From London to the Appalachians, Fordham Students Expand Their Horizons Through Summer Opportunities
by Jennifer Spencer
Jacob Kring-Schreifels, FCRH '14
Studied British Heritage Film at Fordham's London Centre
How did you decide to participate in Fordham's London program?
I'm really interested in film criticism and writing about film. The course was almost like a history course as well. You see how film is shaped by cultural history, and how, as that changes, there are reciprocal changes in film.
What was the best part of studying British film in Britain?
It's easy to read in a textbook or see a documentary, but when you get to walk through a house where Elizabeth I found out about her coronation—to see the ceiling and the walls and the paintings—it's an immersive experience. Seeing each part of it—a film, a real place, a painting—you don't get to experience that unless you're really there.
What did you learn, both inside and outside of the classroom?
Just being in London, you have to do things you weren't normally comfortable with. It's a cultural experience you don't get anywhere else. I think that helped me stretch myself, by interacting with other people and experiencing other cultures. That is all invaluable, just being able to understand other people's experiences.
Did you have any quintessential British experiences?
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee kicked off the day after we arrived in London. You couldn't get a better cultural immersion in terms of what London's all about.
Monique John, FCLC '13
Youth Development Intern, GEMS (Girls Education Mentoring Services)
What have you been doing during your summer internship?
I've been interning at GEMS, Girls Education Mentoring Services, working with girls ages 12 to 24 who have been forced into prostitution. My brainchild there has been trying to put together an online magazine featuring the girls' work to give them a platform to communicate their experiences and the beautiful artwork they do.
How has working at GEMS shifted your worldview and your understanding of the issue?
It's a great opportunity for me to work against this issue, because it does include my interest in working in black rights and women's rights. Particularly in the metro area, a lot of girls forced into the sex industry are young girls of color. When you look at how the commercial sex industry is portrayed in the media, people are quick to paint it as an issue that really affects young foreign girls who are being trafficked into the country from Europe or Latin America. Of course, those are populations of concern, but in looking at the issue, especially in the context of New York, it's happening in our own backyards.
What have you learned from the survivors you've worked with?
The girls are very insightful because they've gone through so many things. I've learned from them to work on what you're really passionate about, and to do the things that you love. There may be stigmas from what you've done in the past, but there's still always room for you to grow and learn even from those horrible experiences. I've also learned to not be ashamed of wanting and needing a support system in the changes that you're making in your life.
Harry Huggins, FCLC '13
Internship at the RedEye, Chicago Tribune Media Group
How has it been to work on a newspaper in your hometown?
It's been the most fun I've had at an internship thus far. I'm actually getting stuff published, have helped out with more than a few cover stories, and have my own coming up that I just wrapped up today. The RedEye is a younger, more "fun" publication, so I've been able to use my younger voice and be a little more sarcastic.
What's been the best-received piece you've published?
My most popular piece was about why people are seeing house centipedes more this year, talking about what kind of benefits they bring and why people want them around. They told me it had the most page views of the site this month.
You also volunteered with the Appalachian Service Project in Letcher County, Ky., with your church.
I went on ASP trips in high school, but this was the first time I was able to go as an adult leader. My team put a tin roof up on an elderly lady's house. Supervising the teens was a lot of fun.
What are you most looking forward to about coming back to Fordham?
I'll be picking up duties as editor-in-chief of the Observer. We start production on August 17. This year, we're redesigning the newspaper and the website to shift to an online focus. This is also the first year I'm going to be in a bedroom completely by myself, as I'm moving off campus. I still have three roommates, but I'm going to have a room all to myself for the first time.
Ardinez Domgjoni, FCLC '12
Institute on Government and Business Affairs, Washington, D.C.
What led you to pursue the opportunity to study and intern with the IBGA?
I am very involved in New York city and state politics. Given that 2012 is an election year, I wanted to spend my summer in the nation's capital in Washington, D.C., and network with professionals and students who are involved in public policy, national politics, and lobbying.
What have you learned through interacting with government and business leaders this summer?
IBGA placed me in a competitive internship with one of the nation's leading law and lobbying firms, Williams & Jensen. I got to work side by side with movers and shakers in the public policy realm. I have learned how important public policy is. For us New Yorkers, where finance is the main industry, public policy seems like a sideshow. But in a sophisticated modern economy like ours, it is often the main show. I have learned that special interests like trade associations and advocacy groups shape policy.
How has your summer program helped shape your ideas about what you will want to do after Fordham?
The business-government relationship was further explored through an intense academic program at Georgetown University. These two classes sparked my interest in administrative law, and I intend to pursue a JD in government procurement and public contracting. The IBGA summer program has helped me better understand the skills and experience I need to develop in order to pursue a career in public service, which is my ultimate objective.