An Internship with “Porpoise”

As I reflect back on the past several weeks spent as a therapy intern at Island Dolphin Care (IDC) in Key Largo this summer, I can honestly say the most rewarding aspect has been the feedback we’ve gotten from our clients and their families as to the lasting difference the dolphin-assisted therapy has made in their lives. Testimonials from military veterans rave about how their sleep has improved and their anxiety has decreased after participating in therapeutic swim sessions with our dolphins. Some parents say that IDC is the reason their otherwise non-verbal children were able to speak. Children themselves say that they are thankful for IDC because it gives them the rare opportunity to just be a kid without being too restricted by their health limitations. I am proud and very thankful to have been part of the Island Dolphin Care family this summer.

The most challenging part of this internship is having to say goodbye to the amazing clients with whom we work. Most of our clients stay for a 5-day therapy program during which we are privileged to be invited into their daily lives. We get to know these clients and see their improvements over the week-long therapy sessions, but every Friday when it is time to say goodbye, there are tears in everyone’s eyes. I can now say that I have made friends from all over the world including Puerto Rico, Germany, England, and Poland! It is wonderful that the dolphins operate in a universal language and have a way of touching everyone’s hearts.

My summer internship at Island Dolphin Care has flown by faster than I ever would have imagined, and I am forever grateful for the experience to work side by side with the therapists … both human and dolphin! I am also thankful for the support of the Royal Experience program to have had this life-changing intern experience.

Claire Jarvis
Occupational Therapy

The Rewards of a Museum Internship

After a summer of interning at the Everhart Museum, I have learned so much about the excitement and demands that go into the role of a curator. I have quickly learned that one of the most challenging aspects of creating exhibitions is not only presenting them in an educational way, but also keeping cultural traditions in consideration as well. Museums often struggle with finding a balance between displaying indigenous objects in an educational or aesthetic light. My research on various sacred objects and indigenous traditions have provided appropriate cultural context and aided the museum in their pursuit of creating ethical and culturally-aware exhibitions. Extensively researching specific artifacts often became very tedious and challenging at times; however, the most rewarding aspect of my internship was also seeing my research come to fruition.

In addition to my research, the other most rewarding aspect of my internship has been being able to handle many historical objects in the Everhart’s private collection. I have always been fascinated with artifacts and artworks; however, my access to them was limited to visits at other museums and pictures from online resources. Being able to hold important objects in my hands and directly participate in their long histories was an amazing feeling that deepened my appreciation for art. Overall, my entire experience has been very rewarding and has ignited my passion to continue pursuing a museum-related career in the future.

Abbey Donaldson

From a Royal to a Husky: A Summer with UConn Basketball

There are numerous career paths that a student enrolled in an Exercise Science Program may choose to pursue. As someone who has always had an interest in health and fitness, a potential career path that appealed to me was in the field of Strength and Conditioning. This interest, along with assistance from The Royal Experience Summer Internship Program, has afforded me the opportunity to spend my summer in Storrs, Connecticut as a Strength and Conditioning Intern with The University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Program.

Some of my daily tasks include weight room setup and breakdown, pre/intra/post workout nutrition preparation, and exercise demonstration – all of which have allowed me to gain “hands on experience” in the field of strength and conditioning. In comparison to most sports, a basketball roster is relatively small; it is almost as if I am working with each athlete individually, providing motivation and positive reinforcement.

In addition to the “hands on experience” comes the wealth of knowledge I have learned and hope to continue to learn throughout the duration of my internship. Interning under Coach Sal Alosi is as good as it gets, as he has been a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at both the professional level (NFL) and for various sports at the collegiate level. The ability to intern and study under a coach who has “experienced it all” has both solidified my desire to work in the field of Strength and Conditioning, and set me up for success in my future career path.

Weight room
Myself prior to day beginning
Nutrition preparation – top three shelves are stocked each day / bottom four shelves are the shakes made each day

Blake Hammert
Exercise Science

Royal Museum Experience: Everhart Museum

This summer interning at the Everhart Museum’s department of Museum Education, Programming and Events, I hope to gain a broader understanding of how a small museum functions day-to-day as well as the roles of the different departments in a museum. Having grown up in Scranton, PA near the Everhart Museum, I also hope to achieve a deeper appreciation for the work that goes into keeping the arts alive in our community through their different projects, initiatives, camps and events. I am hopeful that this internship will help me to better understand my future career path by helping me decide whether I would like to pursue museum work or education. Currently, I am able to work on my Art History skills by writing information sheets for tours that compare and contrast a work of art in the Everhart’s galleries to a famous, well-known work of art. In addition to that, to gain experience in the education field, I am working on creating self-guided art activities in the open studio for visitors to make art on their own after viewing the galleries. I anticipate a very educational and thought-provoking summer here at the Everhart

Virginia Farrell

Summer at Columbia Medical Center

This summer, I was given the opportunity to do research in a laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center in the Department of Neonatology. Over the past 5 weeks, I have been learning a variety of skills including how to operate different laboratory apparatus and how to analyze data. These skills are necessary to master in order to conduct an individual research paper throughout the next few weeks of summer.

From this experience, I hope to gain more of a sense of direction in terms of a career path. I, like many college students, do not know exactly what it is that I want to do after graduation. I have always loved science and know that I want to do something relating to human biology, I am just not sure what. I am hoping that working in a lab will open yet another door for me and let me experience the more behind the scenes work of medicine. With the end goal of publishing my own paper, pursuing research will help me to become a better writer, which is a skill that would help me anywhere in life, but especially if I decide to apply to medical school or graduate school in the future. Overall, this research experience is a great way for me to experience just one of the things that I can do after graduation.

