Summer Internship Series: The Denison Archives

Gabriella Caldwell ’19

The Denison Archives and Special Collection, Granville, Ohio

Summer internship series: the denison archives - screen-shot-2017-10-13-at-1.45.11-pm.png image #0My name is Gabriella Caldwell, I am a Junior double majoring Black Studies and Communications.  My internship at the Denison Archives and Special Collection was amazing! I never thought I would learn as much as I did in the short amount of time I had.  Through managing a project alone, visiting other depositories, researching archival job postings, and setting up three different displays; I have gained more confidence working alone, asking questions and became more confident in my abilities to problem solve.  I’m excited to continue to explore the Archives next semester and expand my knowledge of the field even more than I already have.

Some of my highlights of the summer were creating the display surrounding blackface at Denison, seeing the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Archives and taking the StrengthsFinder test.  I’m am very proud to have been able to create a display that focused on an issue I care about, and being able to share that information with my peers was one of the most rewarding parts of the summer by far.   Creating this display I reached out to seven alumni, three of whom responded and provided significant insight to the productions and how they felt about them then, versus how they feel about them currently, all of which I included in the display. Below is the caption I created for the display

“Denison’s Department of Theatre made significant contributions to the surrounding Denison community, as well as to the larger theatrical community.  Summer and Children’s Theatre programs allowed for the surrounding community to enjoy and engage with the arts, and actors/actresses such as Hal and Ruby Holbrook, Henry Sutton, Bill Moore, Steve Carrell, Jennifer Garner and many more gave the acting community iconic actors and actresses.  However, as with many things, Denison’s Department of Theatre is more than just examples of exceptionalism.

Denison, much like other schools and theatre troops, made detrimental contributions to racial stereotypes using “blackface,” along with minstrel, sambo, coon, pickaninny and mammy caricatures as well as negative portrayals of Asian and Native Americans in various theatre productions.  These contributions continued through 1960s with productions such as Polly, The Mikado, Knickerbocker Holiday, Where’s Charley, and many more.  In looking back at Denison’s developing theatre department a complicated mix of productions reveal biases and perpetuation of unfortunate stereotypes.”

Seeing the Afro-American Museum archives gave me a better understanding about the kinds of collections I want to work with in the future, it also gave me a better understanding of what graduate programs look like for archival work.  And taking the StrengthsFinder test really opened my eyes to some skills I was not aware I had, and gave me the tools to improve in areas I struggle with, as well as the language to use to promote my skills.

This summer has been extremely helpful while I continue to think about what I want to do with my life.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Sasha and Colleen and look forward to continuing my work with them in the future.

Summer Internship Series: Solar Spotlight

Kathlyn Craigie ’18
Intern, Small Town Solar, Granville, Ohio

Summer internship series: solar spotlight - js8af5trroomclb2zdjg_small_town_solar_headshot_kathlyn_7-150x150.jpg image #0My name is Kathlyn Craigie and I am a senior at Denison University. I am a double major in Communication and Psychology and had an internship with Small Town Solar this summer. Prior to this internship, I did not have much knowledge about solar energy or renewable resources. After hands-on installing solar panels on roofs, interviewing local Licking County residents how have installed solar arrays, initiating marketing campaigns and researching renewable energy, I have learned many life skills I will use once I graduate Denison.

Working for Small Town Solar, there was no ‘typical’ day. Each day brought new experiences and activities. For instance, one day we would have a group huddle in the Gilpatrick House, the next day we would be traveling all around Licking County visiting different solar arrays, the next we would hike to the solar installations in the Denison University Bio Reserve and the day after that we would install our own solar systems. I loved working for Small Town Solar because each day was exciting and different from the day before.

My favorite part of my internship this summer was learning how to DIY solar. I gained so much knowledge, I was even able to convince my parents to go solar too! When I went back home after my internship ended, I climbed up on the roof of my house and did a solar analysis of my roof. Prior to this internship, I would have never been able to complete that analysis.

I would like to the thank Cookie Sunkle in the Liska Center, the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, Jeremy ’97 and Susan King ’96 and Jon Ulmer ’93. Without all your help, I would have never had this incredible experience and an unforgettable summer.

