Summer, Shared 2022
September 09, 2022
By Stephanie Rizzo ’09
From field studies to internships to world-class research, Tars share their proudest moments from summer 2022.
One thing about Rollins students—they’re explorers. Whether trekking to the farthest corners of the Himalayas or solving problems on Capitol Hill, you can find Tars putting their education into action all around the globe. This summer, our students interned for world-class brands and service-based nonprofits. They studied ancient ruins in Greece and biodiversity in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. They gave back to their communities as they conducted graduate-level research alongside our expert faculty. More than anything, they explored some of the world’s biggest questions and discovered answers along the way.
As last spring turned to summer, we asked students to keep us in the loop as they embarked on their summertime experiences. Here are a few of our favorite stories from summer 2022.
Business management major Jordan Febish ’23 interned with international beauty brand Clinique’s product development department in New York City. She spent the summer touring product labs, learning about the legal aspects of new product launches, and working with the marketing department to develop overviews of industry competitors. She was even able to make her own one-of-a-kind lip gloss with the help of a cosmetic chemist.
“As a business major with a concentration in marketing, this internship allowed me see how the marketing department interacts with other departments to better serve Clinique’s consumers,” says Febish. “I found it very insightful to see how the marketing skills I’ve gained through my Rollins coursework can be applied to aspects of a global beauty brand.”
Camber Matthews ’25 and Emily Mastrangelo ’25 volunteered with the Himalayan Youth Foundation in Kathmandu, Nepal, teaching English to students at the Kailash Home, an organization that provides housing and education to children from the Himalayan valley. The pair made the most of their downtime with treks into the towns of Boudha and Thamel as well as hikes outside of Kathmandu.
History professor Hannah Ewing and philosophy professor Scott Rubarth led students on a field study to Greece to study the evolution and diversity of ancient Greek culture right at the source. Along the way, the group stopped in key locations like Delphi (home to the famous oracle of Apollo), Athens, and the island of Aegina.
“This field study really brought my Ancient Athens course to life,” says history major Reagan Cooney ’25. “This experience introduced me to a new world and culture while also reaffirming my decision to be a history major.”
International business major Casey Recci ’22 crossed a milestone off his Rollins bucket list thanks to the College’s Gateway Fellows program, a funded internship opportunity that provides scholars with a stipend to offset expenses so they can focus wholly on immersing themselves in all aspects of the experience. Recci worked as a sales intern at Universal Studios Orlando, where he got an inside look at how to position a global theme-park brand that encompasses multiple intellectual properties. He even got to pitch a new product framework to the vice president and senior directors of marketing for an upcoming immersive experience, but don’t ask him which one—it’s top secret for now.
Julia Derkowski ’23 spent her summer island-hopping around the Caribbean as an HR intern for Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises. The business management major helped implement a wellness program for the company’s crew members, who live aboard Royal Caribbean’s fleet for up to 80 percent of the year. Derkowski also helped with recruiting efforts during her internship and got to attend a Florida Marlins game, where she and the other interns led the crowd in the seventh-inning stretch.
Through Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, psychology and communication studies double major Seth Juncewski ’24 partnered with Michelee Puppets and Quest Kids Academy to explore the use of puppets in educational therapies for people with developmental disabilities. Juncewski and communication studies professor Sarah Parsloe worked to develop puppetry workshops based on existing and original children’s stories and apply them as a form of creative therapy, collecting qualitative data to evaluate the effectiveness of each therapy session. The pair plan to publish their findings and submit their work to present at the International Communication Association conference in Toronto.
Kayley Klatt ’23 ’24MBA traveled to Dublin where she served as a legal intern at the law firm Greene Solicitors, focusing on estate planning, client relations, and international title laws. The international business major intends to pursue a law degree after she graduates from Rollins’ 3/2 Accelerated Management Program and says that her summer experience helped solidify her postgraduate plans.
“Before going abroad, I wasn’t 100 percent committed to pursuing law school after getting my MBA,” she says. “But now I’m more confident than ever that I will be obtaining my juris doctorate in the future. I’m excited to one day look back at my time at Rollins and experiences that fostered the passions I get to put into practice every day.”
