Summer at BMC

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr College

July 11, 2014
by College Communications
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A Postcard From: Sula Malina ’17

Sula Malina '17 and best friend Mia Rybeck HC '17 at the ClimACTS fundraiser.

Sula Malina ’17 (right) and best friend Mia Rybeck HC ’17 at the ClimACTS fundraiser.

Name: Sula Malina

Class Year: 2017

Major: Intended Independent Gender and Sexuality Studies

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! I’m currently working as a Programs Intern at The Theater Offensive in Boston! TTO is a non-profit theater dedicated to LGBTQ activism (with the understanding that in order to fight one type of prejudice, we have to fight them all). To kick off my internship, I attended TTO’s annual fundraising gala, ClimACTS, which was a huge, crazy, super fun party with lots of amazing performers—I even got to attend with my best friend from Haverford (she’s on the left in the picture). Everything about the position is absolutely incredible: my co-workers, my supervisors, my assignments, and the unbelievably groundbreaking work that is being done to help the LGBTQ community. My biggest project so far has been focused around the Boston Pride Parade. Since TTO is celebrating its 25th anniversary, we wanted to go big with our Pride presence, so we partnered with a puppeteer from New York City to design a giant puppet in the shape of lips with legs and high heels. We spent two grueling weeks building and painting in the most amazing and interesting construction process I’ve ever experienced (honestly, it made me want to be a puppeteer). It definitely made us stand out, even in the rain!

How I heard about my internship: I am connected to The Theater Offensive through family friends, and knew that they were looking for some summer interns.

Why I applied for my internship: The Theater Offensive combines two of my passions—theatre and LGBTQ activism. I knew I wanted to be living at home in Cambridge, and thankfully, Boston has a really great theater scene with lots of amazing companies. Since Boston theaters are on their off season during the summer, TTO was one of the only places that would offer me a position with tasks beyond just cleaning and organizing storage. It was an easy decision.

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July 10, 2014
by College Communications
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Meet the Blogger: Davin Bernard ’16

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetName: Davin Bernard

Class Year: 2016

Major: Political Science

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! I’m in the heart of French Canada, Quebec City, interning at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, working closely with researchers and attempting to learn French. I’ve spent a lot of time studying disability and human rights theories, and learning the center’s conceptual model for understanding disability, called The Disability Creation Process (DCP), which defines disability not as impairment in a person, but rather as a person’s interaction with an environment which allows or hinders a person’s social participation and exercise of human rights. Basically: a person in a wheelchair is disabled when facing a flight of stairs but not disabled when a ramp is available. This is a really important rights-based shift in perspective, because it takes the responsibility of disability off the person and places it on society, which effectively forces society to be inclusive. Now I’m moving on to policy and legal analysis to help assess the US legal framework to see how the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons could potentially be implemented using the DCP as an analytical tool.

It sounds a bit dry I’m sure, and, well, it is, but I enjoy it! My internship doesn’t require me to be in the office often, and I spend much of my time poring over readings in cafes (where the baristas are annoyed by my English), or over bowls of strawberries on the porch.

Why I applied for my internship: I came to Bryn Mawr because I’m passionate about human rights and politics, and after a single political science course discovered an almost embarrassing passion for political theory. I plan to work for a human rights-based nonprofit post-graduation, and interning at CIRRIS was a really exciting way to study and apply human rights theory at the same time, doing the work that informs nonprofits, government agencies, and activists alike, while also getting a glimpse into life as a researcher (another potential profession for my field). I was really lucky to find such an amazing opportunity

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July 8, 2014
by College Communications
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A Postcard From: Renee Jingling Li ’17

renee_jingling_licoding_2Name: Renee Jingling Li

Year: 2017

Major: Computer Science and Biology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! #Summer Science Research# on Computer Science? What is it? Does it mean immersing in computer lab for all summer and consistently typing and coding? Definitely not! Though I did work around a bunch of computers, coding is only a very small part of this summer research. I am developing a website-based tool which help biological researchers find target SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) related to certain disease. Then I will use this website to study SNPs related to medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor. Challenges and frustrations never stop, but solutions always come after hard work!

Why I applied for my internship: As a woman who is enthusiastic about Computer Science and Biology, I believe the two areas inspire each other. Therefore, I really value this unique opportunity to conduct interdisciplinary research in both of my fields of interest.

