A Postcard From: Sydney Maves ’17

13285713_10209167647326730_145702128_nName: Sydney Maves

Year: 2017

Major: Growth and Structure of Cities, Minor: Environmental Studies

Internship: Mayor’s Intern in the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (MIP Program)

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

So far, this summer has been great. Because the internship is in downtown Philadelphia, I decided to sublet a place in University City. I couldn’t have asked for a better location. Instead of taking the subway every morning, I decided to try out Philadelphia’s new biike share program – Indego. There’s a station right outside my apartment and right next to my office building. Through this internship, I’ve been learning about how Philadelphia’s residents are able to get involved and voice their opinions in the planning process. I’ve also been able to work a fair amount with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to visually represent recommendations that Philadelphia City Planning Commission has determined to be high, medium, and low priorities to change or implement. I’ve also been learning about Philadelphia’s zoning code which went through major changes recently after not being modified for over 40 years.

As a part of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Internship Program, on Fridays all of the Mayor’s interns come together for panel discussions with individuals in all different departments and levels of city government. We’ve also gone on a number of fieldtrips, including one to the Navy Yard. As someone who is interested in urban planning it was very interesting to see how the Navy Yard is being redeveloped after years of very little use.

How I heard about my internship:

I interned at the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office last summer, so this year, I wondered if Philadelphia offered a similar program. I applied through the Mayor’s Internship Program (MIP) and was then interviewed to learn about my interests. Then, I was interviewed again with specific departments including the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC).

Why I applied for my internship:

This summer, I wanted to learn how a city determines what changes need to be made to the urban form in order to improve living standards. I also was interested in being part of the Mayor’s Internship Program so that I would better understand how departments in government work together. With PCPC, I’ve been able to attend meetings in order to learn about all aspects of the planning process from learning how maps are made, to talking to community members, to learning about the necessary interactions between stakeholders.

A Postcard From: Natalie Schall ’17

i_must_have_flowersName: Natalie Schall

Year: 2017

Major: Anthropology

Internship Placement: Research project with Field Projects International in Peru.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I did a research assistantship with Field Projects International (FPI). I was helping a PhD student from Washington University of St. Louis, Effie Robakis, with her dissertation research. She is focusing on the mating habits of tamarin monkeys. We are in the middle of the Amazon, in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. It sometimes feels like we are still in civilization, because we have a very comfortable field station set up here, but it really is completely removed from the rest of the world. Every day, we go on follows of different groups of tamarins, either emperors or saddlebacks. We have several different groups that FPI has tagged with radio collars and beaded collars. This makes it really easy to identify individual monkeys, because they all have a unique combination of colors, distinguishing their group and sex as well as individual identity. Every follow consists of finding the group we are assigned for the day and then running scans, finding every member of a group and writing down what they doing, every five minutes, and focals, focusing on one member of the group and keeping a running commentary of what they are doing into a voice recorder as well as recording any vocalizations they make into a microphone, every twenty minutes. We are also working on an experiment which involves seeing how breeding individuals react to the calls of breeding individuals from other groups, which is what Effie’s research is specifically on. It is fascinating, and really fulfilling to know that I am contributing to an important research project.


I applied for this RA position because I have been interested in primatology as a career since my first year at Bryn Mawr. This was the first opportunity I’ve ever gotten to see what it’s really like doing research in the field, so of course I jumped at the chance. I’m so happy I did, because I love both the field and the field work! I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge about how to conduct field research and set up experiments. I feel confident that I will be able to go into the field anywhere and be a good researcher, because I now have a really solid set of baseline skills set up, thanks to all the training that I’ve received from FPI.


A Postcard From: Jasmine A. Rangel ’17

12184977_1234063743277840_56187239605533953_oName: Jasmine A. Rangel

Year: 2017

Major: Chemistry

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I interned as a Breakthrough Houston teaching fellow. More specifically, I had the opportunity for 2 months to teach 8th grade Chemistry. This was my third year doing this program and every year I learn a bit more about the trade of teaching and also what other venues there are for having an impact in education.