The Gateway Fellowship allowed public policy and political economy major Matthew Deveaux ’23 to complete a second summer internship with Black Orlando Tech. As a digital marketing and social media intern, Deveaux assisted leaders of the Black-owned nonprofit with public policy duties in their ongoing mission to provide resources to Black tech entrepreneurs and workers. Deveaux also partnered with NGOs and like-minded nonprofits on advocacy projects, including the African American Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County government.
“This experience has allowed me to discover my passion for advocacy work and minority advancement and has made me think about how my classwork at Rollins has the ability to help provide positive real-life impacts on the communities that I’m part of,” says Deveaux. “Over the last two years, I’ve expanded my grasp of policy-related courses and my understanding of the nonprofit sector through practical work.”
Physics major Henri Balla ’22 worked with his mentor, physics professor Chris Fuse, through the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program to get a glimpse into the origins of our solar system. The pair utilized computational simulations to investigate how Uranus and Neptune arrived at their current orbital configurations and to evaluate whether this process accommodates the creation of the Galilean moons around Jupiter.
“This research is exciting because it could potentially challenge our current understanding of how these satellite moons formed,” says Balla. “If our simulations work, the current theory holds. If not, that means there are gaps in our understanding and new models could potentially be introduced.”
The project forms the basis of Balla’s senior honors thesis, and in addition to the pair putting their findings together for publication, Balla will present the research outcomes at the American Astronomical Society Congress in January.
International relations major and Gateway Fellow Banke Aluko ’22 worked as an operations and communications intern for the Partnership for Transparency Fund, a nonprofit that tackles small-scale corruption around the world. One of the highlights of her experience was working with a group of civil society organizers in the Francophone Africa region to create a brochure for a health conference in Niamey, Niger—a project that led to even more opportunity for Aluko.
“After completing my internship, I was retained as a consultant for a health project in Francophone Africa,” she says. “As an African studies minor, I am thrilled to have an opportunity to gain more experience in the region.”
With the help of Rollins’ Center for Career & Life Planning, communication studies major Kayla Thompson ’23 landed a summer internship with Ostrich, a financial literacy app founded in 2019 by alums William Glass ’14 and Andrew Holliday ’13 that helps users achieve their financial goals through community and gamification.
“Through this internship, I was able to get an up-close look at organizational communication, workplace dynamic, and marketing for a startup company,” she says. “These are topics that have been discussed in some of my communication classes. Also, it was really cool to work for people who are familiar with Rollins. It was inspiring to see what they created with the skills they gained from their time here.”
Health services leadership and management major Sendy Sejourne ’23 teamed up with English professor Emily Russell through the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program. The research duo looked at how Black writers have interpreted concepts of death and vulnerability since 2020 in the wake of watershed moments like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. Sejourne, who is pursuing minors in African and African American studies and English, first conceived of the project when she took Russell’s African American Film & Literature class.
“The coursework encouraged me to confront and navigate emotionally difficult material,” explains Sejourne. “Dr. Russell and I wanted to continue investigating primary and secondary texts that related to protest movements against police violence.”
The duo turned that research into a scholarly article, which is currently out on submission for publication.
Aimee Leo ’23 spent her summer working as a casino marketing supervisor intern for the Ritz-Carlton Aruba. The business management and economics double major says the hands-on nature of her Rollins courses helped prepare her for the role, which involved conducting market research and making several site visits to the casino to evaluate customer satisfaction.
“I was able to use the knowledge I received from several classes at Rollins, especially my Entrepreneurial and Corporate Finance course,” says Leo. “In addition to working for one of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands, I learned a lot about how casinos operate and how unique casino marketing is in comparison to other businesses.”
Business management major Emily Froehlich ’23 took advantage of a summer study abroad opportunity in Pau, France, to study high-performance organizations and knowledge management. In addition to taking classes at Groupe ESC Pau College and networking with local community partners and entrepreneurs, Froehlich had the opportunity to explore French culture through day and weekend trips to nearby Bordeaux and Paris.
