Gearing Up for the Future with the Help of Manhattan Justice Opportunities

I am fervently passionate about criminal justice reform, more specifically the end of mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and recidivism rates within Black and Brown communities. That being said, I have had an immensely rewarding experience at Manhattan Justice Opportunities thus far; I have already gotten a chance to shadow court procedures, legal clinical intakes, and client group sessions.

My long-term career goal is to open a non-profit organization that addresses these systemic issues within our country. Manhattan Justice Opportunities will grant me the necessary experience of working at a legal non-profit organization that closely resembles what I’d like to accomplish in the future. During my internship, I will be expanding upon my knowledge on topics such as restorative justice, drug diversion programs, and other alternatives to incarceration, all of which tackle the broader issue of mass incarceration and recidivism rates within our country.

Additionally, as a future criminal defense attorney, it is imperative for me to learn more about the alternative routes to incarceration, since incarceration is not the only, nor the best, solution for every individual who enters the criminal justice system. Manhattan Justice Opportunities has perfected an individualized process that prioritizes the needs of each client within their organization. This organization focuses on the betterment of their clients rather than financial compensation, which is a mindset that every lawyer should have and one that I hope to apply in my future practices.

Tiannah Adams, ’22
Psychology

My First Weeks: Getting Acquainted with Law

For much of this year I have doubted exactly where I would like to take my future career; several months ago, however, I realized that first-hand professional experience would be the most telling factor in steering my decision. After completing my third week as an intern at Attorney Rose Randazzo’s law office, I have found this to be true. I have been able to make better-informed decisions about my next steps in life.

The environment of Attorney Randazzo’s office is professional and cordial, with a hint of calm. This was a relief to find, considering both how unsure of my career I was and how intimidating the prospects are of stepping into a new professional internship. From day one, where I learned the basics of how the office runs, to this week, where I have just finished writing a seven-page memorandum on a local zoning ordinance, I feel confident in deciding that law school will be my next step. I have arrived at this decision because of how much I have been enjoying working in a legal environment. It is a lot more like school than one would think—it is structured, informative, and a lot of fun! Thankfully, I love school, so working for Attorney Randazzo has been wonderful.

In these first weeks, I have learned about insurance settlements, incorporation, bilateral development contracts, and how all of these (and more) can be done ethically and professionally. I hope, as the summer continues, that I may refine this knowledge and build upon it; I will be no expert by the end, but I believe that I am gaining a valuable foundation to take with me as I prepare to apply to law school (and, of course, through to my career afterward). The most important thing I have learned in this short time is that being an attorney is not simply about making money, it’s also about building a network and creating relationships. It’s also not just about personally upholding the law but making sure to hold others accountable, as well. My internship focuses on personal injury and commercial development—two areas of law that do not necessarily coincide with our conventional ideas of “justice.” However, I see the value in them; I see the potential.

As I go forward, I will be keeping the Jesuit question of cura personalis in mind as I try to understand how I will make myself better, all while being a man for others. No matter the area of law, I’ve learned, there must always be an observation of striving to do good. I see this in Attorney Randazzo’s office, who is an alumna of the University of Scranton. She understands being one for others, regardless of what one does. I am so grateful to be shadowing someone I can relate to and work with who shares my sentiments. The synergism we have is important to me, as my next life stage approaches. The knowledge I’m gaining now will be the cornerstone for everything else that comes after it. Being an attorney is difficult but rewarding, but difficulty is code for potential. Most importantly, this means that I will always be able to improve; no win or fail will ever be the end—and I like that prospect. Through my work, I hope to learn more about myself professionally, to continually learn and grow.

Sam in the office.

In the office.

Office Environment

Office environment.

Office Environment

Office environment.

Sam Marranca, ‘22
History

Learning to be an Advocate for Peace

This summer, I am interning in the Outreach Department of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a nonprofit based in Washington, DC. CMEP’s mission is to educate American Christians on the current human rights issues in the Middle East (particularly in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories), elevate diverse Middle East voices, and advocate for changing U.S. policies concerning the Middle East to work toward holistic peacebuilding. Through my internship, I hope to learn more about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and how to understand various perspectives while advocating for the human rights of all involved. I am inspired to grow in becoming an active peacemaker and compassionate advocate.

I am a Philosophy and Theology double major with a Peace and Justice concentration, currently plan to attend law school, and my time at CMEP will certainly help me in my future career path as a lawyer. Advocating for those in need is something I hope to do as a lawyer. More specifically, this internship provides an opportunity for me to explore whether I would ever want to work for a non-profit or even pursue a specific career in peacebuilding advocacy in the Middle East. On a practical level, I am gaining professional communication skills through my outreach work as well as organizational and planning skills through various cataloguing tasks. I’m incredibly thankful for this amazing opportunity to be working in DC for CMEP!

 

Where I work: United Methodist Building, Washington DC.

Where I work: United Methodist Building, Washington DC.