Beyond the educational aspect I have learned how key trust is in a classroom. I have spent this summer not only pushing my own boundaries but also those of my students. Without earning their trust, I could have never asked them to do many of the things that they find challenging. I chose to return year after year to Breakthrough because the students remind me to continue to strive for classrooms that are welcoming and embrace challenges with a touch of grit and optimism.


A Postcard From: Kate Pellegrini ’17

screen_shot_20160603_at_11.21.33_pmName: Kate Pellegrini

Year: 2017

Major: Psychology

Internship Placement: Psychological Sciences at University of Portland, OR

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of bunkering down in Portland and taking on the role of research assistant to one of my all-time favorite professors, the incredible Louisa Egan-Brad, lately of Bryn Mawr College, but recently of University of Portland. Her specialty is in moral reasoning and questions of irrationality and decision-making. So naturally, I’ve spent the majority of my time playing with puppets and handing out Hershey’s kisses to strangers in farmer’s markets.

Though my research has not exactly followed the linear path of reading in the library and poring over Excel documents (which to be fair, I have done a lot of) I had anticipated, I couldn’t be happier with the experience overall. Working under the stellar authority of Louisa and gaining mentorship and guidance like none I’ve ever experienced before has been more than helpful in allowing me to see my future goals with newfound clarity and excitement. While I’m sorry to see the summer come to a close so soon (where did the time go?), I cannot wait to bring what I’ve learned back to Bryn Mawr and beyond.

A Postcard From: Devica Bhutani ’18

12705475_10204849087940919_2896410450752310397_nName: Devica Bhutani

Year: 2018

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I am one of 54 interns of the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Internship Program. This program allows interns to explore government in a few ways. All interns work for at least 20 hours with a city department, which we were placed in after a few interviews as well as our interests and applications. I am working in the Strategic Planning division of the Department of Behavioral Health and Disability Services (DBHIDS). In the department, I do a lot of Excel work, and have been researching articles about opioid use and mental health in Philadelphia.

On Fridays, all the interns meet (sometimes inside City Hall, sometimes in the Municipal Building, sometimes at specific sites, like Philadelphia International Airport), and we hear from people who work in the City of Philadelphia. This coming Friday, we will be hearing two panels, with speakers including the Deputy Managing Director for Community Services, and the Chief Cultural Officer.

Additionally, the interns are split into groups to work on one of six projects. My specific project is to work with the Office of Immigrant Affairs to help with the first ever Unity Cup. The Unity Cup is a World-Cup like soccer tournament with different communities of Philadelphia competing and representing that country. Although I have only been interning for two weeks, this internship is really great, and I am so thankful for the opportunity.


The interns with Mayor Jim Kenney

How I heard about my internship:

LanternLink and Google!

Why I applied:

I am a current pre-med student, so I get a lot of questions asking why I am working “in the government.” We live in a very political world, especially now with medical insurance and there is a ton of politics in medical settings-especially hospitals. I think that it is important to be in the know of politics, which is why I applied to this program. I am also interested in seeing what the world of public health is about, so again, I am really thankful for this opportunity!

Fun fact: At DBHIDS, one of my colleagues was a former Sociology professor at Bryn Mawr!


A Postcard From: Christina Stella ’17

13479525_10153892628528409_769570263_nName: Christina Stella

Year: 2017

Major: Independent Film and Media Studies

Internship Placement: Atlantic Public Media, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

Things are going so great. I could type for days, but I won’t, because I have some scary close work deadlines. Living on Cape Cod is an incredibly bizarre experience because Cape Cod is an incredibly bizarre place. Which, frankly, makes my job a lot easier.

This summer, I’m interning for Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. APM is basically a big steaming pot of Public Radio Stew—they manage, develop, and produce multiple different projects in radio under multiple different names. I’ll say more about that later. As for my internship, it’s my job to travel around the Cape, stick a microphone in strangers’ faces, and make stories out of what I find. I also produce pieces for WCAI’s (NPR for the Cape, Coast and Islands) Creative Life Series. I’ve found some pretty zany people along the way. For example, I’m working on a piece about a local dude who makes inventions out of old broken bicycles he steals from the dump. That’s fun. Another is about a glassblower who refuses to be called an artist and fought me for an hour over it. Anything I make gets played on NPR to the delight, dismay, and apathy of our listeners. I am living The Actual Dream with My Actual Personal Rockstars. Sometimes I still cry about it while biking ocean-side to the station, and no, it’s not from the salty air.

