Centre Parent Fund makes new summer internships possible
June 6, 2013 By Mariel Smith
a global finance company in Washington, D.C. His internship was
made possible by generous support from the Parents' Committee.
Olivia Palmer ’15 will be working at Seattle Children's Theater
thanks to funding from the Parents' Committee.
New funding from the Parents' Committee enables
Brooks Johnson '15 to travel to the Ancash region in Northern Peru.
Students often look forward to summertime as a break from academic work, but for many Centre students it is an opportunity to delve into the world of experiential learning via research and internships. This summer, thanks to the generous support of the Centre Parent Fund, more students than ever will have the opportunity to intern in places across the nation and the globe.
The Centre Parent Fund is managed by the Parents' Committee, which votes on issues brought before it by senior staff. Director of Annual Giving Jacky Thomas-Seaver explains, "We try to present ideas to the Parents' Committee that will benefit all students across campus. The proposal to fund summer internships got an overwhelming response."
Associate Dean and H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Religion Beth Glazier-McDonald wrote the initial proposals to the Parents' Committee about the need for increased funding of summer internships.
"I understand that many of our students have to work over the summer," says Glazier-McDonald. "They can't commit to an unpaid or full-time summer internship. Also, there are marvelous internships in big cities like New York, Chicago and Washington D.C., but these are very expensive places to live."
She adds, "Many internships, such as those in environmental studies or education, require students to purchase equipment or supplies as part of their activities."
The Parents' Committee Internship Fund aims to subsidize some of these costs for students so that they can take advantage of more summer internship opportunities. Glazier-McDonald stresses that the new funding is awarded through a highly competitive application process.
"We require a budget from students that explains how they intend to spend the money, an essay explaining their goals and motivations for the internship, and a resume. They have to demonstrate a high level of responsibility and initiative," she says.
The real-world experiences provided by the Parents' Committee Fund internships are invaluable to Centre students, especially at a time when many employers require some level of practical experience from prospective employees.
Glazier-McDonald stresses, "internships give students insights into how to connect their liberal arts education to their career goals. We're a liberal arts institution—it's important for us to help students make connections between what they're learning in the classroom and the real world."
This year's generous aid to summer internships demonstrates Centre parents' passion for the Centre Commitment, which guarantees every Centre student an internship or (beginning with the class of 2017) research experience, study abroad opportunity, and graduation in four years.
"Our students are taking advantage of the Centre Commitment in ways we never dreamed, and we would like to help them pursue these extraordinary transformative opportunities," Glazier-McDonald explains.
A few of these transformative opportunities include internships in places as diverse as Washington, D.C.; Hualcayan, Peru; Seattle, Cincinnati, and Waterford, Conn.
Bryce Miller '14, a financial economics major from Louisville, will be working in Washington D.C. with Delphos International, an organization at the forefront of international finance. Aside from his academic qualifications, Miller worked with Andrea Longton '09, a current financial analyst at Delphos, to arrange the interview that secured his internship.
"This is a great opportunity to apply the financial knowledge I have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting," Miller says. "I will be educated in the field of international finance in a practical way that would be difficult to achieve in the classroom."
Olivia Palmer '14, a history and dramatic arts major from Mills River, N.C, will spend the summer at Seattle Children's Theater in Washington. She will be teaching acting classes as well as working backstage on lighting, sets, and costumes for productions.
Palmer aspires to be a children's theater artistic director, which makes this internship particularly important for her.
"This internship will give me hands-on experience working under a director and as a teaching assistant in a professional children's theater," says Palmer. "It's an innovative model for almost all other children's theaters in the nation. I will establish strong connections in a theater community that stretches across the United States, providing me a foundation for future opportunities to work in this field."
Brooks Johnson '14 of Richmond, Ky., will be interning in Hualcayan, Peru, with Regional Archaeological Research Project of Ancash (Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológico Regional Ancash, or PIARA), where he will experience a unique fusion of his two majors: computer science and anthropology.
For the first segment of his internship, he will be learning excavation techniques in the Ancash region of Northern Peru. After several weeks of excavating, Johnson will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to create geo-reference maps and satellite images of the site. For Johnson, who studied abroad in Peru during a Centreterm course, returning there is an exciting opportunity.
"With exposure to GIS, I will be learning skills that are vital not only for archaeology, but dozens of other fields such as banking, real estate, scientific research, and urban planning," he explains. "This internship will provide me with specific skills that set me apart from countless other graduates in archaeology and anthropology."
Additional Parents' Committee Internship Fund students will be featured throughout the summer.
For a complete listing of Parents' Committee Internship Fund students, click here.
Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.