Whitman College embraces internships as a valued addition to a liberal arts education. Students who participate in internships:
- Explore their interests
- Apply academic and theoretic work from their classes in organizations, businesses and government offices
- Develop professional skills
- Learn from professionals in the career field of their choice
- Have a chance to "test drive a career"
This summer, 120 Whitman students were awarded grants to help them have extraordinary internship experiences. Learn about some of them below.
For more about Whitman's internship programs, please visit the SEC's internships page here.
Kangqiao Liao '16
Throughout the summer, I interned at and explored the daily running of the Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic in Walla Walla. There, I was able to expose myself to the full range of an acupuncture clinic's operations, researching and making herbal formulas, designing brochures and introducing Traditional Chinese Medicine to patients, assisting the clinic in the process of buying another business and running cash flow analysis, dealing with insurance companies and basic reception work, performing moxa on patients, and changing linens for treatment rooms. This internship also gave me an opportunity to understand how Chinese medical services translate into an American context. I also worked at the Saturday farmer's market to introduce acupuncture and other traditional Chinese therapies to a wider community, attracting people to give acupuncture a try. There, I was able not only to feel the pulses of patients, but also to feel the pulse of Walla Walla's trend towards seeking alternative medicine.
Meghan Malloy '15
The UCCE Ventura County office provides and distributes solutions backed by research to help sustain farms and nurseries and to create educational programs for home gardeners, and youth development organizations like 4-H. This summer I have been doing a variety of experimental trials on the two spot spider mite pest that threaten crops grown in Ventura County. We are testing the effects of residual toxicity of pesticides on beneficial predatory mites in an effort to control these pests on strawberry plants. Farmers must rely on biological agents for pest management when they have exhausted their allowed pesticide usages. Our results will be shared with growers to help them manage the pests in an environmentally and sustainable way.
Georgina Dadson ‘17
Volta River Authority
This summer, I have been interning with the Corporate Communications Department of the Volta River Authority in Ghana. I have gotten the opportunity to work with their Community Relations officer as well as their publications and Media-Monitoring officers. As of now, I have been placed in the Akosombo location, where the second largest man-made lake, the Volta, and the biggest dam in Ghana are located. As a result, I interact with a lot of tourists that come to visit the dam. I also get to interact with people from the communities that were impacted by the building of the dam. It has been really interesting getting to see how such a big corporation created by the government is progressing despite the hardship of being a third world country. This is a picture of me visiting one of the Volta River Authority farms created and located in the impacted communities.
Anastasia Greeley '15
I'm currently living in Valparaíso and working in PUCV's biochemistry laboratory, testing gastric cancer cell lines and saponins extracted from the native Chilean tree, the Quillay, to develop alternative treatments to cancer. By analyzing the death rates of cancerous and normal cells treated with saponins as well as the genes being expressed at the time of death, I hope to be able to prove that saponins selectively kill cancerous cells, most of which can be done using techniques taught within Whitman's own laboratory courses!
Wesley Sparagon '15
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, also known as Bd, is a worldwide fungal pathogen that has been linked with devastating amphibian population declines across the globe. The joint Vredenburg-Zink lab at San Francisco State University focuses on Bd and its relationship to a wide variety of California amphibians. As part of this lab, I am working with two species of salamanders (the adorable Batrachoseps luciae and equally adorable Aneides lugubris) to study the effects of Bd infection on their health and to determine if their symbiotic skin bacteria have Bd-inhibitory properties which may help the salamanders to better cope with the fungal parasite.
Emily Klein '16
This summer I have been working on clinical research trials in Pediatric Nephrology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. I have gone through numerous patient charts and abstracted the necessary information regarding kidney function for a longitudinal Transplant Surveillance Biopsy Study, created forms for that same study to be used by nurses during biopsies and therefore streamline the entry of data into a master database, and met with a handful of representatives from drug companies for trials involving the administration of medication to pediatric renal patients. I am enjoying working in a hospital, interacting with doctors and nurses on a daily basis, and learning about the various aspects of pediatric kidney disease.
Haley Case '17
The Multnomah County Health Department serves the citizens of Multnomah County with the mission to work in partnership with the communities to assure, promote and protect the health of the people of Multnomah County. As an intern with the Quality Team I support projects that aim to improve the quality of the integrated clinical services provided by the health department. My work includes ensuring the CPR certification of clinical employees, improving efficiency within the clinics, mapping healthcare delivery processes and protocols, and creating health education materials.
Kyle Donald '16
This summer, I am working with an organization called RAPtivism. I am interning for Aisha Fukushima, head of RAPtivism and a 2009 graduate of Whitman College. Aisha Fukushima obtained a Watson Fellowship to travel the world and collaborate with international Hip-Hop artists to help create social awareness and social justice on a more global scale. Her RAPtivism project took her to connecting with Hip-Hop artists and activists from France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark, Capetown, and beyond. She also interviewed these artists and activists, and that's where I come in. I am working on creating short documentary type clips of these interviews that she will then send out through social media to let their voices be heard. The interviews focus on their opinions and ways in which to create social awareness and social justice within their own community and how Hip-Hop has the ability to achieve that goal. I also help Aisha (as she is a singer/emcee) manage her schedule and her promotion for upcoming shows, workshops, and performances, occasionally helping out at the events themselves.
Drew Edmonds '17
Portland Public Schools - GEAR UP
I started out this summer in the GEAR UP administrative offices helping to recruit targeted incoming 9th graders for a three week summer challenge camp. When the camp started I joined the GEAR UP team on site to assist with attendance and support teachers in the classroom. I am also working on compiling parent engagement and college preparation resources.
Harrison Wills '16
I have spent the past two months working in collaboration with Liberty Tree Foundation, Global Climate Convergence and the United Federation of Tribes. At Liberty Tree Foundation I am conducting public policy research in the following areas: community sovereignty, participatory democracy, environmental policy and electoral reforms including publicly financed elections, instant runoff voting and proportional representation. With the Global Climate Convergence, I helped with community outreach to promote what’s expected to be the largest climate justice demonstration in history, which is taking place in NYC this upcoming September 19th-21st of 2014. My work with the Federation of United Tribes has involved advocacy and community outreach to support the unification of all Native American Tribes and to promote the recognition and protection of Native American Treaty Rights, which will help to protect their ancestral lands and environmental sustainability for future generations. The Federation of United Tribes is working in solidarity with other related indigenous movements such as the Idle No More movement. In summary, my primary focus this summer has been to build bridges of dialogue, solidarity, cooperation and collaboration between these various organizations, since they all work to protect the environment, address climate change and promote human rights.
Marlena Sloss '16
As a photography intern at the Juneau Empire, Juneau, Alaska's local newspaper, I am developing my photojournalism skills by working closely with experienced photographers and reporters. I am out in the community daily documenting news and daily life, covering interviews and events of all kinds, searching to find my own stories, and overall developing my eye for making powerful images. The ever-changing nature of the job keeps it exciting, and also pushes me to be prepared for the unknown. I am really enjoying seeing my photos in print daily, as well as producing online slideshows and videos. Recently I took a float plane trip to Pack Creek on Admiralty Island near Juneau, AK, to photograph and film brown bears; opportunities like these are definitely a highlight!
Grant Rommel '15
This summer I am in Walla Walla working at the Fort Walla Walla Museum! I've been researching historical artifacts and helping to design new exhibits for the museum, including exhibits on World War I and II, hats, Walla Walla County Centennial Farms, and toys. I also help catalog new artifacts and scan images into the computer database. This internship is allowing me to gain experience working in a museum setting, an opportunity that not many people get to have as an undergrad.