How I heard about my internship:

So, about the Radio Stew. I learned about Atlantic Public Media because I listen religiously to a few programs from their sub-project PRX, also known as the Public Radio Exchange. The Exchange globally distributes thousands of programs online like This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour so you can listen with your coffee, laundry, or long car ride (for free!). When I looked up their website, I discovered that APM also manages Transom.org, which is a showcase and workshop for new public radio production—a website I read articles on all the time written by producers like Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, and Al Letson. But it all really clicked when I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite producers, Bianca Giaever, who mentioned having interned with them. 

My advice on finding an internship:

The best way to find an internship is by being a present, curious person. That might SOUND like it means a whole lot of nothing, but it’s actually our greatest asset as young people looking for experience.

  1. Ask yourself, what do you find interesting about this world? Is there anything you want to learn more about? Be honest and specific. Give yourself permission to dream.
  2. Read up on The Thing. Google is your best friend. Don’t reach out until you already have basic information.
  3. Find people who are Doing That Thing (or know somebody!) and talk to them. You have nothing to lose. An email or phone call has yet to kill anybody.

I think we sometimes kid ourselves into believing that one opportunity, one summer, one position will make or break us as young professionals. Wrong. Last year, I was rejected from every internship I applied to. This year, APM’s website didn’t even say anything about internships being offered. I’m here because of one timid email—a whim. And the fields? Completely different.

Why I Applied:

I applied because I knew I loved documentary radio but needed help transitioning from listener to producer. I wanted to be around people who cared about their craft and wanted to help others who care, too, and that has very much been my experience. A simple answer, but it stems from the essence of my above advice.

A Postcard From: Yuying Guo ’18

photo_on_72214_at_4.04_pm2Name: Yuying Guo

Year: 2018

Major: Biology

What’s going on? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I am interning in my home city, Boston, in the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), which is affiliated with Boston University. I am conducting research in Dr. John Connor’s lab, which studies host responses to viral infections caused by hemorrhagic fever viruses. My project this summer involves working with the MinION, a portable, real-time sequencing device that utilizes the technology of nanopores. I was actually first introduced to the MinION while working in Professor Shapiro’s lab, so I am excited to become more familiar with using this device. I will be establishing the use of the MinION in the Connor lab by using it to sequence viral genomes. A protocol for sequencing inactivated, non-infectious samples of Ebola will be designed.


The MinION by Oxford Nanopore Technologies! (It is just under 100g)

In addition to working with the MinION, I am also learning cell culture techniques and becoming familiar with different cell morphologies. I have been able to culture three cell lines: HeLa, Vero, and BHK21 (Vero cells are my favorite!). Other techniques that I have learned include performing bacterial transformations, SDS PAGE, Western blots, and RT-PCRs.

While at the NEIDL, I have also participated in the events hosted by the BU STaRS (Summer Training as Research Scholars) Program. I will have the opportunity to present my project at journal clubs and at a research symposium at the end of the summer.

Vero cells!

Vero cells!

BHK21 cells!

BHK21 cells!

How I hear about my internship:

Through my own online research, I was able to find many labs conducting research that interested me. I reached out to many PIs and was able to secure a research internship position with my current principal investigator, who is a Swarthmore alumnus.

Why I applied for my internship:

I specifically wanted to conduct research this summer because I wanted to explore my possible career choices, and interests within the biology field. I have had previous research experience at Bryn Mawr with Professor Shapiro, so I was also hoping to continue to learn more techniques and skills, as well as gain a feel of the environment in a large lab.

