Summer 2012 WGS Intern Projects
Intern: Mary Catherine Bertulfo
Sponsor: Youth Education Services (Y.E.S.)
My primary objective is to create a transition toolkit which will be used to address topics with HIV infected youth that are necessary for a successful transition from pediatric care to adult services. Topics include establishing a medication routine, learning how to make medical appointments, learning about dating violence, and keeping healthy habits and a positive attitude. Through the Y.E.S. program, I was able to receive State certification training that will allow me to do testing for HIV and provide counseling for HIV infected youth. Issues concerning stigma, body image and access to services for marginalized people have been discussed in WGS courses I have taken. The courses have also prepared me to work with many different people in the community including sex workers and transgendered individuals. The internship provided me with the valuable opportunity to gain experience with working in the public health sector. I plan to apply for a Masters of Public Health program after graduation.
Intern: Taylor Riffey
Sponsor: The Haven of RCS
My primary duty is serving as a legal advocate at the Clearwater Justice Center helping victims through the injunction filing process. When victims come in to file injunctions, it is often immediately after the act of violence has occurred, when they are at their most stressed. Aiding them in the process is incredibly important as they are often in shock or confused. Without this help they may make a mistake, causing them not to receive their injunction and potentially lose that legal protection from their abuser. Through my time in the Women's and Gender Studies courses, I have learned not only historical facts, but ways to deal with problems that we all experience every day. I went into this internship program feeling well equipped with the knowledge to help me understand better the situations that I deal with. After graduation, I hope to attend law school and one day represent men and women in a court setting against their abusers. I know that this internship program is an incredibly valuable experience. It has provided me with first-hand knowledge of how the justice system works and with the chance to see what I hope to doone day.
Intern: Alyssa Hughley
Sponsor: The Sylvia Thomas Center for Adoptive and Foster Families
My primary duties at my internship are to help with fundraising ideas, grant writing, and assisting in the parent and children support group. Women’s and Gender Studies courses haveimproved my writing skills and helped me with grant writing. After taking the Issues in Feminism course last semester, I now have a more open-mind and am more empathetic about different situations people face even if I did not experience them directly. This is especially helpful when I sit in on the support group sessions. Interning with Sylvia Thomas Center has been a blessing because I now realize now how many of the adoptive and foster children are forgotten and not heard. After being at this internship for a month, I am no longer naive about adoptive children and how many different trials these children can face. I can say I have a big heart for the foster and adoptive children. I want to be able to give back to them and work in an adoptive agency before I pursue my masters.
Intern: Brieana Nestler
Sponsor: USF Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity
My primary duties are to research different forms of diversity and inclusion which will supplement workshops that educate USF faculty and students about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Without majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, I would not have been prepared to take on this internship. My previous classes have helped create a foundation of knowledge that I build upon everyday in the DEO. After I graduate, I plan to continue my education in graduate school with the goal of getting a career in higher education. My education in Women's and Gender Studies, as well as my internship with the DEO both have helped prepare for my future plans.
Intern: Rebekah Perez
Sponsor: The Alpha House of Tampa
My primary duties are researching grant opportunities for the agency, best practices for nonprofits, and improvement of agency ratings on sites such as Charity Navigator; contributing news articles to the agency e-newsletter; and assisting the Director of Development and Communication. The Alpha House of Tampa offers homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children safe housing and the tools they need to become self-sufficient and effective, responsible parents. Women’s and Gender Studies courses have consistently demonstrated that the population of women that The Alpha House of Tampa serves need to be empowered in order to break out of the cycle of poverty that they, and their children, have been pushed into. Helping to secure funding for Alpha House ensures that these women and their children are provided with a safe home, pre- and post-natal care, access to intervention programs, and allows educational programs like “Parents As Teachers” to continue to exist. The women who receive assistance from Alpha House are given the ability to break the cycles of poverty and abuse and create promising lives for themselves and their children. Interning for The Alpha House of Tampa provides me with a behind-the-scenes look at how nonprofit organizations operate, are governed, and are funded. It also provides me with a foundation upon which I can begin to develop leadership skills that will allow me to work in community-based organizations that focus on Maternal and Child Health, especially among culturally diverse and underserved populations.
Intern: Jackie Horwich
Sponsor: Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County and USF Department of Women’s & Gender Studies
My primary duty at the Homeless Coalition includes assisting with the organization of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Tampa. For the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, I am developing promotional materials for the internship program, and maintaining social media for the department website. The courses I have taken during my undergraduate career have helped me develop a unique perspective regarding social change and issues regarding women's rights. Thanks to my experiences with internships, I feel empowered to continue striving for social change while developing the necessary skills to work in a professional environment. I intend to pursue a Master's in Social Work, which will assist my goal of working with non-profit agencies and helping the women in my community.
