By: Kelly Donovan ENGL Dept. Social Media Intern

It is crazy to think that this will be my final blog post for this internship; time really does fly! I have really enjoyed both the vocational work I have done as well as the things I have learned on the academic side. I get excited when I complete a course that I know will help me in the future. Since I have talked a lot about things I have learned through this internship in many of my blog posts, I would like to shift gears a bit and talk about something that I am currently working on that has been very fun for me.

            A few months ago, Dr. Wright and I started discussing options and ideas for a social media campaign. Thinking of a COVID friendly idea was somewhat difficult at first, since we cannot encourage people to interact in person nor offer an incentive (such as a delicious pizza party) to the winners of my contest. I communicated with one of my advisors to ultimately come up with the idea to post trivia questions crafted by students from all SP21 English courses. We thought of this idea when students first became eligible to sign up for summer and fall courses. Ultimately, the goal has been to draw attention to the English department and spark an interest in English majors who are looking for new courses to take. I started by sending an email out to all of the faculty in the English department followed by a second one which went out to all of the students. When I realized how many people I was addressing in these emails, I got kind of nervous! However, it also made me excited to think about the amount of people I could possibly encourage to get involved in the social media campaign.

            Well, things did not go that way right away. I started to get nervous that no one really liked the idea because I had only received a few submissions from classes. Luckily, Dr. Wright supported me the whole time and continued to encourage students and faculty to participate via email. Even though I still haven’t received an abundance of questions, the ones that I have been able to launch have been a huge success! So many people are getting involved in answering the questions that I have posted. It has been so much fun to see everyone take their guesses on the Instagram polls. I have also really appreciated the questions that I have received because they have been so creative. I’ve come to learn that sometimes the quality is more important than the quantity. In fact, if I had one more semester left I certainly would enroll in some of the courses I have learned about through these trivia questions.

            This internship truly has been a great experience and I am grateful that I was able to have fun while growing as a student. Congratulations to all graduating students, go Dukes!

The End is Near

By: Kelly Donovan ENGL Dept. Social Media Intern (blog 5)

After playing in my senior game with the women’s soccer team this past Sunday, it has started to sink in that graduation is right around the corner. Now that soccer is coming to an end and I will no longer be a student athlete, I have been taking some time to reflect on myself solely as a student. In addition, I have begun to think about some of the things that I have learned along the way through soccer that I believe will help me in my law school journey. As a student athlete, you are forced to learn how to time manage. Between classes, homework, studying, practices, games, traveling, lifting, rehabilitation, meetings etc., student athletes quickly learn that there is not much room for free time. Instead, you quickly learn how to prioritize what is most important to you. I personally knew from the start that school would be my number one priority. Although it wasn’t always easy, I have taken pride in consistently submitting assignments on time while I also making sure the work itself was done to the best of my ability. When I know my soccer schedule is going to be extra hectic, I also try to complete work that is due in the distant future. As a second semester senior, my course load isn’t too strenuous. I recognize that in law school, I likely will not even have the option to complete work that’s due in the future, since the course load will be much heavier. Although this will be the case, I do think my time management skills will help me succeed in the classroom, especially since I will not have the extra obligation to soccer in my life.

When I think about myself as a student alone, it makes me excited that I have already started to find a passion in law through the courses I have taken and the extracurriculars I have participated in. However, this semester in particular has shown me the ways in which my writing skills have been of value as an English major and how they will change going in to law school. I would argue that the writing for my political science classes have been more similar to legal writing than the work I have done for my English classes. In political science, we are taught to spend a lot of time doing research before actually writing. Our writing is based off of solid facts, whereas this is not always the case in my English classes. For example, I took a class called Fiction Workshop. In this class we were taught to be creative. The writing for tor this class was not expected to be factual, hence why it was a “fiction” class. In classes such as this one, I have been taught to use a variety of word choice to entice readers. However, in Legal Research and Writing with Professor Sprowls, we have learned that legal writing encourages the repetition of certain terms for clarity and consistency purposes. In creative writing, citations are not required. In legal writing, it is important to include citations when referencing statutes or other authority. I also have learned that I will need to be extra cautious about grammatical expectations in law school. While contractions have typically been acceptable in the courses I have taken thus far, this might not be the case in the future.

I wouldn’t trade my life as a student athlete for anything, but I can certainly say I am ready for the next chapter of my life. While I have certainly learned a lot of life lessons and skills as an athlete, I believe that the things I have learned in the classroom will be most crucial in my success as a law student.

Learning New Skills

By: Kelly Donovan ENGL Dept Social Media Intern (blog 4)

Prior to starting my internship as the English Department’s social media intern, I suspected that I would mostly learn how to attract a broad audience through a process of trial and error. While this has definitely proven to be true, I did not realize the amount of empirical data that would go into this learning process. For my final project this semester, I will delve into this data and explore the ways in which certain demographics have shaped the audience I am reaching through these social media posts. When I was relying solely on trial and error before I began exploring this data, I would think about myself as a college student and ask what kind of posts would attract someone like me. I thought this was a valid method since I am a college-aged student who is an English major; and I figured someone in a similar position as me would be interested in the events and information I was posting about. After exploring some of the empirical data, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was correct in my assumptions about who my main audience would be. When looking at data from Instagram, arguably the main platform that I am utilizing, I learned that 50% of my audience falls between the age range of 18-24. The second highest age group is 25-34, coming in at 24% of my audience. A statistic that really intrigued me was that my audience is 70.1% women and 29.9% men. I suppose this makes sense since Duquesne’s student population is dominated by females, but I would also like to know if females dominate the English major population as well, since this is a statistic I am unfamiliar with. Over the past 30 days, my growth in followers has increased by 2.2%. I look forward to exploring more of this data as I head into my final project; and I am very grateful that this internship has allowed me to adopt this skill of data extraction.                                    