A Postcard From: Sophie Mongoven ’17

unnamed10Name: Sophie Mongoven

Year: 2017

Major: History of Art

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I interned at the American Philosophical Society Museum in Philadelphia. The APS is a scholarly organization located next to Independence Hall, and their museum creates exhibits focused around topics in art, science, and history. I was a Curatorial Research Intern, working on an exhibit opening on April 7th, 2017 about the 18th century American painter Charles Willson Peale and his family. The APS houses many of the Peale family papers in their library, so I also gained significant experience working with archives and documents. I learned so much this summer, not just about museums and curatorial work but also about what kind of environment I like. I loved how collaborative the work was, and I was grateful to work in such a fun and supportive office.

Philosophical Hall, where the American Philosophical Society Museum is located.

Philosophical Hall, where the American Philosophical Society Museum is located.

Why I applied for my internship:

I was attracted to the APS internship because it was a chance for me to combine the experiences I have gained in past museum internships with my academic study of Art History. I knew I wanted to learn more about curatorial careers, and I was excited about the prospect of getting hands-on experience crafting an exhibit with a small and dedicated museum team. It’s pretty rare for undergraduates to work up-close on curatorial projects so this internship was a phenomenal opportunity.

Interior of the APS Library.

Interior of the APS Library.

A Postcard From: Neeva Shrestha ’17

neeva_linkedin_2Name: Neeva Shrestha

Year: 2017

Major: Economics

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I am interning with the Global Fund for Children at their head office located in Washington, DC. I am currently working with the organization’s Programs team.

The Global Fund for Children (GFC) is an international non-profit organization, which utilizes a unique model of funding high-potential, innovative grassroots organizations that serve vulnerable youth populations across the world. GFC also provides additional services–such as leveraging and management support–to bolster the organizational capacity of its grassroots partners, in order to ensure that these organizations can create a sustainable impact in their respective communities.

I have largely been involved in two main projects over the summer. For the first project, I analyzed data collected on our 210 grassroots partners to prepare GFC’s annual statistical report for the last fiscal year. I then presented and discussed the findings of the report during the organization’s bi-annual team meeting. Currently, I am working on another project that involves analyzing GFC’s proposals, reports, and surveys. Through the collected data, I will be developing processes to improve the efficiency of compiling feedback from partners, and to enhance communication with report and survey respondents.

DC is an amazing city to live in. There are so many places one could visit (for free!), great cuisine to try, and interesting people one could meet. Though public transportation has been painful this summer due to metro repairs, I definitely don’t mind walking around the city. One of my best memories here has been going to the Washington monument on the 4th of July, in spite of the rain and the crowd, and watching the Independence Day fireworks.

A Postcard From: Samantha Plate ’17

IMG_0288 - Version 2Name: Samantha Plate

Year: 2017

Major: Psychology 

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I am interning at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in their Center for Autism Research (CAR). I have been working on the language-motor team there helping to develop and code data for studies focused on language development in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

So far I’ve spent most of my time working on the Infant Brain Imaging Study, a longitudinal study that has collected data from infants with both high and low risk for ASD. For this project I have been watching videos of 24-month children who were either later diagnosed with ASD or are thought to be typically developing. I code these videos for all communication: speech sounds, non-speech sounds, and gestures. The goal of this project is to look for early markers of different ASD phenotypes. I am currently developing a small project within this study that is looking at the differences in positive (laughing) and negative (crying, whining, fussing) affective non-speech sounds between children later diagnosed with ASD and typically developing children.


I have also had the opportunity to learn about and work on several other projects at CAR. I also attend weekly meetings with the other CAR interns where we get to hear from various staff members and guest speakers. In the picture above, the Language Team interns all took a field trip down to the new Buerger Center at CHOP, where we got to tour the Center for Childhood Communication and speak with speech-language pathologists.

The hallways of CAR are filled with artwork made by children with ASD. I love coming up the elevator every morning and seeing all of these beautiful pieces. The picture below is of one of my favorites.

sam2How I heard about my internship:

I spoke to my thesis advisor about doing research for my senior thesis and she suggested I e-mail some of the researchers at CAR to see if any of them were looking for summer interns. I got put in contact with Dr. Julia Parish-Morris and after hearing about her work I knew I wanted to work on her team. I am excited to continue working in collaboration with CAR to turn my summer project into my senior thesis.