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  • Aly Seidel-Thorn 2:23 pm on August 6, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: American University, american university financial aid, american university scholarships, financial aid, , , good day philadelphia, , ,   

    Repping AU! 

    asdfawer (2)AU doesn’t have a small price tag. Ranked as the second most expensive school in the country, it takes a pretty big chunk of change to attend our school. However, AU isn’t oblivious to this fact: over 80% of incoming freshman received financial aid and distributes almost $75 million to students. I’m a Frederick Douglass Scholarship recipient, and that money really helps me be able to attend AU.

    So what does this have to do with my internship? Today on Good Day Philadelphia, we had a segment on universities and scholarships. A financial expert came in and talked about all the ways that parents can find “hidden money” for their students. On top of that, I was asked to come on the show and talk about my experience as a student! I wore my AU hoodie and spoke about the advisors we have who can help you navigate the financial aid maze. Probably not my best television debut (should have worn my contacts to get rid of glasses glare!), but it was a lot of fun and I’m glad I was able to represent our school. Everyone knows college is expensive, but there are ways to make it a little more bearable.

  • Eleanor 10:48 pm on February 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , American University, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    First Day on the Job! 

    Oh hey world! Didn’t see you there! So, as this is my first post, I thought I’d do some introductions. First off, I’m Eleanor. Nice to meet you. I’m a sophomore print journalism major (Creative writing minor? Maybe.) at the School of Communication at American University. And, starting this morning, I’m the new intern (maybe the only intern, don’t know) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). It’s a small government agency that gives grants to museums and libraries. That’s the one sentence summary I’ve given to my family and friends who’ve asked me to explain. I have a feeling I’ll be able to say a lot more about it by the end of the semester.

    I guess I should probably tell you about how I got this internship. Well, every semester on campus, there’s a job and internship fair that’s very well publicized and usually everyone goes. Except me, because I’ve always had either class or work on Wednesdays, the day they’re usually held. Last semester, it was October 4th, I believe, and I was looking for an internship for the spring. In the weeks before the fair, the career center sends out a lot of emails with lists of the companies and organizations attending, so you can do your homework on the businesses, if you’re really interested in them. From this list, I found IMLS, and looked at their internship requirements for their intern in the Office of Communications and Government Affairs. I pretty much fit the bill for a position, and thought it might be a good match because my campus job was at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. I also saw that IMLS had an October 1st deadline for fall interns, and since the career fair wasn’t until after that date, I thought I might have a good chance because I wouldn’t be competing with many other AU students, at least. So I sent them my application, and went in for an interview. The women I interviewed with were very welcoming, and seemed really grateful to have someone interested in the internship. They offered me the position at the end of the interview, telling me they’d love to have me in the spring, because their current intern was leaving in November, and their office was under construction, so they had a lower capacity than normal. It has been a little weird, but such a relief to have the internship waiting for me in the spring. So here I am, just after my first day on the job.

    I can’t wait to really get this blog going, check back for some of my adventures at IMLS! Thanks for reading.

  • Erika Sentz 8:44 pm on September 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: American University, , house of sweden, , SACC, Sweden   


    My name is Erika Sentz, and I am a freshman at American University. I am currently pursuing a B.A. in CLEG – Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government.

    But wait, you might ask. What is a freshman doing interning during their first semester of college? Well, I was selected to be a part of the Washington Mentorship Program, and it is a requirement of the program to complete an internship two days a week, as well as a full load of courses.

    I am interning this semester at the Swedish American Chambers of Commerce of the USA, Inc. (SACC-USA for short) as their Editorial Intern. Two days a week I am lucky enough to work in the beautiful House of Sweden, right off the Potomac. I work alongside the President of SACC-USA, the Director of Trainee Programs, our Financial officer, and four Swedish trainee’s. Each trainee is here on a Visa for either six or twelve months, leaving me to be the only American-born worker in the office!

    The House of Sweden!

    It is my job to report on Swedish-American business news and the SACC network, proofread articles sent to be published by the SACC-USA Currents, plan and develop the monthly Currents, and help my co-workers learn English! I do hope to learn some Swedish along the way…

    I really enjoy what I do, and look forward to continuing this blog through my experience as a SACC-USA intern. Stay tuned for a post about the crayfish party I attended that was hosted by SACC-DC!

  • Erica Hilton 2:58 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: American University, , innovation, , veterans   

    When They Toss You in You Better Learn How to Swim 

    I have had the craziest, most exciting and fast paced week of my life… No really.