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July 7, 2014
by College Communications
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A Postcard From: Genesis Feliz ’15

genesis_feliz1Name: Genesis Feliz

Class Year: 2015

Major: Biology

What’s going on? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! I recently got back from my internship this past week and I’m already missing it! I was an intern at the South African Shark Conservancy in Hermanus, South Africa. I spent most of my time working on my own research project on tonic immobility, cage diving with Great White sharks, fishing, whale watching, and working on many other research projects which included one on marine debris. The highlight of my internship experience was catching my first shark (a leopard catshark) with a rod and reel and tagging it and recording various information for research purposes.

How I heard about my internship: An email sent out by a professor in the BMC biology department.

Why I applied for my internship: I applied for this internship because I wanted a research experience in the marine biology field. I’ve always had an interest in marine biology being from Florida and I thought that this could be a great opportunity to have a better insight as to what marine biology research is like. I also plan on applying to vet school; working with marine life gave me a new perspective to different kinds of animals that I have not been exposed to.

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June 23, 2014
by Giang Le
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Huong Giang Le ’15: Autism? It might not be what you think it is!

Since the beginning of June, our summer project “Unconditional Love,” proudly funded by the Davis Project for Peace Grant, has officially started!

The "Unconditional Love" project in Vietnam.

The “Unconditional Love” project in Vietnam.

Here’s a brief description of who we are and what we do: Last summer a group of students, including myself,  founded a volunteer club for children with autism. We named it after the familiar but amazing little toy “rubik,” for each unique combination of colors in each move could be thought of as representing the various dimensions and characteristics of people on the spectrum. Hence the birth of RUBIC   (with a little twist at the last letter  just to make us special – might have helped people avoid confusion with other clubs that actually has something to do with the cube!) ” Unconditional Love” is our second project, which was designed in response to the dramatically increasing number of autism diagnoses in Vietnam. What we lack are the corresponding increase in awareness of the disorder and support for the affected community, including individuals with autism and their families.

The goals of our project are threefold: 1) to help children with autism develop social skills through interacting and playing activities with volunteers, 2) to provide  training in autism intervention for volunteers who mostly are majoring in special education, social work or psychology, and who wish to pursue careers in the field in the future, and 3) to make the first attempt to educate the public about autism – which is still being associated with many social stigma and misconceptions.

So we started off with a series of training sessions for our volunteers, parents, and those who are interested, covering the some of the most important topics in the field, including Understanding Autism, Behavior Management, Language Development, and Group Play Activities. Since I am still in Melbourne for an exchange semester until the end of June, I actually can’t attend these first events of the project (That’s why I’d be forever thankful for the Internet and technology that help my involvement in the project possible – in fact I have been able to keep close contact and work with other team members through all stages of preparation!) Three (out of 5 in total) training sessions took place in the last three weeks, with increasingly encouraging feedback from participants. The turnouts for the later sessions were higher, though still a little less than our expectation. As mentioned above, we also attempt to deliver some messages to the general public to increase autism awareness. If you’re still wondering about the title of this blog post, here’s the answer: Until now, among the most stereotyped and misleading, but popular beliefs about autism in Vietnam is that autism is just another form of depression, possibly due to superficial similarities such as social and communication difficulties. Or some people still believe autism results from rejecting and neglecting parenting and put all the blame on the parents. So we’ve got a long way ahead to clarify these stigmas! But we’re not giving up!

Members of the "Unconditional Love" project in Vietnam.

Members of the “Unconditional Love” project in Vietnam.

In the next couple of week, our volunteers, hopefully equipped with new knowledge and skills, will spend 2 hours/week at children’s home and 2 hours more during weekend, to organize fun but educational activities to help the children practice or learn new social skills. As far as I know, this is the first attempt to organize outdoors activities for a group of children with autism in Hanoi! So,  I’m very excited to see it happen, and that I will be home to join it soon as well, although I know I will miss Melbourne terribly.

June 18, 2014
by College Communications
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A Postcard From: Stephanie Yang ’15

Stephanie Yang and Kai Wang

Stephanie Yang (right) and lab partner Kai Wang in Dr. Sharon Burgmayer’s lab at Bryn Mawr College.

Name: Stephanie Yang

Class Year: 2015

Major: Chemistry

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! This summer, I am conducting research in Dr. Burgmayer‘s lab at Bryn Mawr on polypyridyl Ruthenium complexes.

My lab partner Kai Wang and I are synthesizing ruthenium complexes and evaluating their ability to intercalate, or slide between the base pairs of double stranded-DNA. Right now, we are in the process of synthesizing our complexes and purifying them with column chromatography. Hopefully, by the end of this summer, we will be able to grow crystals of our compounds intercalating with DNA and use X-ray crystallography to analyze them.

