Senior Spotlight: Megan Schaffner

Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore

The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.

For this article, sophomore Gigi Speer interviewed Megan Schaffner, a senior Honors student majoring in English with minors in Marketing and Philosophy.

G: What made you choose your disciplines of study?

M: I’ve always loved books, so an English major felt like a natural choice to me. My marketing minor came a little later when I got interested in how companies communicate with their audiences and how that can affect the publishing industry. And with four philosophy courses in the old Honors curriculum, you only need one more class for a minor. So, like many Honors students, I chose to take a fifth philosophy class in order to do so. It’s been really interesting! I definitely wouldn’t have done a philosophy minor if I wasn’t so close to it, but I’m happy I did. 

G: Tell me a little about your internship!

M: I work at Beaufort Books, which is a small independent publisher all the way downtown [Manhattan].  I help the editors there with book schedules, manuscript edits, and basically whatever else they need!

G: What is the commute like? 

M: It’s not too bad.  I take a ram van for an hour and then a twenty minute subway. I sleep in the van which helps and the intern hours are 10-5 which is super nice.

G: Is this something you would like to do after you graduate?

M: Definitely!  I want to go into publishing, hopefully doing editorial stuff, so this is a good way to get a feel for the industry.

G: Is this your first time working for a publisher?

M: It is!  Over the summer, I worked for a literary agent, which was great but it dealt a lot more with the business work like finalizing book deals.  I really want to work with the actual text of books, so I’m hoping I can do that with this internship.

G: So you’ve been writing Senior Spotlights for the past two years as part of your role on the Student Activities Council.  Has writing these articles been helpful in directing your interest?

M: Yes, I think working with the Web Presence committee of SAC has  helped me a lot in general. I’ve gotten to think about the different forms of social media marketing, which is a little bit of what I’ve been doing at my internship now. So the web presence and marketing minor has been really helpful and have given me the chance to do some trial and error, figure out what I like, and figure out what works.

G: Do you have a favorite Honors memory teacher or book?

M: Yes! I love remembering the first two years of the Honors curriculum, all struggling together. I think back to freshman year, with all of us huddled in Alpha House cramming for Dr. Miller’s exams. My one friend, who wasn’t in Honors, would come with me and be my unofficial philosophy tutor. Even now, although I feel old, I like doing extra-curricular activities  with the whole Program. The book exchange last year was so sweet—people put in such an effort to figure out what their person would like to read. I got Educated, which I was really excited to read, and I was given a hardcover edition which I thought was so nice. Little things like that remind me that people are enjoying [Honors], that things are continuing, and that there will be a lot of activities still going on after I leave.  I feel like a proud mom!

G: Favorite Honors professor?

M: I really love Dr. Keller. I had her for Early Modern Lit, which is the time period I really like. Reading Shakespeare with her was the best thing ever because she really pushed us to keep thinking.  She wanted to know more than just the things that stood out to you; she wanted us to figure out why they did and how they fit into the larger scale of what we were learning. Having that practice in my head moving forward to other English classes has been helpful, since it has rewired my brain to think more.

Senior Spotlight: Kristen Cain

Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore

The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.

For this article, sophomore Gigi Speer interviewed Kristen Cain, a senior International Studies major with a concentration in the Middle East and North Africa.

G: Where are you from?

K: The Poughkeepsie area [of New York].

Kristen in Morocco last spring.

G: So I know that you were just abroad.  Do you plan on travelling more?

K: I traveled abroad last spring in Morocco, which was perfect since I study both French and Arabic.  It was my first time travelling out of the country. I got lots of practice interning at a refugee organization and teaching English classes, which was really cool. I just found out last week that I got accepted into the Peace Corps, so I’ll be in Morocco for another two years working in youth development, teaching English classes, running after school programs, summer camps, and depending on the area, running some female empowerment programs as well.

G: Was there anything from Honors that came to mind when you were in Morocco?

K: Having a small community of thirty people in the program and classes that all relate like our interdisciplinary schedule reminded me of Honors. The other students were mostly American and there was one other Fordham student, but some were from China and Germany as well.

 G: Is there anything that you brought back that you really loved from Morocco?

K: I got really into their mint tea. Not just the tea itself, but the culture. Sitting and having tea with people is such a good way to get to know them. I’ve definitely been trying more Mediterranean stuff like couscous. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do before I went, and once I was there I got really interested in refugees, so I decided to write my thesis on it along with youth development and education. Most of the refugees are from West Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, and the government wasn’t really receptive to them; most of them were homeless or living in crowded apartments, whis is obviously not a great environment.

G: Are you still interested in refugee resettlement?

K: I’m interning at the International Rescue Committee, working in refugee resettlement, working with refugees coming into the U.S. They have offices throughout the country, and we help them their first 90 days, enrolling in food stamps, SNAP benefits, and trying to find apartments in New York. It’s not a great program, but its better than what they have in Morocco. I get to use my language skills, which is cool since I haven’t been able to practice since being in Morocco.

G: What will you miss about Honors?