Intern: Alexandra Ernest
Sponsor: USF Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
My primary duties are maintaining the various social networking outlets in order to communicate with students, office supply inventory management, and coming up with techniques to create awareness of the department. Women’s and Gender Studies has helped me understand the importance of increased visibility for underrepresented groups. Students looking to have their interests and cultures represented within society need encouragement and visibility. I've always been interested in a world that values all cultures and demographics and the OMA office is that "world" on campus that allows me to see how it all fits together.
Intern: Christina Plante
Sponsor: Mary and Martha House
My primary duties include conducting phone screenings of potential clients, completing in-take process for new clients, and preparing and finalizing client’s files for the Hillsborough County/HUD audits. My Women’s and Gender Studies coursework has helped me see the ways in which women, especially minority women, are disenfranchised in American society. Every day clients at Mary and Martha House face challenges that stem from their second-class citizenship. One example of this is how the “mommy-track” keeps these women from pursuing and keeping jobs they truly desire. Without the knowledge I received in my WGS courses, I would not understand the circumstances these women deal with or have the ability to offer them support or advice. Mary and Martha House provides shelter for some of the 6,214 homeless women and 4,083 children in Hillsborough County. We aid these women in acquiring essential skills that will ensure they are never homeless again. We teach them how to write a resume, how to interview for jobs, and how to budget their money. We also assist them in pursuing an education. Interning at Mary and Martha House has helped me progress towards my future goal of wanting to work for a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping the homeless women and children, because that is exactly what my internship sponsor does! I have learned about fundraising, how to organize information to prepare for an official audit, and how to help homeless women help themselves. This is knowledge that will be vital when working with the homeless at a non-profit organization.
Intern: Anna Armitage
Sponsor: The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
My primary duties are to assist the Outreach and Empowerment coordinator in planning community events and trainings for the sexual assault services department of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. I also earned my volunteer sexual assault advocate certification as part of the internship, so I can assist with advocacy duties as well as organizing retreats and workshops for these survivors. Prior to becoming an intern for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, when violence against women was discussed in my WST classes I had very few real faces to match with the numbers. Now that I work with survivors of sexual assault, the numbers are my reality, which allows me to have an increased awareness and concern for this issue. Interning for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has allowed me to feel that I am making a difference in the lives of individuals and the greater Tampa Bay community. Helping out with "Take Back the Night" as well as being a member of the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay allows me to engage with my community and raise awareness of sexual violence against women. The community involvement combined with my increased knowledge of the life of a sexual assault survivor has helped me become even more passionate and motivated to achieve my future goals. I plan to have a future in teaching and research and I hope that my research will allow for a greater awareness of women's issues and how everyone must work together to end violence against women.
Intern: Alicia Devita
Sponsor: I Know My Plan, Inc.
My primary duties are to assist in promotional activities, to develop new networking and marketing strategies, to help restructure the new office, to learn about the different levels of Rape Aggression Defense classes (R.A.D), and to become a R.A.D. instructor in order to assist in training classes, which are offered to women, children, and senior women. R.A.D’s mission statement is “to develop and enable the options of self defense, so they may become viable considerations, to women who are aggressively attacked.” In "Isses in Feminism" (WST 3311), Dr. Kim Golombisky taught us that “to be a feminist is to make a commitment to improve the lives of women and the society in which they live.” I believe that this statement ties in beautifully with the mission statement of I Know My Plan, which in turn provides me with the awesome opportunity to carry on my commitment as a feminist. My goal is to seek opportunities to continue helping women through counseling and advocacy.
Intern: Edy Urken
Sponsor: Planned Parenthood
My primary duties are: giving sexual health education classes in the community; writing guest posts for FeroniaProgject.org, the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida's sexual health awareness blog; coordinating other volunteers; championing voter engagement in the community at special events and within local health centers; and grant research and writing. My Women's and Gender Studies courses underscored the importance of sexual health education, provided a unique perspective to contribute to a fun sexuality blog, and helped hone the technical writing and speaking skills necessary for success. As an intern at Planned Parenthood I have the opportunity to reach the community on a level that brings the core issues of WGS to reality; connecting the theories and academic knowledge to issues that effect us as women in every day life, namely reproductive rights. In the future I hope to work with Planned Parenthood in advocacy and education to secure a world where reproductive rights are human rights and are not in question or under attack.