    Before I tell you about it I should probably introduce myself to you since this is my first time on the AU blog. I’m Erica, a graduate student in the Public Communication program at American University. I finish the program this summer so I’m ready to hit the real world at full speed. Thankfully, my summer internship is allowing me to do that.

    This past Monday I started the Innovation Internship Program (IIP) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program works to transform VA into a 21st-century department. Not only are interns given a budget to implement our own innovative project for VA, but we also work in our desired field of interest simultaneously. While I am working on my own innovative project, I work on communications for a particular office at VA as well.

    Now back to my crazy week. On the third day of my internship a mini/medium crisis occurred in the afternoon. Something needed to be done for an engagement that was happening the next morning. Usually things like this take at least three weeks to prepare for. In this case I had about 3 hours to take care of it and by myself might I add.  In a nutshell, they tossed me in the water and wanted to know whether I would sink or swim.

    It literally took all I had not to panic. Ironically, that is even the day that I have to leave early for class. That meant I had a decision to make, but I felt like this was my moment to prove myself. I wanted to show them that in the mist of crisis I can be a Gladiator (Sorry, ‘Scandal’ talk). So what did I do? I stayed late. I skipped class. I finished the project. When they tossed me in I swam. Trust me, it was worth it! I worked hard, and they noticed. It felt so rewarding! Someone even inquired about my plans for when after the program is over!

    Needless to say my first week was absolutely amazing! I’m doing what I love to the ultimate measure. Also, my father is a retired Colonel in the army. For that reason of him being a veteran, VA has been a major part of my support system when it comes to my education. I love giving back to it.

    Before I go, I do want to leave you with this disclaimer: The views that I express on this blog (or anywhere for that matter) do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. They are my own and reflect only myself (Erica). I’m thrilled to share this experience with you. We are going to take this journey together. Hold on tightly; here we go!

  • Josephine Chu 7:59 am on April 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: agricultural economies, American University, business, commodity crops, , farm bill, farmers markets, , , high fructose corn syrup, school food, , , water pollution   

    Farm Bill? What does it matter to me? 

    This Friday, April 27, the Global Environmental Politics program at American University will be hosting a day-long symposium at the School of International Service to discuss the proposed US Farm Bill for 2012. Though the Farm Bill may not seem very relevant to our lives, it plays a crucial role in determining what we eat, how much it costs, how accessible it is, how it is produced, etc. It influences the quality of school food, our urban and rural economy, soils, air, and waterways, both domestically and internationally. For an awesome graphic explaining the twin problems of global hunger and food waste, check out this graphic. Thus, anyone who cares about food, health, children’s health, animal welfare, the ecosystem, jobs, social justice, should be aware of the Farm Bill and its enormous implications for our food and health system both in the United States and abroad.

    One reason why a fair Farm Bill is so important is that historically and currently, the majority of the Farm Bill subsidies goes towards one of five commodity crops: corn, cotton, wheat, rice, and soybeans. In addition, the overwhelming majority of these subsidies goes toward large corporate owned farms, making it difficult for family farms to compete and devastating rural economies. It is because of these subsidies that corn and soybean prices have been so artificially cheap, leading to an excess of processed products with high fructose corn syrup and cows and chickens raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) with a diet of corn, instead of grass-diet that the animals are adapted to. Because of these subsidies, these agribusinesses have been able to sell their crops abroad at a very low price, in a practice known as dumping, and devastating those agricultural economies as well.

    See the graphic below for how the Farm Bill budget is divided.

    As a result, products such as a Big Mac, chicken nuggets, and soda may seem cheap, but in reality, the listed price hides the true cost of production: the air and water pollution from the manure lagoons in CAFOs, the poor working conditions of the farm workers picking the tomatoes, the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used to grow the corn to feed the cows, the health impacts of having only fast food available in neighborhoods. While the Farm Bill provides extensive subsidies to the five commodity crops and has deregulated the commodity market, very little financial assistance is offered to farmers growing fruits and vegetables, making healthy food seem expensive and inaccessible in comparison.

