Wabash Blogs 2008 Summer Internships

« July 2008 | Main | November 2008 »

August 18, 2008

A summer of experiences and opportunities…

Well, school is almost here again and the summer is drawing to a close.  We, the summer project managers at the Schroeder Center for Career Development, are now going to reflect a little on our summer projects.

The Community Fair will again take place this year.  Hopefully, we should have about 70 organizations participate  in the festivities on September 2 from 11:00- 1:30.  Pat and I learned a lot from the interaction with local industries.  First and foremost, people want what’s best for them, always.  So Pat and I learned quickly when dealing with potential participants and sponsors to raise a need.  This was not too difficult, the whole “new client” spiel did the trick. Although, interestingly enough, some businesses flat-out told us “no,” which still today I cannot understand.  Once we gathered sponsors, reserved the field house and caterer, and finally confirmed enough businesses, the rest was just management.  Overall, the success of the project will be measured in the attendance on September 2.

Our other project which is about to hit shelves soon is the Career Success Tips from Wabash Alumni.  We scoured the United States for the broadest, most diverse group of alumni to give our students the best possible career advice DVD.  After six hours of footage, hours of editing, downloads and uploads, condensing and cutting, and just spending some quality time with Brandon and Jeana we had ourselves a DVD.  I have to admit, there were times when I thought that this project was going to flop. However, once Pat and I got a clear vision of our goal, things started to work out.  We interviewed alumni in Chicago, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Denver, and Boulder.  The alumni took time out of their schedules to share their advice and stories.  I know it is stated many times, but Wabash alumni are some of the best and most generous guys you will ever meet.  There will always be technical issues, but the knowledge and experiences we gained over a great summer will stick with us.

Pat and I learned a little about ourselves this summer as well.  Pat went from a guy who was thinking about a joint law and business degree after Wabash to pursuing a career in the film world.  He has found a passion for making movies and writing scripts and is going to pursue this adventure after Wabash.  I reaffirmed my belief that I want to pursue law after Wabash; furthermore, this experience has taught me that there are so many different types of law out there that I can practically do whatever interests me.  I also decided to pick up an economics minor. I have always wanted to do so, but never have really pursued it.  This summer’s interaction with alumni and fundraising has made me realize the importance of economics.  We both appreciate the opportunities we were given this summer and we hope that our work benefits Wabash students this upcoming school year.

August 05, 2008

Theatre Helps Re-Discover Inner Child

Spencer Elliott '10 - I’ve recently come to the realization that if you become apathetic; the concrete jungle will slowly blot out your inner-child. The morning traffic, cold coffee, hour-long meetings, lunch lines, squeaky chairs, jammed printers, progress reports, and afternoon traffic take their toll over time. 

This newfound understanding is not some divine revelation — it took my internship with the 2008 Summer Conservatory for Youth at the Indiana Repertory Theatre to realize that my inner-child was in peril. When I started the program I quickly realized that, compared to the children, I lacked wholehearted spontaneity and enthusiasm. However, over a period of four weeks, the students and teachers awakened within each other and myself a child-like desire to learn new things, meet different people, and take bold risks.

To those who are unfamiliar with the Summer Conservatory, let me enlighten you — this was the 11th year of the program with 67 students ages 8 to 18 participating with over 20 high caliber professionals directing and instructing classes. Acting track students received training in acting, voice, movement, Shakespeare, creative dramatics, and dance for theatre. Production track students received training in stage management, directing, lighting, scenic design, costumes, properties and playwriting. The four-week program culminated in a public performance that drew an enthusiastic full house of over 193 people.

While the final presentation was meaningful, at the IRT we believe that the ongoing education of youth is of the utmost importance. First and foremost, Summer Conservatory makes each student self-aware and self-assured members of a greater community that believes in the importance of theatre in modern society. In addition, over four weeks, while each student makes a different degree of progress on the stage; everyone is more prepared for the real world (for the post-it, the printer, and the paycheck). They learn to react truthfully, think critically, and unapologetically strive to achieve their goals. 

I honestly hope my students bring the genuine to the real world that severely lacks it; I know my inner child and I will.

August 01, 2008

Gaining Invaluable Experience in awesome Ann Arbor

I have been participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Michigan since May. As the name suggests, the program gives opportunity for undergraduates from across the country to participate in a research work going on at the physics department at the University of Michigan.

I am involved in a research at an atomic physics lab, which is searching for an electric dipole moment (eEDM) in electrons using polar molecules such as tungsten carbide. The ongoing research has a big importance in the physics world. There have been a lot of theoretical predictions of eEDM and finding eEDM experimentally gives us a new idea about the symmetry of the universe. With that ultimate goal in mind, we are now studying the properties of a supersonic gas jet of tungsten atoms seeded with meta-stable noble gases and also a beam of tungsten-carbide molecules.

Ann Arbor has been providing me great hospitality. It is a college-town with a lot of things to do. Even though this is a summer time with maybe 10% of the total students present, there are a lot of interesting things going on. I visited Ann Arbor Street Art Fair last week. The festival is an annual event with about a half million people coming here to see top quality artwork by the finest artists.

In addition to the research work, I also got an opportunity to attend the Michigan Quantum Summer School, a two-week long conference on quantum information science and precision measurement experiments. I found myself lucky to be able to attend talks given by famous atomic physicists. When I worked at Prof. Martin Madsen’s lab at Wabash last summer, I read many papers on quantum computing, and this year I was able to go to the lectures given by the same authors. During the conference, I met Eric Cornell (2001 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate) from University of Colorado, Boulder who came to visit our lab. I also presented a poster on the work I am doing during the conference. One more historic thing I learned about the conference was that, Michigan provided a good location for the development of quantum mechanics in 1930s and 1940s by running quantum summer schools and, with the same spirit, they revived the concept of Michigan Quantum Summer School from this year after about 50 years.

Rabin Paudel '10

1)  My research group   
2)  UM REU students in front of FermiLab