Two students in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Toledo spent their summer in Washington, D.C., working internships awarded by the Washington Center Internship Program.Hillary Gyuras interned with the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 that empowers women who work in media.
Jeanetta Mohlke-Hill was a canvass intern at the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
“My internship at the Human Rights Campaign gave me insight into the different areas of a nonprofit that I would not have exposure to otherwise,” Mohlke-Hill said. “I was able to learn through hands-on experiences and become more confident by doing something new and different. I developed new skills and refined skills I already possessed.”
Both students, who wrapped up their internships Aug. 3, are seniors majoring in women’s and gender studies. Gyuras also is majoring in law and social thought.
During her time at her internship, Gyuras compiled lists of candidates for the organization’s 2013 Courage in Journalism Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards, and interviewed previous award winners to write articles for the International Women’s Media Foundation website.
She also completed research for the Environmental Investigative Reporting Fellowship, the HIV/AIDS Investigative Reporting Fellowship and additional programs, and assisted with the organization’s social media outreach.
“Working at the International Women’s Media Foundation was a great way to apply the theories I have been learning at UT to real-world situations,” Gyuras said. “I enjoyed working with the staff members, and I learned a lot just by observing the work that they did.”Mohlke-Hill helped to organize the Human Rights Campaign’s many donors and assisted Equality Maine rally supporters at local events in the state. Her work involved ensuring that the Human Rights Campaign received donations in a timely manner and working with staff on creative projects to cultivate and acknowledge donors.
She also helped with the Human Rights Campaign Major Donor Leadership Summit, a multi-day conference where donors from around the country fly in to learn how their annual gifts are contributing to the organization’s work. It is also an opportunity to provide donors insider information about the overall world of LGBT politics and work.
“Every major in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is required to do an internship,” said Charlene Gilbert, professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. “We believe that internships are critical to a student’s success after college. The internships allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.”
Both Gyuras and Mohlke-Hill received grant money from UT as well as the Washington Center Internship Program to help pay for their summer living expenses.
The Washington Center Internship Program helps provide internships in Washington, D.C., for students from a variety of academic disciplines and is offered each semester to students from all over the world. Students who participate receive college credit as well as invaluable experiences they can carry with them throughout their professional careers.
“A successful internship can point a student in the direction of a job, career or intellectual passion,” Gilbert said. “We are constantly building our database of internship opportunities and support. We want students to have engaged placements that allow them the highest level of exposure to the workplace.”