Ripple Effect

Morissa Schwartz C’15

Morissa Schwartz C’15 was an English major with a minor in writing when she was awarded a John M. Warner Writing Internship. The fund, which provides English students with stipends that support internships in industries related to writing, allowed Schwartz to work for a semester at Entertainment Weekly in Manhattan. “It sharpened my writing skills and helped me learn a different way of writing, in a different format,” she says. She credits the confidence she gained at the magazine with helping her complete her first book-length work of creative nonfiction, Notes Never Sent, published last year by VIP Ink.

Jenna Deslaurier C’16

With a double major in studio art and anthropology, Deslaurier honed her creative skills and gained an important understanding of human interactions. But it was a Mary Hepburn Internship in Civic Engagement with Artists’ Exchange, a Rhode Island nonprofit that offers art classes for people with disabilities, that showed her how she might fuse her two passions professionally. By working with all age groups and people with different levels of ability, she says, “I was able to learn new methods of teaching and realize where my strengths and weaknesses were.”

Deslaurier qualified for the Hepburn stipend because her internship was unpaid and allowed her to have a positive effect on, and engage with, a community outside of Drew. Getting to her internship was a challenge for Deslaurier, since Artists’ Exchange wasn’t accessible by public transportation from her home in Rhode Island. The Hepburn fund covered the cost of a rental car, which helped make the internship possible. Deslaurier says she could have accepted an internship with another organization. “But I had my heart set on Artists’ Exchange for its unique and inclusive approach to the community,” she says.

Alex Slotkin C’17

A philosophy and English double major, Slotkin spent a semester working at the Street Smart Outreach Program, a nonprofit assisting runaway and vulnerable children and young adults in Morristown, New Jersey. A Mary Hepburn Internship in Civic Engagement covered his transportation costs. Street Smart provides referrals for housing, food, counseling and educational programs to a population at risk of being victimized by human traffickers.

One winter afternoon, Slotkin visited a woman in her 20s and her young daughter, who couldn’t have been older than 10, living illegally in an unheated garage. The experience was disturbing but also illuminating. “It made me realize that it’s important how stories like theirs are told,” he says, “because if an organization doesn’t get its story out accurately, it might not get the funding it needs.” Inspired by the internship and another at a public relations firm specializing in the health care industry, Slotkin now hopes to pursue a job in health care communications. “If it weren’t for my internships,” he notes, “I wouldn’t have known there was a place for me in the PR world.”

Ornella Corsant-Colat C’16

The Robert G. Smith Internship for Experiential Learning funded Corsant-Colat’s internship with Peace Boat, an NGO that promotes a culture of peace. While writing reports on the group’s campaigns, she says, “I became interested in nuclear disarmament, on which I have focused and done extensive research.” Corsant-Colat published an e-book, Nuclear Weapons: Misconceptions, Challenges and Involvement of NGO Peace Boat, in 2015.

Marvianna Gray C’17

Marvianna Gray C’17 could not shake the sight of the 15-year-old girl holding her 2-year-old daughter. Throughout the summer of 2014, Gray shadowed her former pediatrician, Dr. Edwina Verner, as part of her internship in the East Orange, New Jersey, clinic she had visited as a child. But it wasn’t until Gray saw the teenage girl with her baby that she decided she would one day work in public health. “I realized that people need advocates to help them get health care and health education,” Gray says. “I thought if I were to go to these urban areas and be a sort of mentor, it could probably lessen certain things, like teen pregnancies and the transmission of sexual diseases.”

Gray’s job that summer was made possible by support from the Thomas H. Kean Internship in Public Policy, a fund the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created in 2013 to honor the former New Jersey governor and Drew’s 10th president.

Working with Verner convinced Gray she could be an advocate for patients—and eventually a pediatrician herself. Now a junior, she plans to apply to medical school after spending several years in public health, and she discusses her plans in a tone that is as decisive as it is practical. “I’d like to manage public health policy for the whole world,” she says. “But I’ll start small, in East Orange.”

Kean Enables

The former president of Drew and governor of New Jersey helped establish three internship funds. Once a year, Thomas Kean sits down with the recipients of the Thomas H. Kean Government Internship Program to talk about what the interns have done and what their internships meant to them. “And then,” he says, laughing, “we usually end up with a long political discussion.”

Drew’s 10th president and former two-term New Jersey governor is a politician by avocation and a passionate booster of interning. “On-the-job learning, although it’s often totally different from the classroom, is just as valuable,” he says.

Over the past decade, Kean has been instrumental in establishing three internship funds at Drew, to which he is also among the principal donors. The Kean Government Internship is open to political science majors or minors interested in a career in government or public service. It pays a stipend to students participating in an unpaid internship with a government office, political party or candidate, NGO or related organization. Kean also founded the Joseph Patenaude Theatre Internship and was the driving force behind the Margaret E.L. “Peggi” Howard Internship Fund for Leadership and Service. In 2013, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation honored Kean’s political and academic legacy, along with his dedication to experiential learning, by establishing the Thomas H. Kean Internship in Public Policy.

In addition to hands-on experience, Kean says, internships help students choose—or reject—potential career paths and offer invaluable contacts. But they also benefit employers. “These interns bring a great deal to whomever they work for,” he says, “including Drew’s culture and its values.”ripple

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