A Whole New Me

By: Kelly Donovan ENGL Dept. Social Media Intern (blog 3)

Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have immersed myself in courses which have allowed me to grow as a learner and an individual. When I entered my freshmen year, I was initially intimidated by the large course load that I would be taking on as a student athlete. A combination of my busy schedule and inability to decide a career path for myself made me lack confidence at the start. However, I was able to overcome this looming stress by keeping a positive mindset and growing connections with other students and faculty. As a second semester senior, it is crazy to reflect on my growth from freshmen year to now. I have discovered a passion for law and will be entering law school this upcoming fall. In addition, my coaches honor me as a leader on our soccer team and express their appreciation for the impact I leave on my teammates.  As the English Department’s social media intern, I was initially intimidated because I knew I would be taking on a role that is unlike anything I have ever done before. However, my supervisors for this position have allowed me to recognize that the teamwork and leadership skills I have developed throughout my undergraduate experience are applicable in a vocational setting like this.

         As the social media intern for the English Depart as well as the World Literature and Medieval Renaissance minors, I have four different supervisors. When I first scheduled a zoom conference with these professors, I felt slightly nervous because I viewed myself as unqualified in comparison to these professionals and their years of experience. Fortunately, they welcomed me with open arms and have since given me the confidence to take on various different projects. The communication skills that I have developed throughout the process of being accepted into law school as well as my innate leadership qualities as a student athlete have allowed me to feel comfortable collaborating with these professionals, even though they may have more experience than myself. At this point in my internship, I will be launching a social media campaign and have sent out an email to every professor in the English Department as well as all of the English students to alert them. For this social media campaign, I communicated with one of my advisors to ultimately come up with the idea to post trivia questions crafted by students from all SP21 English courses. When I think about myself as a freshman, I would not have felt confident enough to take on a project like this which will be visible to the public at large. However, I now feel nothing but excitement when I think about myself leading this campaign. I am proud of my own self growth and appreciate my advisors for allowing me to reflect on the ways my leadership skills are applicable to this internship.

My Internship and Changing Visions of Myself as a Student

By: Kelly Donovan (Social Media Intern for ENGL Dept) blog #2

As a double major in Political Science and English, I cannot deny that a large chunk of my time is spent conducting research and writing papers. I started off solely as a political science major and found myself spending most of my time writing fact-based papers. Since I am on track to start law school this upcoming fall, this is something that has never bothered me. I am currently enrolled in a course called “Legal Research and Writing”, and we are constantly being asked to apply the law to the facts of a case. When we are asked to produce documents such as legal memorandums, they emphasize the importance of using plain and clear language, and only recording what we definitely know. This internship has allowed me to change the way I think about myself as a student and a writer because it has reminded me that it is possible to write across a variety of genres and the importance of being able to do so. Although the fact-based writing will be very important in my future career, this internship has showed me the importance of creative writing in daily life. This internship has given me the opportunity to create various social media posts for the English department. I find myself constantly asking myself “how can I make my captions stand out to other students?” or “how will I keep my readers interested?”. In today’s society, a lot of important information is relayed through social media and the internet, so I’ve come to appreciate the way creative writing can impact people’s daily lives. This internship has showed me the importance of recognizing who your audience is and crafting your writing based on these demographics. It has also allowed me to recognize that although I am pursuing a career in law, I am a student that wants to learn about various genres of writing and how they can still be useful. I think this is why I picked up a double major with English in the first place. I immediately enrolled in a course called “Fiction Workshop”, and it soon became one of my favorite college courses. I have really appreciated the work I am doing with this internship and the ways it has allowed me to reflect on myself as a student.

Donovan Blog #1: Life of a Student During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Duquesne University has done a wonderful job in controlling the COVID-19 virus on our campus while still trying to make this academic year as normal as possible. However, it is important to recognize the many ways in which this virus has impacted the lives of our students. I recognize that the pandemic has impacted every student in its own way, so I can really only speak for myself. This academic year, I have had several classes that were only offered online while I also had the opportunity to attend some classes in person. Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to attend class in-person whenever possible. Of course, the classroom looks different than it would in normal times. Everyone is wearing masks and is seated at least six feet apart. In addition, the numbers are much smaller since students also have the option of virtually attending the class via Zoom. It is funny seeing some of my classmates’ faces up on the projector and interacting with them that way while the rest of us are in the classroom. I like attending my classes in-person because it gives me a sense of normalcy during a time which is anything but normal. I also feel like it is easier to ask my professors questions and get to know them better that way. My professors who have been teaching fully remote classes have done a great job, but I empathize with them when technology doesn’t always work in their favor. Online classes often lead to issues that are out of the professors’ and students’ control. For this internship, I have had the opportunity to meet all of my supervisors via Zoom. This is one of the ways in which I think this technology is great. This virtual meeting allowed me to meet the people I will be working with and I got to see their faces just as I would in an in-person meeting. I don’t feel like the virus will impact my vocational work too drastically since I am the social media intern. It is the perfect time to display creativity and independence through the virtual world during a time where many aspects of life are being conducted through the internet. At the end of the day, the health and safety of our students and faculty is the number one priority at Duquesne University. Although many aspects of our academic and vocational work may look different as a result, these experiences will help us grow as learners.