View from outside the office: The US Supreme Court, Washington DC.

View from outside the office: The US Supreme Court, Washington DC.

My desk

My desk.

Some pictures in the office

Some pictures in the office.

Hanging in the office

Hanging in the office.

My train commute: Union Station, Washington DC

My train commute: Union Station, Washington DC.

Kathleen Wallace, ’23
Philosophy, Theology

Zebrafish Research

I am a research assistant in Dr. Son’s neurodevelopment lab, and I am conducting a study investigating the effects of ZnSO4-induced neurotoxicity on anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish. I am also investigating the role of the habenula in mediating this anxiety-like behavior. Working alongside Dr. Son, I hope to learn as much as I can from him in this area of study, and take advantage of the myriad of resources available at my fingertips. It seems that every day I learn a new technique, or skill relevant to my area of study, and I realize that as my internship progresses I will compile quite the repertoire of laboratory practices. Additionally, I hope to see my knowledge in the field of neuropsychology bloom as I attempt to absorb all that Dr. Son has to share with me.

I aspire to be a physician, and I have recently learned that I would like research to be a part of my career as well. Therefore, this internship will help me acquire the skills necessary to further pursue this goal, especially those pertaining to research. I will learn how to improve my ability to design and carry out an experiment successfully, a process that also teaches critical thinking skills beyond belief. Furthermore, the ups and downs of performing a research study will teach me determination and persistence; two attributes critical to the success of a physician. Additionally, this internship will help me to expand my knowledge in an area of study that interests me, perhaps illuminating a path for me to follow when I pursue research as a career.

Jillian Haller, ’23
Neuorscience

MicroWorld

Through my research this summer, I hope to gain more confidence in my knowledge and abilities in the lab. Being in a research setting is very different from being in General Biology or Microbiology lab. You can be very confident in what you are learning in those labs, however, research requires a different way of thinking that’s beyond just performing certain techniques for a grade. The switch in thinking is quite overwhelming, but I know it takes time and practice to nurture and, luckily, I’m not the only one in the same position. Because there is five of us in our research team I’m certain that we’ll all be there for and help one another. Gaining more lab confidence will definitely help me in my career path because I’m aiming to get my Ph.D. and that’ll mean lots of time spent in a lab doing research.

Our first experiment was to see if our bacteria, Caulobacter crescentus, could grow in the water that’s available to us. We tested four different kinds of water: filtered (MQ), tap, deionized (DI), and office tank. The cultures incubated overnight to let the bacteria grow. Initially, we didn’t get much growth. We only found bacteria in the media made with MQ and tap water through a simple stain, but it turned out that there was some sort of contamination in the MQ water because a species that is not C. crescentus grew. We did, however, get C. crescentus to grow in the tap water media. After one more night of incubation we did see growth in all the tubes.

This is Caulobacter crescentus in the media made with tap water after one night of incubation. It can be identified because of C. crescentus’s slightly curved shape, small size, and what it looks like when it divides.

This is Caulobacter crescentus in the media made with tap water after one night of incubation. It can be identified because of C. crescentus’s slightly curved shape, small size, and what it looks like when it divides.

This is the contaminated media made with MQ water after one night of incubation. From what I understand Dr. Randich belives this to be a Bacillus species because of its large rod shape and what it looks like when it divides.

Christina Alfano, ’22
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

An Overall Great Experience

Throughout my experience working with the Jafri Capital team and interns I have valued all that I have learned and witnessed over the summer. After creating the blogs I have been working on this summer I came across the most rewarding part of my internship. After writing various different blog posts, the team and I wanted to designate a more prominent section of their site and company to posting these blogs. We structured the website and updated all social media platforms to announce the coming of the new Jafri Journal. Seeing the great responses from individuals outside of the company was very rewarding and fulfilling to me. I am very grateful for having such a great intern team; they helped me create the name and visual for The Jafri Journal.

The most challenging part of my internship was the very start of writing a new blog topic. After having our team meeting, we would choose a new topic for me to create a post on. Since my background is not in real estate capital markets, I would have to research the topic as well as relating it to what I have learned from the team for instance, focusing on the asset classes. Starting from nothing and creating something knowledgeable and insightful is challenging in itself but also having to ask thought provoking questions to stir conversation and engagement was definitely the most challenging part of my internship.

Brianna Murawski
Marketing

Wrapping Up My Summer at Upstate Medical University

As I reflect on my summer as a research assistant, I recognize that despite both personal and scientific challenges, these have been some of the most rewarding and enlightening months of my professional and academic life.

Initially, I felt overwhelmed by the literature and laboratory protocols. I jumped in on a project that has been going on for several years, so it was challenging to discern where what I was doing fit into the grand scheme of things. However, as the summer progressed and I’ve gained hands on experience, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of the research and I feel much more confident in performing various laboratory tasks. Throughout this time, I have grown more comfortable with reading scientific literature and have learned a wide variety of laboratory techniques, both of which will serve me well in my future endeavors.