Tara O’Hagan

Fundamentals in Chemical Research

While I hope to gain knowledge about techniques and skills in glycobiology, I have realized that I am learning what it means to ask the right questions. The renowned scientist I work under has shown me that it is far more important to be able to understand and think about the right questions than it is to perform a procedure. An attitude of complex problem solving is a mentality that I hope to gain by the end of the summer.

The Royal Experience has given me the opportunity to be exposed to the lifestyle and work ethic of an industrial scientist. While I have only been here for a few weeks, it is clear that this facility is dedicated to research and that their focus is producing cutting-edge science. Daily tasks of writing manuscripts, reading literature, and preparing samples makes clear the expectations that this research group has set for itself. This environment is the type I hope to find myself in during the coming years. Moreover, it has given me a clearer picture of what I should be looking for in graduate school in this coming fall. I am confident that this experience will provide me with the necessary skills to excel as a highly qualified candidate in a doctoral program. Most importantly, this involvement has affirmed my love for research.

Nolan McLaughlin

The New Exposure

This summer I am doing an internship at the Scranton Counseling Center. The experience so far has been astonishing. I have learned a lot in the past three weeks. I got much real-life exposure to many psychological disorders, which I have only learned about in my previous psychology courses. So far, I have seen patients suffering from some serious illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and eating disorders.

By spending some time in the psychiatrist’s office, I have attained more knowledge about the treatment process for different disorders. I also gained a better idea of the process of diagnosis by observing a therapist conduct an intake. For the first two weeks, I observed the nature of group counseling and took notes. Since last week, I am planning and running my own group sessions under the supervision of the program staff.

I am hoping to gain more patient contact exposure in the next two months, so that I can recognize their symptoms and behaviors without difficulty. I want to learn more about diagnosis to help me make the treatment plans. This internship will help me to find the direction toward my future career. Sometimes I am undecided between becoming a mental health counselor or becoming a psychologist. This position will help me learn real meaning of counseling and how is it different from what a psychologist would do.

Mili Patel
Neuroscience Major, Psychology Minor

My “Wild Life”: My Internship at a Wildlife Sanctuary

This summer I have the privilege of interning at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit rehabilitation center for injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife. My main roles at the sanctuary include working with licensed rehabilitators to establish diets, assess medical needs, administer treatment, and work to release the wildlife that is brought to us. My leadership qualities and responsibility for both the animals and other volunteers has helped me grow as a person, as well as an aspiring veterinarian. From this internship I hope to gain the invaluable knowledge of handling and caring for wildlife. I believe there are some things you can’t learn in a classroom, but rather from experience. For instance, raccoons are in the small group of animals that can eat grapes, and to feed a baby skunk, you have to use its tail to cover its spray glands so you don’t have to take a tomato bath. I have been fortunate enough to learn how to administer subcutaneous fluids to fawns and how to treat hypoglycemia and hypothermia. These valuable experiences are equipping me with the skills and knowledge to become a knowledgeable and trustworthy vet. I hope to continue learning new treatments and dietary needs and work with an even more diverse group of animals. Working here has encouraged me to branch out into new fields of veterinary medicine, apart from small animal, and continue to work with exotic and wildlife animals.

Michelle D’Alessandro

Marketing and Managing a Growing Camp

My marketing internship at Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center in Brighton, Michigan is going very well. Because this camp and retreat center is new and still developing, I hope to learn how to market and manage a business from the ground up. Through my marketing tasks, I hope to learn how to create a brand for a growing business by reaching out to people, especially through social media. Most businesses nowadays are maximizing social media, so I hope to learn the best ways to utilize these platforms to reach a wider audience. Through my management tasks, I hope to learn how to communicate with others, delegate tasks to others, and work together with my coworkers. I also hope to learn more about networking and developing relationships with people.

This internship also gives me experience on working for a nonprofit organization, and I hope to gain insight on how a business like this operates. Because I do not know exactly what career I want in the business field, this internship is very beneficial to me as a business administration major, which is broad and gives me the ability to take various routes in my career path. With this internship, I can gain experience in marketing and management and decide which I like more or if I like both. I have learned a lot so far in my internship, and I am excited to continue to gain more experience.

Maria Hickey
Business Administration

A Royal Museum Experience

These first few weeks have flown by, and they have been full of fun and interesting discoveries! I have been working as a curatorial intern in the Everhart Museum, under the wing of Francesca Saldan, the museum’s curator. I have been specifically working on inventory, which entails taking down information and accession numbers of items in the museum’s storage rooms and entering their location into an online database. Being a student of art history, being able to actually see and hold items from all over the world, paintings from the last few centuries and artifacts from times forgotten is very valuable to me. It turns out the Everhart has a very large collection of Oceanic art- that is, art from the pacific islands, which I had never seen up close. The craftsmanship behind these pieces is certainly not disappointing. I am also a student of studio art, and the collection of fine art on paper and paintings on canvas is very satisfying to see as well. The Everhart has things from medieval illuminations to modern expressionist art. I have also found ancient pieces of glass and sculpture from Greece and Rome! It is certainly true that this humble little museum in Scranton, PA has its fair share of hidden little gems. I am having a great time already, and I look forward to unearthing other secrets as I continue to work through the rooms of storage here at the Everhart.

Until next time,
Jordan Oakey
Liberal Studies with concentrations in Studio Art, Art History, and Education Theory