Connections from California

After two months of research in California, I am happy to say that I had a great experience. Living at the White Mountain Research station has been amazing for a number of reasons. I have met so many different people from all over the US and from all walks of life. I have learned about different species, life histories and identification of plants/ pollinators, but also about other projects, people and places. I spent a majority of my free time without cell service, but became happily immersed in hiking, drawing, and swapping books with people from all corners of the country at the station. Living in rural, eastern California for 8 weeks was a great experience.

The most rewarding part of this internship was getting out of my comfort zone and learning about a completely new field of biology, pollination ecology. I was able to learn many new data collection techniques of plants/ pollinators throughout the summer. I even got the chance to learn more about statistical analysis and how to use data in a meaningful way to answer scientific questions. Though this summer was a great experience, I learned that I am not very interested in pursuing an ecological research career. I spent a lot more time alone in the field than I had anticipated. In the future, I hope to work in an environment where I can work as part of a close team and make more connections. Coming to this realization was a challenge, but I am glad I had this summer internship to help me come to this conclusion. Overall, I had a great summer full of research experiences that will help me to become a better, well-rounded research scientist in the future.

Elizabeth Kenny
Biology

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Patience is a Virtue

This summer, the most challenging part of my internship at Nichols Law Offices has been to have patience when working with clients. My boss, Craig Nichols, seems to have an endless amount of patience to explain things to clients. Client meetings over simple matters can sometimes stretch well over an hour. Meetings over complex matters, like Department of Homeland Security interviews, can last half the day. Even in difficult cases, Mr. Nichols never gets frustrated or irritated. I have met this challenge by putting myself in the clients’ shoes and realizing how difficult it can be to express thoughts and feelings while facing life altering realities, like possible deportation. When I find myself running out of patience, I simply take a deep breath, refocus, and dive back while trying to explain the problem in a different way.

The most rewarding part my internship goes in hand with the most challenging. Giving our clients the legal service that they need to stay in the U.S. makes the marathon meetings worth it. When our clients give us their stories, it makes me so grateful to be an American. The poverty, violence, and struggles that many of our clients have dealt with are almost unimaginable. Helping these people find a better life in the U.S. makes all the challenges worth it.

Colin Sommers
History/Political Science

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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

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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
History

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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

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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
History

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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
Biology

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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
Neuroscience

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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

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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
Biology

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