Summer 2021 Interns

One of the cornerstones of the Humanities for the Public Good PHD will be experiential learning. With the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Iowa Graduate College along 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.

headshot of laura carpenter in front of a beige background

Laura Carpenter – Hancher Auditorium

Carpenter is a PhD student in American Studies. As the Campus & Community Engagement Intern, she will work to facilitate artist relationships via virtual community engagement and plan for future in-person opportunities. She will conduct research in preparation for 2021/22 artist residencies and with an eye towards engaging audiences in novel ways in a post-pandemic society. Carpenter’s research in public history and museums will enable her to make meaningful, community-based connections with the internationally-renowned artists that perform at Hancher.

headshot of dominic dongilli in front of a grey background

Dominic Dongilli – Public Space One

Dongilli is a PhD candidate in American Studies and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. As the Public Archives Intern, he will establish an archive for the 40 years of community-produced television and audio programming that was recently transitioned from Iowa’s PATV station to the Media Arts Coop at Public Space One. Dominic’s research in embodied and community-based knowledge systems will enable him to establish and expand upon the overlapping histories of art, TV media and community infrastructure embedded within the PATV archive.

Ashley Dorn – University of Iowa Labor Center

Dorn is a PhD candidate in History. As the Iowa Women in Trades Network Intern, she will facilitate the expansion of a Women in Trades network that is connecting members of underrepresented groups with apprenticeship training opportunities in Iowa, and promoting policies that lead to equity in skilled trades training and employment. Dorn’s research in labor history will enable her to connect the contemporary barriers encountered by women in the trades to the policies and structures that perpetuate inequality.

Patrick Johnson – University of Iowa Special Collections

Johnson is a PhD student in Journalism & Mass Communications. As the Brokaw Press Pass Digital Exhibit Intern, he will lead the research and design planning process to create an online exhibit of the recently acquired Tom Brokaw papers. Patrick’s research in both the historical and pedagogical functions of journalism will inform his design of an exhibit contextualizing the career of the journalist who inspired Patrick’s own degree and career pathway.

Caleb Pennington – University of Iowa Special Collections

Pennington is a PhD student in History. As the Historical Iowa Civil Rights Network Intern, he will work to expand the scope and reach of the multi-institutional collection, and develop narratives for these institutions to promote their contributions. Caleb’s research in 20th century US Civil Rights and legal history will enable him to respond to the needs of numerous community and research stakeholders and work towards increasing access to the archive.

Tyler Snelling – National Czech & Slovak Museum

Snelling is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies. As the Sustainable Food Coordinator Intern, he will be working with the Museum’s Heritage Garden and promote it as a site for telling stories about immigrant food producers–current and past. He will also inquire into the role of the garden and the Museum in current issues around food insecurity and food justice. Tyler’s research in rhetoric and food studies will enable him to contextualize individual stories within broader cultural frames, and connect meaningful action to community concerns.

headshot of bronwyn stewart in front of a brown wall

Bronwyn Stewart – Englert Theatre & FilmScene

Stewart is a PhD student in English. As the Arts Access Initiative Intern, she will develop programming and curricular content in order to establish relationships with the broader Johnson County community and to meet the educational needs of the Iowa City Public School District. Bronwyn’s research interests in media, performance, and accessibility will enable her to contribute meaningfully to the arts accessibility initiative and support local community needs.

John Tappen – University of Iowa Labor Center

Tappen is a PhD student in American Studies. As the Iowa Labor History Oral Project Intern, he will expand the work of the 40-year project by developing curricular materials and broadening the collection of edited oral histories. John will bring his research work in sound studies to bear on the audio production of these oral histories, using sound as an analytic for humanistic inquiry.

headshot of han trew in front of a light

Han Wiles – Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development

Wiles is a PhD student in Communication Studies. As the Food Systems Storytelling Intern, they will facilitate and document untold stories from the food system. They will work with the public to help connect communities to the food system by documenting and sharing authentic, place-based stories from under-represented voices. Han’s research interests in sexual health communications will enable them to creatively engage the nuanced and multi-valent ways that storytellers share their personal and family histories.

Aja Witt – Iowa City Area Development

Witt is a PhD student in Journalism & Mass Communications. As the Project Better Together Intern, she will identify and document stories of BIPOC and immigrant-owned businesses, and conduct interviews with current owners. These stories will be used as part of a community-wide recovery effort across the private and public sector. Aja’s research in social media and activism enables her to identify the avenues in which stories and social media can meaningful enact policy change and community support.