June 17, 2014
by College Communications
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Meet the Blogger: Huong Giang Le ’15

Giang_Le1Name: Huong Giang Le

Class Year: 2015

Major: Psychology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! This summer 2014, I received funding from the Davis Project for Peace Grant to undertake a project for children with autism in Vietnam. The project is called “Unconditional Love” and it runs from May until the end of August, involving nearly 50 volunteers and 15 families with children with autism in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Why I applied for my internship: My interest in special education and mental health has led me to co-found a volunteer group called RUBIC with a friend in Hanoi to support children with autism and their families. After running a pilot project, we identified the biggest challenge was to get professionals and experienced therapists to work with us to provide quality services for the families, especially those with financial difficulties. With the Davis grant, we will be able to provide intensive training sessions for our volunteers so that they can interact and play with children at home and outdoors to improve their social and communication skills.

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June 11, 2014
by College Communications
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Meet the Blogger: Emma Kioko ’15

Emma Kioko '15Name: Emma Kioko

Class Year: 2015

Major: English

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! This summer I’m participating in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill! MURAP is an intensive summer graduate level research program that prepares undergraduate students in the humanities for entrance into PhD programs and eventually the professoriate. The backbone of this summer is a two month research project, directed by mentors from various disciplines at UNC. My mentor is Professor James Coleman from the English department. My research this summer concerns the ambiguity of freedom in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In addition to Morrison’s novel, I will be looking critically at complex understandings of the term ‘free’ in the African-American psyche- drawing connections between Morrison’s neo-slavery narrative and the modern and problematic emergence of the prison industrial complex. Ultimately my research asks the question, “What does it me an to be free in America?”

In addition to full-time research, the program provides an intensive GRE prep class (math is a LOT harder than I remember), a weekly communications skills workshop (too prepare us for our presentation at an academic conference towards the end of the summer), and a weekly writing workshop (to assist with the written portion of our research). There are also a number of graduate students on the MURAP staff and they are proving to be a great resource to talk to while I begin sifting through graduate programs. Though today marks only the second week of the program, I have already started building great relationships with fellow students poised to begin the long journey to academia, made great breakthroughs in my research topic, and fallen in love with the town of Chapel Hill! And of course, while this summer is off to a great start, I can’t wait to get back to Bryn Mawr in the Fall!

How I heard about my internship: Research, research, research!

Why I applied for my internship: This program has EVERYTHING. It not only provides free housing, GRE prep, grad school counseling and support, mentorship, and various professional workshops but it also comes with a hefty stipend and invaluable research experience!

June 9, 2014
by College Communications
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Summer at BMC 2014!

Summer at Bryn Mawr CollegeWelcome to another summer of virtual postcards and blogs from Bryn Mawr College students!

We’re excited to follow Mawrters around the globe as they share their experiences with internships, employment, vacations, fellowships, and other endeavors.

If you’re a current Bryn Mawr College student and wish to contribute a virtual postcard or regular blog posts, please fill out the Drop Us a Line form on the College website.

All questions and comments about this blog may be directed to Alyssa Banotai in the Bryn Mawr College Communications Office via: abanotai@brynmawr.edu.

August 31, 2013
by College Communications
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A Postcard From: Gizem Aydin ’14

Gizem Ayim in MoscowName: Gizem Aydin

Class Year: 2014

Major: Economics

What’s happening? We’d love to hear about your internship: I am working in the Office of the Commercial Counselor in the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia. I spend most of my time there by helping with tasks that arise during the day, answering phones once a week (everyone has a day where they answer phones), entering data on spreadsheet documents, and observing what is going on in the office.

We tend to have a lot of guests that come for information or to meet with the commercial counselors. I follow up on weekly e-mails that give information about new economic activities, people who are looking for jobs, companies with different proposal documents. While I am occupied with my internship for most of the day, I try to improve my Russian skills in the remaining time, so I try to be involved in different cultural activities and see new places in Moscow. I’ve been exploring different parks (that is where people socialize and get a break from the hot weather here), keeping in touch with my former host family (from last fall when I studied abroad here), and will soon visit the Moscow Circus. Unfortunately most of the theater performances in Moscow start in September, so I have not been able to go see a play here yet. Nevertheless, it has been a great experience being here.

I am about to start the 7th week of my internship, having moved in to a new apartment earlier this week. My time here has gone pretty fast, and I am looking forward to the following weeks!

How I heard about my internship: I have visited the Commercial Counselor’s Office last fall when I was studying abroad in Moscow.

Why I applied for my internship: I applied this internship to explore my interest in Russia – Turkey relations. I am doing this by working in a government office abroad, which provides me with the opportunity of observing trade activities and learn about a variety of processes in Russia more closely. I am able to observe the working environment in a Turkish ministry office abroad while keeping up with Russian language.