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Summer 2020 Internship Testimonials

Sophia Cloherty
Intern at the Detroit Historical Society and the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History

As an intern with The Detroit Historical Society and the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History (AGLMH), I worked to develop a database collection project for art related to the Great Lakes regions. I often described this position as resident art detective. However as a project manager I was a detective, a designer, as well as an outreach coordinator, assessing the scope of works to be included and contacting public and private institutions to encourage involvement. The result of my internship was the beginnings of AGLS (Art of the Great Lakes and Seaways) an online public resource that will be available through the AGLMH website. Originally from Massachusetts, I was previously unaware of the rich history of the Great Lakes shipping industry. I was excited to be suddenly immersed in a whole community passionate about the preservation of the region. I am grateful to the English Department for my newfound obsession with the city of Detroit and surrounding ports—the histories, the dramas, the art and I hope to continue to pursue opportunities that increase awareness and accessibility to similar art related resources. Above all, I hope to be as immersed in and thrilled by what I do as my passionate and considerate coworkers.

Preston VanAlstine
Intern at the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center

Preston VanAlstine spent the summer of 2020 interning with the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center. During his time there, Preston researched regional water management structures. Algae blooms in Lake Erie each year causing significant damage to the local economy and to public health. The goal of this project was to identify best practices for creating a framework to set goals and maintain accountability to those goals for the Lake Erie watershed. This opportunity taught Preston about online research techniques, water and agricultural policy, and how to navigate an emerging virtual work space in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these skills will contribute to Preston’s career path moving forward as he enters the environmental advocacy realm upon graduation.

Emily Simroth
Intern at Detroit Public Television Great Lakes Now

During the summer, I wrote articles for the DPTV Great Lakes Now website about issues important to the Great Lakes region. I explored a variety of topics in my three months at DPTV — from interviewing state officials about the popularity of parks to writing a scientific article about nutrient levels in the lakes. For one of my articles, I was able to pitch and develop a story I was personally interested in researching and writing about. This internship combined my academic background as a Creative Writing and Program in the Environment major, and it gave me the opportunity to learn about and participate in journalism, a type of writing that was new to me. I enjoyed telling the stories I worked on this summer, and as a result of this internship, I have a better understanding of the career opportunities that are out there that tap into both of my fields of study.

Hailey Pantaleo
Intern at the Detroit Historical Society and the Dossin Museum

Hailey interned at the Detroit Historical Society and the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle. She worked to create an exhibition for the Dossin Museum on the Anthropocene and the Great Lakes. Key topics include invasive species, industrial pollution, and climate change. She also helped to facilitate a partnership between the Dossin Museum, the US Geological Survey, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission as a part of the exhibition design process.