K: I definitely like the community, especially freshman and sophomore year when we all spent so much time together. Every seminar class was people you knew, so you felt more comfortable talking to people.

G: Has there been any teacher that has had a big impact on you?

K: There’s been a lot of really good professors. From freshman year, definitely Professor McGowan.  I feel like everyone says their Ancient Literature professor is the best, but he can truly make any topic interesting.

G: Do you have a favorite memory from Honors?

K: I loved going to the Classics Halloween party with my class freshmen year; I dressed up as Athena.  At the same party, Devin D’Agostino came in a blow up T-Rex costume—which he’s worn multiple times—and put a Greek robe over it to be Oedipus Rex.

Senior Spotlight: Onjona Hossain

Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore

The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.

For this article, Gigi Speer, a current sophomore in the Program, interviewed graduating senior, Onjona Hossain. Onjona is a biology and philosophy double major in the Honors Program.  She is currently preparing for medical school and has a plethora of different achievements. I interviewed her to learn more about these accomplishments, in addition to the many other things she’s done with her time here at Fordham.

Onjona Hossain, Honors Class of 2020

Gigi: What has been your favorite Honors memory?

Onjona: My favorite Honors memory is the freshman Scavenger Hunt in Central Park. As a native New Yorker, I had no idea about all the different sights to see at Central Park and so it was nice to finally get to explore my city. It was also a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and spend the day with other Honors students who I had never spoken to before. It was also fun because I love competition and this event brought out all of our competitiveness.

Gigi: What has been your best internship or volunteer experience while at Fordham?

Onjona: Through International Samaritan, a non-profit, Jesuit organization, I volunteered as an EMT in Guatemala on a medical mission the summer after my freshmen year. As a volunteer, I helped organize a makeshift clinic including a triaging station, physician consult area, pharmacy, and distribution center. I also spent time as a medical scribe to Guatemalan and American physicians to improve efficiency. This allowed me to learn from two unique cultural and practical approaches to medicine. My time in Guatemala reignited my passion to provide medical care to those underserved and taught me that basic treatments can make huge impacts on others’ wellbeing and health. I was so inspired my trip, I began a subchapter of International Samaritan at Fordham for other students to participate in. 

I also really enjoyed my Patient Advocacy Volunteer in Emergency Research Services (PAVERS) internship. As a patient advocate for the Emergency Department at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, I aided physicians and nurses in patient transport and care, observed initial assessment of patients in the ER and interacted with patients as they awaited treatment. When I wasn’t making beds, distributing blankets and food, I found myself engaging in conversations with patients about not only their complaints and illnesses but also their personal lives and backgrounds, which not surprisingly often influenced the reasons for which they were seeking care. 

Gigi: What have you enjoyed getting involved in on-campus at Fordham?

For the second straight year, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal (FURJ). After being a Peer Review Staff member and Peer Review Editor, I wanted to become Editor-in-Chief to channel my creativity and take initiative in sharing research and knowledge. In 2018, I became the first junior to become Editor-in-Chief of FURJ and, under my leadership, this year FURJ published two volumes in print for the first time, a testament to its growing demand.

I am also the President of the Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students (MAPS). MAPS increases minority matriculation into professional health-related programs. Through my leadership role in MAPS, I solidified my commitment to encouraging diversity in the health professions. I always admired diversity of health professionals, but now I actively promote and increase it. 

Gigi: How have you grown as a person throughout your time in the Honors Program?

Onjona: Majoring in biology was an easy choice, but it was not until my second semester in the Honors Program that I chose to add a major in philosophy. Ancient Philosophy was my most difficult course, but I felt intellectually challenged, and I knew discomfort meant that I was learning. I chose philosophy to further enrich my perspective on the world and to question my pre-existing ideas. In addition, being part of the Honors Program allowed me to explore courses in the humanities as they relate to all topics, even medicine. Reading authors like James Baldwin helped me recognize my passion for literature. I make the most of my Jesuit education at Fordham through leadership, volunteer work, discourse, and giving back. At Fordham, I reaffirmed my passion for medicine and am becoming the best version of myself. The Jesuits emphasize education and commitment to giving back to the underserved. I carry out this mission as I serve my community as an EMT on campus, a peer mentor for freshmen at the pre-health symposium, and as an educator at Khan’s Tutorial. I hope to practice patient-centered care with the mission of relieving human suffering which is in line with the Jesuit tradition of Cura Personalis and caring for the whole person. In my career as a physician, I will continue to be a woman for others and cultivate the Jesuit values and traditions of service through discovery, wisdom and education. At Fordham, I learned the importance of self-reflection and caring for the whole individual, qualities I will continue to cultivate as a practicing physician.

Gigi: Which Honors professor made the biggest impact on you?

Onjona: Professor Mary Callaway made a great impact on me because she changed the way I viewed my entire college education and experience. She taught me that college doesn’t just give us the tools to engage in civil discourse and live a successful life, but this is exactly what life is all about, engaging in civil discourse with others whether it be in an interdisciplinary seminar or a casual conversation with a peer. It changed my perspective on my education. College was not merely a stepping stone, but an end in its own right.

