Interns Summer 2019

One of the cornerstones of the Humanities for the Public Good PHD will be experiential learning. With the help of our Graduate Summer Intern Fellows and our internship hosts, we’re asking what the “applied humanities” might look like. Students spend two summer months working with and for a campus or community partner on a thoughtfully designed project. Following an orientation, the students attend several cohort gatherings over the summer to share their experiences. They also respond to prompts and to each other in an online discussion that continues throughout the two months. Together, they discuss what the humanities mean in their workplace, how concepts and methods from their disciplines translate into their workplace, and they are reimagining their own research and writing in their scholarly work in light of their internship experience. We are also deeply grateful for the patient, creative, resourceful mentors in the internship sites who are not only working closely with the students but also teaching and learning with us.

African American Museum of Iowa

Alex Boge (Sociology),
Curriculum Development

Alex researched experiential learning opportunities for high school-aged students around issues of race andh history in order to help the Museum develop a new program about the Underground Railroad. After developing an annotated bibliography and interviewing multiple scholars and museum experts, he wrote several curricular options for the Museum to consider and expand from for future use. You can read Alex’s reflections about museum futures and liberatory education

Watch a video about his experiences here.

Englert Theatre

Hannah Bonner

Hannah Bonner (Cinematic Arts),
Public programming researcher

Alex Denison (Cinematic Arts),
Public programming researcher

Hannah and Alex worked in unison to learn more about the perceived role of The Englert Theatre in the Iowa arts community and beyond. They interviewed members of the independent theatre’s staff and advisory board, talked to staff at other arts organizations in Iowa City, and with students about their knowledge of The Englert. They created short reports for the director of The Englert that summarized their findings and provided suggestions for how to connect with various communities. Alex blogged about the arts scene in Iowa City and the internship experience; and Hannah wrote about The Englert’s Strengthen, Grow, Evolve Campaign and community and collaboration

Watch a video about their experiences here.


Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development

Marie Culpepper (French & Italian),
Rolle Bolle Archivist and Writer

Marie was tasked with learning as much as possible about a Belgian yard game called rolle bolle, which is akin to better known bocce ball and which is played in Victor, IA, and a few other Midwestern towns. Marie interviewed current and retired players, both in Victor and at the rolle bolle championships in Illinois. She collected newspaper clippings and photographs from individuals and archives and scanned them. Her research culminated with writing a short booklet about the game, which IVRCD designed and printed with funding from the grant as a way of preserving this cultural pastime. Marie interviewed the oldest rolle bolle player in Iowa and blogged about rolle bolle and community.

Kathleen Shaughnessy (English),
Iowa Valley Scenic Byway Researcher and Writer

Kathleen traveled extensively, visiting dozens of small Iowa towns in order to create a text that accompanies a driving tour of the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway, an official, state-designated driving route. She interviewed the keepers of small museums on the route, including  the Matchbook Marvels in Gladbrook, and the Salt and Pepper Shaker Gallery in Traer. She blogged about a rural historical sites project and some of her discoveries in rural towns.

Watch a video about her experience here.

Paul Schmitt (English),
Vinton Waterways Researcher

Paul was part of a project to learn more about the community experience of flooding in Vinton, IA. He interviewed local residents, toured previously flooded areas with local leaders, and helped facilitate a community conversation about shortcomings and needs for future flooding. He used some of these findings to create a digital story map that will help future planners. He blogged about culverts and flood resilience in Vinton, Iowa and the limits of expertise.

Watch a video about his experience here.

Hancher Auditorium

Michael Davis (Journalism and Mass Communication),
Public Engagement Intern

Michael sought to create stronger ties between students, faculty, and Hancher. He helped organize an open house called Hancher Is for Hawkeyes. He blogged about how staff members support humanities education and student engagement at Hancher.

Watch a video about his experience here.

Mark Rheaume (Music),
Classical Programming Notes and Podcasting

Mark used his skills as a composer and took a deep dive into Hancher’s 2019-20 classical music season. He researched the performers who would be playing at Hancher–including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and The Miro Quartet–and learned about the pieces they would be presenting. His notes were printed in Hancher’s programs for those performances, and he also created several podcasts related to the season. He blogged about converting program notes into podcasts and a research endeavor in Spillville, Iowa.