 

Reflections from an intern: Granville Chamber of Commerce

by: Marc Weaver, Denison Intern, GACC Spring 2017
Foreword by: Steve Matheny, Executive Director, GACC

Recently the Chamber had the benefit of engaging Marc Weaver, a Denison University Theatre Major,  as an Intern during the Spring semester which has just completed.  Marc was part of the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration’s Radius Intern Program which provides an amount of grant funded income to selected, and eligible, Junior and Senior year students.  At the conclusion of Marc’s internship,  we asked him to provide a summary of his experience which appears below in his own words.  From the Chamber’s perspective, we have benefitted significantly from Marc’s involvement and we encourage additional Chamber businesses to think seriously about engaging talented student interns.  Denison is already attempting to pair up businesses with interns for the Fall semester.  Please reach out to Liz Morrison, Denison’s Director of Networks and Communities, at morrisone@denison.edu for additional Radius Program info and details.  –  S. Matheny
When I discovered that I would be interning at the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, I must confess that I was taken aback. What could I learn from business and trade that would help me? As a highly impractical and passionate theater major, I felt like I was mismatched. I don’t have an interest in working in finance or commerce. I wanted to be paired with a site that would deepen my knowledge of the arts. This internship did not align with my professional goals at all. Or so I thought.
When I first met Steve Matheny, he had me for coffee at Village Coffee. I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I read his quiet, thoughtful demeanor, I was put at ease. It’s unusual, in my past experiences, to have a personal conversation with my supervisor before getting to work. He asked me about the usual laundry list of questions: what I was studying, where I was from, etc. But our conversation went beyond that and he asked me more specific questions about what I wanted to do when I had first developed my passions and what I wanted to learn more about. Not only did he gave me plenty of space to share my story with him, but he reciprocated by telling his journey from being a liberal arts grad to finding a career in human resources and eventually becoming the Executive Director of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce.
The conversation gave me a better idea of what the Chamber actually is. It’s not a secret meeting place where high-minded men in suits and ties met to stroke their beards and played the stock market. I began to understand the structure and real purpose of the organization. Consisting of hundreds of members, the Chamber is a support network for small businesses to grow and make connections with each other. The Chamber also planned events like the Farmers Market and the Art Walks, things that I have enjoyed in my time in Granville as a Denison student. Suddenly my first ideas of where I would be working dissolved. I learned that the Chamber exists partially as a tourist agency but mostly as a way to bring business- and people- together.
The bulk of my work has been in materializing a vision that Steve had for the Farmers Market which meant creating placards that would highlight the people and the places represented in each participating vendor. They would also serve a functional purpose of identifying whether a vendor accepted credit card payments, an issue that Farmers Market customers brought up from previous years. I used Google Slides to create a template for the placard, which we mulled over for a while, then created fifty signs unique to each vendor. The process of which breaks down to over hundreds of tiny edits. The placards will be on display at each booth in this year’s Farmers Market.
The rest of my work has been in helping to run the monthly luncheons that are for the members of the Chamber, held in a different location each month. In March, it was held at RevLocal and in April, it was held at the Granville Inn. One day, as we were packing up for the luncheon, Steve was going over the name-tags that get passed out at the beginning of every meeting. “The devil is in the details,” he said to some effect. People feel appreciated when an event is organized properly and when they are recognized. This often occurs in the small details. It was a privilege to attend these luncheons and to meet so many inspiring driven people gathered together in one room. Despite my lowly status as an intern, I was greeted with genuine smiles and enthusiastic conversation. It was fascinating to hear stories of men and women starting businesses in their home and trace their trajectory to a fully operating business. 
At the March lunch, I remember Susie of Susie’s Sunshine Sweets was the chosen person to speak for three minutes about her bakery. She spoke candidly about surviving through her first year as a small business. I felt a shift in the room. I could sense the empathy emanating from every person in the room, as I suspect that this is something that everyone related to. It struck me that these businesses consisted of friendly people complete with families that go through their own struggles and with goals of providing a product or service that they can be proud of.
Some of my favorite memories at the Chamber were at the luncheon and the happy communal atmosphere of people talking, laughing, eating and sharing with each other. As I reach the end of this internship, I find that saying farewell to the Chamber will be more difficult than I thought it would be. At the heart of it all, Steve orchestrates the Chamber will precision, humor and wisdom and I have learned a lot from being under his wing. 
While the threat of the real world looms near and my liberal arts education comes to an end, I think about the kind of skills I need to survive in this changing world. Having the ability to communicate and connect with people who have different interests and goals is an important skill to have in a pluralistic economy in order to have a broad-based network of support. I learned this first hand through the people I met. Executing tasks using technology, such as on Excel, PowerPoint, email, etc. is a good skill to have no matter what industry you work in because we depend on computers so much to deliver and share information.
Finally, I think the most important skill of all that I have learned is one that Steve models in his day-to-day life. He models that no matter what you are working on, you must always ask questions and think critically before making decisions. A healthy attitude of skepticism can save you from problems that might lurk in the future. No matter what profession I go in, I will carry these skills with me.
Thank you to Steve Matheny, Michelle Newman Brady, Jerod Long and Jodi Melfi of the Chamber, Melanie Murphy, Liz Morrison and Richard Berman of the Denison Center for Career Exploration and the many members of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, who dedicate their entire lives to what they do for the community.
This post originally appeared on the Granville Chamber of Commerce website.