Overall, this internship at Upstate Medical University was a priceless experience. Going into this position, one of my primary goals was to determine whether I was interested in research. As I realize how sad I am to leave, it has solidified my interest in pursuing lab research as part of my career as a physician. I am so grateful for this experience, and I am so excited to see where my academic and professional journey takes me!

Looking at zebrafish embryos under the microscope

In front of Weiskotten Hall, the building I work in

Half of my (messy) lab bench. Unpictured to the right, I also have a computer for image analysis

Ellyn Prusinowski
Philosophy, Biochem Cell Molecular Biology

Virtual Results and Learning The Basics

The most rewarding part of my summer internship is still being connected to the lab even when I’m not on campus. One of the hardest adjustments that the switch to remote learning brought me was the inability to work on experiments and be in lab. Through the Royal Summer Experience, I’ve been able to reserve time for research and learning new research techniques. I think the fact that I’m still able to pursue meaningful research even when I’m not on campus is one of the most exciting aspects of this internship. I’m excited to finish data analysis of my short-term high-fat diet study and see what my results yield!

The toughest part of this internship has definitely been teaching myself the basics of Python syntax, text/image/video content analysis, and different data science research techniques. Although I want to jump right into the experiment and analyze political ads for my second project this summer, I know that I need a solid grasp on the basics before I can complete this experiment elegantly.

Jithin V. George
Neuroscience, Biomathematics

The Most Rewarding and Challenging Aspects of my Internship

The most rewarding part of this internship was being part of a team and making an impact. During my internship, my main responsibilities were researching and applying for grants as well as keeping track of and organizing records. It was rewarding to work with a team of other interns to submit a grant proposal, knowing that our work could potentially enable this organization to expand its programs and services, if it was to receive the grants we applied for. Additionally, it was very rewarding to work on grants because I proved to myself that I can adapt and learn as I go with projects, I have no prior experience with. I am very pleased that this internship gave me the opportunity to learn skillsets I may have never otherwise learned. The most challenging aspect of this internship was consistent and clear communication among team members due to working remotely. In my past employment and internship experiences, communication has never been a problem, so it was initially difficult to work on a team that struggled with communication. I feel that this was a good learning experience for me, because as a team we were able to overcome this obstacle by developing a structured system in which we could communicate more effectively. Ultimately working for a non-profit organization was very rewarding because I knew that at the end of the day my work was contributing to the services we provide to women in need.

Carly Dugan

Carly Dugan
Counseling and Human Services

A Summer of Change

I would say the most rewarding part of my internship is the people. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work with many amazing people, with all sorts of skills, talents, and backgrounds. Starting with my crew, we all knew each other from being around the squad for years, but we never really worked the same shift. Coincidentally, this summer, COVID-19 happened, and it sent my squad into a tailspin with staffing changes across the board. Luckily, as it turns out, I ended up working with two amazing people. Throughout the summer and our experiences working together, we all got closer together, to the point where we could run an emergency call on a critical patient without even saying a word to each other. We could take one look at each other and know exactly what needed to be done. It was that sense of closeness where we changed from just being a crew, but partners. Similar to the concept of police having a partner, EMS involves much of the same responsibilities (long hours, with the same people, in extraordinary circumstances), resulting in you getting to know one another. In addition to getting close with your partners in EMS, getting to know the staff at the emergency room is something that I did not expect to yield so many benefits. From making new friends to learning how patients progress, there has been a tremendous amount of knowledge that I have been working with and learning from. By learning about how patients progress, you can learn more advanced clinical knowledge, and use that knowledge in the field to better help your patients in the future.

In addition to my coworkers, it has been an amazing experience getting to know my patients. While most of our patients are a “one-and-done” deal, which is a good thing, some of our patients have complex medical and psychological issues to the effect that we see them more often. The result of this is interesting because we have the ability to treat them more than just a typical patient, we get to know them, and their family, and work with them as someone we are familiar with, rather than a blank slate. This blessing has resulted in several great experiences that remind me exactly why I do what I do.

The most challenging thing this summer has been adapting to a promotion that I recently earned. I was an EMT, a typical member of the EMS crew, but I have been since promoted to the role of Crew Chief. For years, I have been focused on one thing, and one thing only: the patient. Now, I must change that mentality, and take a step back. My role is still to be involved in patient care, as if anything wrong had happened, it would be my responsibility, but also to oversee operations. For most calls, with one patient, this is not too complex a responsibility. However, for complex emergencies such as multi-vehicle car accidents, I have to keep track of traffic, my partners, other agencies on scene, multiple patients, and coordinate with our dispatch center to get the right resources on scene as fast as we can. It is an exciting responsibility, a welcomed one, but it has been quite a transition to be the one who must make the tough decisions. Thankfully, I work with a team I trust, work well with, and they have been invaluable in helping me learn and grow.

Tommy Baran

Tommy Baran
Neuroscience