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Professional Development Grants

The English Department offers grants of up to $5,000 to support graduate students who plan to take internships or to participate in other professional training opportunities. Our English Department Internship Director, Lisa Makman, assists students in identifying suitable opportunities. To date, she has established partnerships with over 120 organizations and businesses across the state. Sponsored opportunities enhance or complement students’ doctoral training in preparation for a variety of career pathways inside and outside the academy.

Amanda Greene - QRSI

The summer internship and professional development grant enabled me to participate in the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive (QRSI) training program at the University of North Carolina’s Odum Institute. While the program was only a week long, I came away with practical skills in addition to new ideas about how to orient myself towards the non-academic job market.

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Christie Allen - Rx for Reading Detroit

I am writing to report on my summer 2016 internship with Rx for Reading Detroit, which was sponsored by the University of Michigan English Department. Rx for Reading is a non-profit organization, associated with the University of Detroit Mercy, that promotes literacy among children and youth in the city.

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Cecilia Morales - Write a House

As an intern for WAH, I was working closely with co-founder Sarah Cox, helping her in any way I could with the daily upkeep of the organization. Because WAH is still a relatively young organization (founded in 2011), it is still very much in the midst of developing and stabilizing, and it was exciting to be able to aid in this growth. While doing so, I was able to observe what it takes to run a small nonprofit while also learning a lot about the particular needs and challenges of the city of Detroit. The work I did for WAH was challenging, interesting at times and tedious at others, but my biggest take-aways from this experience came from simply being privy to the inside-circle of the world of nonprofits and coming to a deeper understanding of the ways in which my knowledge and skills can serve me in a professional or managerial space.

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Dory Fox - Zingerman's

This summer I got the opportunity to write for the Zingerman’s marketing team. This opportunity was identified and generously funded by the English department. The following is my reflection on the experience: 

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Jennifer Gonzalez - Latinx

For the length of my professional training fellowship, I worked with a new Michigan-based Latina/o advocacy nonprofit called Latinx1 Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy and Development (LLEAD). From August to December of 2017, I worked directly with the president, the state board, and Lansing chapter board members, as well as with many rank-and-file members and non-members. As a new organization, LLEAD has many competing priorities, including obtaining 501(c)3 status, expanding its number of local chapters, and carrying out strategic planning. It quickly became clear, though, that my graduate study skills of critical thinking and project development and my research background in Latinx studies and gender and sexuality could be best used for one specific project. 

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Joshua Kupetz - The Offing

For six weeks during this summer, I interned for The Offing, an online literary magazine that foregrounds work by and about marginalized communities. While the journal began as a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Offing is transitioning to an independent basis after a very public fallout with the previous Editor in Chief. I was brought on as an Assistant Director of Fundraising, and my task was to research and propose an online fundraising campaign. Having had no prior experience in publishing, my research into long-term objectives such as grants, as well as sustaining short-term objectives such as crowd funding, introduced me to many of the practical concerns that structure the life of a literary journal. I produced a comprehensive crowd funding plan based on the Patreon platform—which is basically Kickstarter for “creatives” with a focus on sustaining memberships instead of one time donations—which the organization has just begun to evaluate. 

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Representative list of our Internship Partners: 

  • Ann Arbor Observer
  • ATTAtwell, LLC
  • Detroit Music Magazine
  • Food Gatherers
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Google
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility
  • UM Botanical Gardens
  • Washtenaw Literacy
  • Zingerman's