Social entrepreneurship and political science double major Alexis Matton ’23 spent the summer on Capitol Hill, where she interned for U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Matton attended congressional briefings about the impacts of climate change, drafted policy memos, assisted with constituent casework, and performed research for different legislative projects.
Elsewhere on the Hill, computer science major Angelina Khourisader ’23 ’24MBA served as a summer intern for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio through the Gateway Fellows program. Over the course of seven weeks, Khourisader sat in on committee meetings covering some of the most impactful topics of our time, including forums on health, education, and labor.
“The support I’ve received from Rollins and the Center for Career & Life Planning really speaks to how Rollins is built on a human scale,” says Khourisader, who regularly met up with fellow Tars while working in D.C. “I was working alongside students from much bigger state universities, but I was able to find my Rollins network this summer, and it was very grounding.”
Khourisader and Matton also traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, in early June, where they were presenters at the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Awards Ceremony. ODK is the premier leadership honors society recognizing collegiate community leaders from around the nation.
Cecilia Hernandez ’25 teamed up with chemistry professor Brian Mosby through the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program to examine the responsive material alpha-Zirconium phosphate (a-ZrP), which can help trap microscopic pollutants in solutions like water, resulting in a cleaner end product. Using X-ray machines and other equipment to manipulate the material allowed Hernandez and Mosby to trap unwanted ions within the a-ZrP’s pores for safe extraction. The pair is planning to present their findings at the American Chemical Society Conference in 2023.
Benjamin Katz ’23 embarked on a field study to Costa Rica led by environmental studies professor Barry Allen. This annual excursion allows first-year Rollins students to study internationally even before they set foot on campus and focuses on sustainable development and the stunning biodiversity found in the Costa Rican rainforest. The field study served as an extension of Katz’s Environmental Development in Central America coursework and allowed him to mentor a new incoming class of Tars.
Through Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, physics major and organist Lucia Baquerizo ’22 combined her love of music with her passion for physics while working alongside Thom Moore in his acoustics lab. The pair tested sound waves emanating from 3D-printed organ pipes using advanced optics lasers that measure airflow and help scientists visualize sound waves. Their research could help make organ pipes more efficient and affordable in the future.
Makayle Kellison ’25 worked on a similar summer research project with physics professor Whitney Coyle, exploring ways to better quantify quality in musical instruments. The duo teamed up with acoustics researchers in Vienna, Austria, to test clarinets with sensor-equipped mouthpieces for clarity and tone. The team was able to prove that a sensor located on the reed of the instrument encumbers the collection of data and can even affect the quality of playing. By streamlining the sensor mechanics, they were able to conceive of a cheaper and more effective way to collect data without inhibiting playability.
Kellison and Coyle will attend the Acoustical Society of America’s conference this December in Nashville, Tennessee, to present their findings.
Alexandria Freeman ’23 was able to extend her long-standing internship with Siemens Energy into the summer thanks in part to a connection brokered by her academic advisor and business professor Serina Haddad. Freeman has been working in the company’s procurement and supply chain department, forming relationships with buyers looking to fulfill purchase orders and getting quotes for specific parts related to the energy field.
“This internship ties directly into my coursework at Rollins,” says Freeman. “I would not have been as successful as I have been if it weren’t for Professor Haddad and the classes I’ve taken with [business professor] Emmanuel Kodzi. His knowledge of global business and supply chains really opened my eyes to the potential of this industry.”
Philosophy and sociology double major Sanjula Rajat ’23 and philosophy professor Margaret McLaren conducted an international research project where they interviewed trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming folks in India to better understand Indian cultural perceptions of gender and queerness. They analyzed their findings based on external cultural factors like religion and caste to get a full picture of Indian gender beyond traditional binary concepts.
This is the second summer the pair has conducted research through the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program. Last year, they presented their initial findings at the CAPPE Politics of Reproduction Conference and the U.K.-based Decolonising Critical Thought Workshop. They are currently putting together a paper based on their continued research and will present at the SOPHIA Conference in New York this October.
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