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$100K Challenge Aims to Make Game-changing Internships More Widely Available

Doug Pauls '80 signs an agreement to support the internship fund, as President Margee Ensign looks on. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Doug Pauls '80 signs an agreement to support the internship fund, as President Margee Ensign looks on. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Dollar-for-dollar match offers more bang for the buck, helps students prepare for impactful careers

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

At the close of her study-abroad year, Carol Fadalla ’18 had a chance to serve a high-level summer internship in her host country, but she couldn’t afford to extend her stay. Olivia Termini ’19 knew that an internship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would help her prepare for a career in environmental law or lobbying, but the internships she found were unpaid or low-pay, and she needed a summer job. 

Both went on to complete their dream internships, thanks to an alumni- and parent-funded internship grant. Now, Doug Pauls '80 and his wife, Terri, are issuing a challenge to help fellow Dickinsonians maximize their gifts in support of the cause.

The couple has pledged to match all internship gifts made this year, up to $100,000. “We’re really excited about it,” said Pauls who, along with Terri, has supported internship grants for several years through the DTP '80 Internship Fund, which covers expenses like housing, food and the cost of travel to internship sites. “The idea is just to enable deserving students to take a shot at an experience that they probably would not otherwise be able to have."

"Dickinson students are aspirational, and pursue ambitious internship opportunities around the world. The internship grant can lift barriers that might prevent a student from pursuing their dream internship," added Amity Fox, associate dean of academic advising and director of the internship program. "In addition to the grant award, students also benefit from support throughout the internship; each grant recipient completes a reflective curriculum that involves identifying and integrating their values in the world of work, thinking about impact, and articulating the usefulness of their liberal-arts education."

Distinctive internships, bright futures

Video by Joe O'Neill

According to President Margee Ensign, the college's ultimate goal is to offer an internship to every student who wants one, and that requires funding. The current matching challenge is part of a larger gift Doug and Terri made this year in support of that aim.

Fadalla and Termini are among the many students who've reaped the rewards so far.

As a rising-senior psychology major, Fadalla worked with an Indian nonprofit that trained and empowered marginalized women to provide basic health care and health education to fellow community members. After learning grant writing, curriculum development and intercultural communication skills through that experience, she went on to earn a Fulbright scholarship as an English teaching assistant in Amman, Jordan. Termini (environmental studies, classical studies) reports that while interning at the EPA last summer, she made industry contacts, learned about governmental agencies, solidified her career goals and gained unique insight into the ways that government agencies respond during a time of major leadership transition. She's currently expanding her understanding of the government sector as a legislative intern for Senator Robert P. Casey.

The benefits continue this summer, as a new group of students serve high-level internships. These include Aisha Johnson '20, an education and policy intern with the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.; and Mihir Pyakuryal '19, who's working with graduate students at the University of Michigan's Social Minds Lab to recruit subjects for a psychology research project, design the study, pilot the research, organize and analyze video data, and run the procedures as an experimenter. 

"There is a lot to be excited about and enjoy when working on a research project like this," said Pyakuryal, who's considering a career in psychology research. "It's very fascinating."

Speaking during a recent visit to campus, Pauls urged fellow Dickinsonians to take up the gauntlet to help prepare more of Dickinson's future leaders to engage in meaningful experiences that help them gear up to serve the greater good.

"My firm belief is that if I have a chance to change the world, my best chance is by giving to Dickinson College," he said. "So I would encourage any alumni to please consider supporting this program. Let's work together to make this happen."

To join the matching-gift challenge, make a gift in support of internships by visiting the Make Your Gift page and choose “Student Internship Fund” in the “Designation” drop-down menu.


Published July 30, 2018