    Thus, advocating for a Farm Bill that will support small farms that practice organic agriculture and grow a diverse set of crops instead of just one is essential. Back in November, I participated in a Lobby Day organized by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to lobby our representatives to support the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act sponsored by Representative Chellie Pingree. This bill is one example of legislation that if passed, could dramatically improve the state of our economy, health, and environment by focusing on providing assistance to small farmers, farmers markets, Farm to School programs, and other local and healthy food initiatives. As someone who works at an elementary school, I am particularly concerned about the quality of the school food that students eat (or don’t eat) everyday as it has direct impacts on their well-being as well as their academic performance. It is exciting to see that more and more people are coming to this realization and working to implement systematic changes to address these intertwined problems. For example, when I attended the Senate Committee hearing on Healthy Food Initiatives, Local Production, and Nutrition on March 7, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Senator Stabenow and the other witnesses were advocating for local and healthy food.

    Currently, the Senate Committee is supposed to hold a meeting to markup and amend the 2012 Farm Bill this Thursday, April 26 at 10:30am in 328A Russell Senate Office Building. The House Committee will also be hosting a hearing on Thursday, April 26, but at 9:30am (focused on conservation issues) and at 2pm (focused on dairy programs) in 1300 Longsworth House Office Building. Since each Farm Bill is usually authorized only once every five to seven years, if you are in Washington DC, it is a good opportunity to check out the hearings and hear people discuss the possibilities and implications of this important piece of legislation. The Senate Farm Bill Markup meeting will also be streamed live here if you cannot make it in person.

    The food system in the United States is broken and a fair Farm Bill could help to address many of these current problems of food insecurity, access, affordability, and safety. So come join us this Friday at American University for a conversation about what this fair Farm Bill could look like and how it could be implemented. Since the Farm Bill is such a complicated piece of legislation, we will be hosting a Farm Bill 101: Teach-in with Freshly Baked Pies, the day before on Thursday, April 26 at 7pm in SIS 300, to provide a primer about what the Farm Bill entails and its wide-ranging impacts. The AU Pie Club has generously agreed to bake the pies so we will have spinach quiches and rhubarb pies, with the spinach and rhubarb purchased from Agora Farms at AU’s Farmers Market!

    On Friday, April 27, we will be featuring EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Representative Chellie Pingree, co-sponsor of Local Farm, Food, and Jobs Act, and Under Secretary of Agriculture Michael Cluse. For more information about this Symposium, please click here and our Facebook page. The entire event is free, with the exception of the Sustainable Lunch. Tickets for the Lunch can be purchased here. The Sustainable Lunch will be a great opportunity to hear from the farmers about how the US Farm Bill impacts them and our food system. If you are interested in the event, but cannot attend, you can also watch it live streaming here. The Symposium will also feature a reception at the end with food donated from local businesses. The market that I work at will be among the businesses that will be contributing to this effort. We hope that the Symposium sparks a conversation that will continue past the event and that connections made through the event will provide for further fruitful collaborations.

  • Divya 8:46 pm on October 17, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , American University, , , Public Communications   

    Intern Intro- Divya Baliga 

    Hi y’all! My name is Divya Baliga and I’m a senior at American University . I’m majoring in Public Communications with a minor in Marketing. I’m the President of my sorority, intern 3 days a week, and take a full course load. I’ve started to realize that doing all these things while trying to maintain a social life may drive me crazy in the long run, but it’s the most beneficial lifestyle for me.

    I’m originally from Jackson, Mississippi(hence the y’all) and absolutely love the hospitable attitudes of southerners, but I knew that DC was the place that I could find a future. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic in during the Fall 2009 semester. It’s too beautiful for me to not add some pictures in!  Below are two photos, one is of my best friend(Amy) and I at Prague Castle overlooking the city and the second is of a graffiti artist’s work that I saw being created at the Lennon Wall.
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    • Francine Blume 5:50 pm on October 21, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Where were your other two internships? How did they help you prepare for this internship?

  • Laura Descher 6:54 pm on June 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: American University, , , Peace,   

    “She’s looking for a new husband!” 

    This summer I started my very first internship, which is strange to some because this fall I’ll be starting my second year of grad school.  Through a variety of circumstances, I never managed to pin down an internship during my undergrad years (financial restrictions meant I couldn’t work unpaid, I went to a college in a rural town in Maryland without many relevant opportunities, I managed to find other jobs that weren’t in my field but did pay, and I somehow always managed to be the runner-up for whatever position I applied to.)  This summer, I’ll finally be putting my academic background to good use at Empowered Women International, a non-profit based out of Alexandria, VA, that helps immigrant and refugee women in the DC area start small businesses.


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    • Francine Blume 2:37 pm on June 10, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What a terrific internship you have! And it’s a great example of how to apply your peace and conflict resolution studies here, locally.

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