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The Carleton Externship Program is a unique opportunity for students from Carleton College to explore a career field that is in line with their academic and personal interests during winter break each year. The externships are offered by alumni, parents, and friends of Carleton which exemplifies that the Carleton community does not end at the borders of the campus and promotes networking among current students and alumni. At the beginning of the fall trimester the externships are released and students draft cover letters and build resumes to apply to as many as five externships that pique their interest. If selected to be an extern, the student will work for three weeks during winter break at this position. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused all externships to be virtual positions this year, usually the externships are in person which may require students to live in a city or area that they are not familiar with. The main goals of the externship program include the ability for students to gain career exposure, give students experience completing a variety of projects, and provide networking opportunities for students with alumni and other professionals.
The externship at the Center for Gender Based Violence at the University of Delaware is hosted by one of the Center’s co-director’s Dr. Angela Hattery. A graduate of Carleton College herself, Dr. Hattery selected two applicants to help assist the Center’s research during their winter break. Emma Chin, a sophomore, and Taylor Thulson, a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish have worked with the Center’s co-directors and research assistants over the past three weeks to help build the Center’s social media presence. Each participant also conducted her own research into certain aspects of gender-based violence, which is available on the Center’s website.
Emma: “As an undeclared sophomore at Carleton, I have a growing interest in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. I was interested in working with the Center of Gender-Based Violence at the University of Delaware in their study of gender-based violence and the practical side of such studies. Helping the Center build a social media presence and creating consciousness about gender-based violence through social media are unique opportunities I was looking forward to during my externship at the University of Delaware. Studying Women’s and Gender Studies and gender-based violence through a modern media lens was a compelling perspective I was excited to explore.
After three weeks of working with the Center’s staff and associate professors, I learned a lot about the practical aspects of domestic violence advocacy programs and organizations. I was able to sit in on some classes in the Domestic Violence Prevention concentration at the University of Delaware as well as the annual meeting of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which were both very unique and enlightening experiences. I also helped a few University of Delaware professors with data organization and literature reviews, some things I hadn’t had the opportunity to experience before and I imagine will help me in future research down the line. I had the opportunity to read some research articles and gain a better perspective of the practical applications of a degree in Women's and Gender Studies, just as I hoped I would. The best part of the externship was being able to collaborate and meet with the co-directors, students, and other research assistants based in Delaware. It was a great opportunity to talk to people who do research and advocate against gender-based violence professionally. Overall, it was an invaluable opportunity and I am looking forward to more work and research in the Women’s and Gender Studies department.”
Taylor: “When I combed through the externships available for this year I was immediately drawn to the mission and approach of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence at the University of Delaware. The feminist and interdisciplinary method of the Center greatly intrigued me as I tend to adopt a feminist perspective throughout my studies at Carleton, specifically in classes for my Political Science/International Relations major. In addition to my academic interests, I connected on a more personal level with the Center’s goals. As a student-athlete I have become acutely aware of the devastating impacts that gender-based violence can have on survivors in college athletics, and this externship provides me the unique opportunity to combine two interests of mine through the research of current events and scholarly literature of gender-based violence within college athletics.”
“Though the three weeks of this externship went by incredibly fast, I learned so much and gained a more informed understanding and passion for working within this field. During this externship, I worked alongside Emma to support the professors associated with the Center by conducting literature reviews, editing class lecture videos, and listening to podcasts. Through these tasks I was exposed to the different topics within this field and saw how interdisciplinary research on gender-based violence issues is. In addition to these individual tasks, throughout the three weeks I conducted my own research project on gender-based violence within Division I college athletics and professional leagues. I compiled a long list of studies, research articles, and news stories about issues in this field, which I then used to write a short research brief and created infographics with relevant statistics to help draw attention to the severity of this issue. I was passionate about this project because I am also a student-athlete and it combines two interests of mine. I also feel like as a student-athlete I have a responsibility to understand these issues so I can help spread awareness within my community back at Carleton. This externship has provided me with invaluable experience and knowledge, and I look forward to continuing these conversations in my academic career and personal life.”
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