terms that are being used at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and the organization’s mission statement. In my courses, psychology and others, I have conducted research and written research papers. At my internship, I have been using these writing and research skills that I have developed from my courses and help from my professors. For example, I have used my background knowledge of Psychology Statistics to evaluate studies and understand to what extent they are effective.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

The most surprising aspect of being an intern is how much responsibility I have been given. Before starting the internship, I expected that I would be writing and researching, but what I did not expect was the extent to which I felt part of a team. I frequently have meetings with my supervisors and research associates about the on-goings reports and find that my tasks are valued and appreciated.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

I plan to go into the healthcare sector, specifically as a Nurse Practitioner, and my experience thus far has reaffirmed my plans. What I have learned from my internship is the prevalence of addiction and the responsibility that healthcare professionals share in tackling this problem. From the extensive research I have done, I now have a better understanding of what influence I could potentially have in minimizing addiction.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

For students interested in an internship, the best advice I can give is to be open-minded. There are going to be things that you find to be exciting and intriguing and others that you find to be tedious. However, an internship is meant to be a learning experience and there is always something you can take away from it.

Meet Leyda Frias ’18 Intern at Part of the Solution (POTS)

Meet Leyda Frias ’18 Intern at Part of the Solution (POTS)

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This past summer I was working at Part of the Solution (POTS), a non-profit in the Bronx, NY. At POTS, I worked with the legal clinic, where we prevented evictions. Some of my major assignments for the summer include, making six month and year follow up calls to recipients of an emergency fund, aid in the preparation for fair hearings and eventually I was even able to complete my own intake for new incoming clients. I was also fortunate to shadow lawyers and legal advocates in housing court and administrative court.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part was directly interacting with clients, whether it was during intakes or just simply helping them write a letter to their landlord. It was rewarding to see that I was making at least a small difference in their lives.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

I realized that too many people in these communities do not know how to properly read their leases, which hinders them from knowing all their rights and what a landlord can and cannot do.