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Summer Internships Help Humanities Scholars Explore Career Options
In June, the Graduate School launched a Humanities Summer Internship program, supporting two humanities Ph.D. students through paid internship opportunities at Syracuse University Press and the Syracuse University Art Museum. An outgrowth of the National Endowment for the Humanities Next-Generation Ph.D. Planning grant awarded to the Graduate School and the Humanities Center in 2018, the internships gave the students the chance to apply their humanistic skills in work settings aligned with their disciplinary backgrounds, while exploring job sectors of interest to them.
Madeline Krumel (Ph.D. student, English) used the Syracuse University Art Museum’s collections to create teaching-specific finding aids that will make it easier for instructors to teach with art objects. Emily Dittman, associate director of the Art Museum, emphasized the range of topics covered by the objects that Krumel worked with, “from pedagogical tools to critical race theory, from literary afterlives to psychoanalysis” and their potential educational value. According to Krumel, “My hope is that these finding aids will make Humanities instructors (and beyond) feel encouraged and empowered to reinvigorate their teaching via SU Art’s extensive collections.”
Alex Hanson (Ph.D. candidate, composition and cultural rhetoric) interned at Syracuse University Press, working with several of its departments–Acquisitions, Marketing, and Editorial/Production–and carrying out a wide variety of work, such as writing proposals for the editorial board, researching outside readers for manuscripts and securing permissions for reprinted text and images. “I am so grateful for the very clear directions Peggy [Solic], Deb [Manion], and Kelly [Balenske] provided, their patient, kind, and generous mentorship. I felt like this was a very ‘intern-centered’ experience, ” says Hanson. Deb Manion, acquisitions editor, added that the internship was “a tremendous collaborative opportunity for the Press, the Graduate School and, most importantly, the graduate student, who can train in an academic-adjacent field that they have real interest in as part of their job market goals.”
The Graduate School also partnered with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Engaged Humanities Network and Dean’s Professor of Community Engagement Brice Nordquist to create four additional Engaged Humanities Summer Internships. These internships are connected to ongoing Engaged Communities projects across the city and region.
Jordan Brady Loewen (Ph.D. candidate, religion) worked at the Skä·noñh–Great Law of Peace Center, editing and producing the “Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery” podcast series, in addition to developing the Virtual Onondaga Project, overseeing a team of programmers, artists and designers. “It was wonderful to have focused time to do creative and public-facing scholarship,” Loewen says. “The pay was also an important motivator.”
Zakery Muñoz (Ph.D. candidate, composition and cultural rhetoric) worked at La Casita Cultural Center, digitizing and producing content for the organization’s Cultural Memory Archive and an upcoming exhibition. In addition, Muñoz led a writing workshop for Latinx youth from the local community. Teresita Paniaguia, executive director of cultural engagement for the Hispanic Community, enthused that Muñoz’s work was “absolutely critical to the agency at this particular time, as we were preparing to reopen our Center after closure due to Covid19. His contributions had a direct and very positive impact on the life of Center, on the lives of these kids, their families, and on the relationships between La Casita and its community partners.”
Jacob Gedetsis (MFA student, creative writing), worked with directors and teachers at the North Side Learning Center on the ongoing community writing project “Write Out,” leading daily writing sessions for middle-school students. Kofi Addai, associate director at North Side Learning Center, notes that Gedetsis helped the students “to think outside the box and be creative in their writing,” while Gedetsis affirmed that “this internship challenged and excited me like nothing else during my academic career.”
Aley O’Mara (Ph.D., English, 2021), worked with Joann Yarrow, Syracuse Stage’s director of community engagement and education, on the theater’s housing policy project, “The Most Beautiful Home … Maybe.” O’Mara collected oral histories to fill archival gaps around housing insecurities and reform in Syracuse, contributing to the larger project of using art to shift current housing policy in the Syracuse area.