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: 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: 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.

A Postcard From: Kyra Sagal ’17

kyraName: Kyra Sagal

Year: 2017

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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

This summer, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to continue doing research at the University of Pennsylvania in Dr. David Feldser’s lab. The lab focuses on understanding lung cancer through a variety of different pathways, using both mouse models and in vitro experiments. Not only have I learned a variety of techniques, but I’ve also learned an incredible amount about myself in terms of my career goals and personal interests. Some of the work I do this summer can be used to understand how lung cancer arises and how it can better be treated. The idea that something I have done could contribute to such an important part of the health and medical field feels unimaginable. But that is what’s so amazing about research.

Why I applied for my internship:

I actually was matched with the lab last summer through the University of Pennsylvania’s CTSA Summer Undergraduate Internship Program. After the summer ended, I was asked to continue working in the lab. I absolutely love the work environment. While it is intense, the members in the lab are incredible fun loving, thoughtful, and always willing to mentor me. Having a positive internship opportunity is wonderful in college—it allows you to really see what you want to do in the future. I know that after my research experience, I will be better prepared to enter the medical field, which is my ultimate goal!

A Postcard From: Zubin Hill ’17

img_5757Name: Zubin Hill

Year: 2017

Major: International Studies and French

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

I am currently interning with a non-profit organization called Kailend, which is based in Lomé, Togo, West Africa. I initially heard about Kailend from my eldest sister, who performed her doctoral research in Togo and collaborated with Kailend. As a French minor and International Studies major, Kailend and Togo are essentially a dream. This marks the second time I’ve been abroad in the past year (as I studied abroad in France) and I can honestly say that I can almost map the progress I have made as an independent, internationally-savvy Francophile and generally well-rounded human person. I tend not to panic anymore when I get lost (which is often) and even when I’m out of my element I take stock of the situation and decide how to move forward. Thanks to BMC, I have this opportunity to live and learn internationally and experience the sublimely friendly Togolais culture.


While my work with Kailend is quite varied, the gist is this: I work as a co-teacher for the Street Boys Summer Enrichment Program (teaching English, providing mathematics supplements, and supervising writing lessons). The program is geared toward preparing young boys who, due to parental absence or poverty, had begun living from and off the streets to renter school and thereby place them on a pathway to success. I have also helped out at two of Kailend’s partner orphanages and done some social media advertising for Kailend.

Me in front of a road distances sign in the village of Kpalimé

Me in front of a road distances sign in the village of Kpalimé

I think some of my greatest joys from working in Togo are how communal everything is (if you get into a heated argument/negotiation with your taxi driver, passersby may step in to moderate) and the opportunity I have to interact with some truly remarkable youth. While it has been somewhat hard to adjust to the diet, I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The village on the water in neighboring country Benin

The village on the water in neighboring country Benin

A Postcard From: Tenney Sprague ’17

img_1611 (1)

Name: Tenney Sprague

Year: 2017

Major: Creative Writing

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

When I first applied for an internship in the Gender, Adult Learning and Community Engagement Department at The Franklin Institute, I didn’t think that I’d even get to the interview stage. Sure, I had worked and taught a couple of classes in a museum before, but what would The Franklin Institute want with a Creative Writing major with little to no background in higher level science? Luckily, I got that interview and soon started as an intern at the museum.

From my first day I quickly saw and learned what a warm and fascinating workplace The Franklin Institute is. My coworkers come from all sorts of truly amazing backgrounds and educations (anthropologists, physicists, retired surgeons, marine biologists, etc), and when I see them in the halls, they are always working on new, interesting projects for the museum’s many programs and visitors. There is an energy and love of sharing knowledge that makes The Franklin Institute unique, and I wanted to learn from it and to contribute to the museum in any way I could.

Climbable Neural Pathways in the “Your Brain” Exhibit!

Climbable Neural Pathways in the “Your Brain” Exhibit!

While I have been kept busy with many compelling projects here at The Franklin Institute, my department has also allowed me to explore more areas of research and education that I am interested in. The “Your Brain” exhibit in the museum has sparked the development of Brain-Based Learning sessions, where educators in the surrounding districts can learn about the new research coming out about how the brain works and strategies for effective learning. These sessions in particular have captivated my interest, and along with my other projects, I have been trying to create a curriculum for understanding the dyslexic, or SLD, brain and helpful teaching/learning styles for the teachers that come to our Brain Professional Development sessions.

I already love that I am able to be a part of this incredible institution, but now I feel like they have given me the opportunity to play a more active role in giving back to the community and its education. I don’t think I could have gotten the experiences I’ve had at anywhere but The Franklin Institute, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of my summer at the museum will take me!

Books! Books! Books! All of these amazing books in the Franklin Institute stacks!

Books! Books! Books! All of these amazing books in the Franklin Institute stacks!

Why I applied for my internship:

My interests have always been all over the place (creative writing, animation, baking, teaching, tutoring kids with learning disabilities, advertising, finance, film), and I always have had difficulty picking one of those interests to focus finding an internship or job in. But since my internship last summer at the Children’s Museum of Richmond, I have noticed that more often than not I’m gravitating towards educational based opportunities.  I made my own lesson plans and taught children about Maori culture and folklore at the Children’s Museum, but I realized that while I loved teaching and the lesson plans, I wanted to see if I could affect children and their learning in an overall and behind-the-scenes sort of way. I wanted to be a part of the strive for more enjoyable and effective education in our school systems. Wondering how on earth I could find an opportunity like that, I stumbled upon the Science Education internship at The Franklin Institute on LILAC’s LanternLink.