NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Three students at universities around the United States and one from IU Southeast are spending the summer on campus as interns in the Office of Campus Life and the Center for Mentoring
They are Martina Andrews, Karen Argent, Jamie Ascanio and Shania Phillips.
The interns will work in various capacities, assisting IU Southeast staff and students while gaining valuable experience in student affairs.
Jason L. Meriwether, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs, said the internship benefits the students in many ways.
“We create a series of robust learning opportunities for our interns, and allow them to lead within their areas of service,” Meriwether said. “We expose them to effective practices in student engagement, assessment and learning, and we increase familiarity with the student experience at a comprehensive regional institution.”
At the same time, IU Southeast derives inspiration from the contributions of the interns, who bring new perspectives to their activities. In keeping with IU Southeast’s commitment to experiential learning, the interns fulfill real roles with tasks that matter.
“IU Southeast benefits from the insight, creativity and ideas that our interns bring from their experiences,” Meriwether said. “Each intern leads specific projects that have direct and measurable impact on the success of our students.”
Karen Argent is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., where she has held responsible positions within the Department of Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association. She is the fourth graduate student from her institution to intern at IU Southeast, and was selected through the National Orientation Director’s Association (NODA) summer internship program, which matches orientation, transition and retention professionals and host post-secondary institutions with students wanting to expand their connections and their orientation experience.. Argent’s special interest is orientation, and helping to make it, and all campus units, more inclusive.
“I love the many aspects of diversity that student affairs offers and I treasure every encounter I have had with a student, no matter what is going on in their lives,” Argent said. “I would like to help bring more inclusion awareness to incoming students, since everyone deserves to be valued for their experience and talents.”
Argent envisions for herself a career as director of disability resource center or learning diagnostic clinic on a college campus.
Jamie Ascanio is a psychology major at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif., where she has been active in student organizations, cheerleading and as Homecoming Queen. She obtained this internship through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) undergraduate fellows program, which included a matching and interview process. She will assist with Orientation while at IU Southeast, helping to guide newcomers to the college experience, which she considers an exciting part of student affairs.
“If it weren’t for my mentor, I never would be the person I am today, so I want to be in student affairs to guide and mentor many students on their college journeys, as I was mentored on mine,” Ascanio said.
She plans to pursue a career in student affairs, with a special focus on personal counseling services and prevention programming
Shania Phillips is a political science major at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where she has worked on the stage crew for the IU Musical Art Center and as a clerk for the Crimson Cupboard food pantry, among other involvements. She also worked at The Rise! Middle Way House, a transitional facility that helps low-income women recover from the impacts of domestic violence, and secure permanent, safe and affordable housing. Like Ascanio, Phillips was also selected through the NASPA undergraduate fellows program, and will assist with Orientation and other student affairs activities throughout the summer.
“What excites me most about student affairs are the multiple departments and positions that aid the student experience,” Phillips said.
Phillips hopes to become vice provost of student affairs at a large university one day. Having overcome many challenges in navigating her own college journey, she has a special interest in supporting underrepresented, first-generation, minority and low-income student persistence.
Martina Andrews is a native of Cleveland, Ohio who chose to attend IU Southeast for the diversity of the campus community and of the faculty in her field of sociology. At IU Southeast she has been involved in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Martina will work in the Center for Mentoring this summer, and looks forward to gaining experience she can use in pursuing a career in teaching and mentoring, with high school or college students.
“Learning to coordinate programs and activities will prepare me to be an active part of the participants’ lives as they make the transition into college,” Andrews said.
This will include understanding the tasks performed by mentoring program coordinator, and also building relationships with students, parents and others. Andrews is a first-generation college student whose family prized education and motivated her to focus on getting the most from her studies.
“I am ready to go out into the world and start making changes,” Andrews said. “It is time to turn my passions into plans.”