Kathleen Herbstritt, Internship Blog Post 3

Collaboration has become a necessary part of my internship with the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Fortunately, those within the department have been very open to new ideas and passionate about the work we are doing. They have been very supportive and helpful in the process of translating ideas to actions.
This internship has allowed me to go a step beyond the classroom, where the focus was on theoretical work, and completing assignments. Whereas the internship has been more focused on community engagement. Here, the theories I’ve encountered in class act as the foundations for the work and programs I am creating.
For example, the department has been working with the Women’s Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. During the month of March, we are collecting necessities like soap, lotion, and socks. While I have read several articles and essays about impoverish women, it is a very different experience to aid in alleviating the issue, even in a very small way. This is perhaps reflective of other facets of academia, where gaining knowledge in a classroom setting can be a wonderful experience and assist in one’s personal growth, but the implementation of that knowledge can also be very rewarding.
Working with Duquesne Community Members outside of the WSGS Department has also been an enlightening and enjoyable experience. One of my tasks for the upcoming media week on the department Facebook account (from March 21-25), was interviewing various people about their work in different fields relating to Women’s and Gender Studies. The answers and conversations I was able to take part in were extremely fascinating and demonstrated how Women’s and Gender Studies can affect other fields, both in academia and beyond.
Overall, translating ideas and skills I’ve learned in the classroom to impactful actions, as well as seeing those elements at play in others’ work has been an educational experience within and of itself.


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