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Healthy Democracy
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Annabelle LaRosa

Liberal Arts Major(s): Communication Arts and Sciences, Political Science  
Hometown: Clarksville, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with Healthy Democracy, a non-profit organization that aims to foster bipartisan deliberation and collaboration by bringing the diverse community of Oregon together to communicate effectively. Through my internship experience, I was given the chance to connect with public deliberation researchers and practitioners within the community, broaden the scope of my knowledge about the deliberation field. Much of my time was spent reviewing relevant literature and gaining awareness about the newly pertinent field of online deliberation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think this internship has been most impactful to my academic skill set because it has allowed me to improve upon my writing and reading comprehension skills, while also exposing me to relevant and interesting literature. Much of my job has consisted of reading and synthesizing literature, which has allowed me to practice reading critically and writing parsimoniously, which are both skills that are crucial to success within academia.

...it has given me the opportunity to connect with individuals who have jobs that align with my majors and interests. 

 

How will this experience impact your career goals?

As a senior this year, I went into this internship hoping that it would provide me with some clarity and insight about what jobs are available for people who are interested in work and research relating to the Political Science and Communication Art and Sciences disciplines. That is exactly what this internship has allowed me to accomplish, as it has given me the opportunity to connect with individuals who have jobs that align with my majors and interests. Being able to talk to those people about their work and the journeys that they took to get to the jobs they have has provided me with invaluable information and has been really inspiring to me as I begin to make plans for my own professional future.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

I was awarded this internship through the Nevins Fellowship program, which is organized through the Liberal Arts class CAS 209: Democratic Leaders. The class focused on providing students with the knowledge and tools to work in democratic and deliberative settings and then provided students with funding to pursue an internship within democratic work. The class was taught by Dr. John Gastil, who not only ensured that it was informative and beneficial to those who felt they were ready to work in a professional environment, but was also engaging and fun. The class and Nevins Fellowship is an amazing opportunity for students to explore internship opportunities that they may not have had due to lack of personal funds or network and I am grateful to the College of the Liberal Arts and the Nevins Fellowship program for giving me and other students this opportunity.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

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