Gigi: What will you miss most about Honors?

Onjona: I will miss Alpha House the most. As a commuter, I really appreciated having 24/7 access to Alpha. I remember on overnight FUEMS shifts, I would camp out in Alpha House. It’s always nice to intermingle with other Honors kids there as well.

Gigi: Is there anyone you would like to shoutout?

Onjona: I would like to give a shoutout to Honors Program Director Dr. Eve Keller for seeing potential in me from even before we officially met.

A Last Semester Bucket List for the Honors Senior

Author: Megan Schaffner, senior

There comes a time when every college student has to start thinking about saying goodbye to the people and places they’ve known for the last four years.  As a second semester senior, I am hesitant to admit that such a time is right around the corner. But until then, it’s time to relax (a little) and enjoy all of the wonderful things that college has to offer!

The Honors Program has been a major part of my college experience.  From struggling through challenging classes, to meeting incredibly intelligent and driven people, to completing a senior thesis that I am proud to call my own, I know that my time at Fordham would not have been as precious as it is to me without Honors.

So, while I am sad to think about it all coming to a close, here are ten important, fun, and somewhat silly things that I think every senior should do this semester.

  1. Set up camp in Alpha House to write one more paper. Extra points if you order Pugsley’s while doing so.
  2. Go to Central Park and recreate some of your pictures from the first-year Scavenger Hunt.
  3. Visit Professor Jones during her office hours, because let’s be honest, she has one of the coolest offices on campus.
  4. Pull an all-nighter in Alpha.
  5. Send Dr. Keller or Ava a frantic email (or save yourself the stress and just reread your old ones).
  6. Wear your Honors sweatshirt around campus.
  7. Get the breakfast gang back together and make one more early-morning trek to the caf.
  8. Sneak into an underclassmen interdisciplinary seminar.
  9. Force your friends to eat eggplant pizza.
  10. Find a way to work “Actually, I’m in Honors” into normal conversation.

Senior Spotlight: Rosie McCormack

Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore

The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.

For this article, Gigi Speer, a current sophomore in the Program, interviewed graduating senior, Rosemarie (“Rosie”) McCormack. Rosie is an International Political Economy (IPE) major with a double minor in English and Peace and Social Justice.  Rose is a senior in the Honors Program and is currently a Strategic Planning & Policy intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She was interviewed by Gigi Speer (Honors sophomore) for this post.

Rosie McCormack, Honors Class of 2020

Gigi: What has been your favorite Honors memory?

Rosie: I was in Gabelli [Business School] during my first year, so I joined Honors as a sophomore. My favorite memory is from Early Modern History when Professor Myers jumped up on the table and sang every single verse of Ghost Riders in the Sky by Johnny Cash. Devin D’Agostino, dressed in an inflatable T-Rex costume, jumped up and joined him for the last chorus (it was Halloween). 

A less silly favorite memory is when Dustin Partridge took the Honors Science I students to the green roof of the Javits Center – it was a cool thing to see. 

Gigi: Which Honors professor has made the most impact on you?

Rosie: Susan Greenfield is probably my favorite professor at Fordham. I had her for Early Modern Literature, and I loved her teaching style. She reminds me a lot of my favorite English teacher from high school, and she’s one of the few teachers I’ve had who I felt really pushed my writing to be better. I took her Homelessness service-learning class last spring, and it was my favorite class in the past 4 years (take it!). She’s on sabbatical this year, and I’m so excited to be working as her research assistant while she’s working on other projects. 

Gigi: What has been your best internship or volunteer experience while at Fordham?

Rosie: My favorite internship is the one I have right now, as a Strategic Planning & Policy intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. A few years ago, New York County received criminal forfeiture funds from some foreign banks on Wall Street, and DA Vance decided to use the funds to start the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), which increases community and alternative-to-incarceration programs in New York to help keep people out of the criminal system. The SPP office runs that initiative. I spend a lot of time researching the progress of current programs (like the progress states have made on testing their rape kit backlogs) and writing literature reviews to help develop future programs (like a program to support sex-trafficked NYC youth). It’s really cool to work for the government but be a part of trying to reform the system, rather than just being a cog in the machine of prosecution. 

I’m involved in a lot of areas on & off-campus! My main activities at Fordham include serving as Vice President of the Humanitarian Student Union and co-founding and leading the Our Story program, which is a student storytelling event. I also do work-study in Fr. McShane’s office and have been an Urban Plunge Leader throughout my time at Fordham.

Gigi: Do you have any favorite authors?

Rosie: Some of my favorite authors are Barbara Kingsolver and Anne Lamott!  I also really like Abraham Verghese, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, John Boyne, although I admit I’ve only read one of each of their books…

Gigi: Anything you still want to try/change in the Honors Program, Fordham, or New York City in general?

Rosie: I wish I could have been a part of the new, justice-based Honors curriculum! Learning more about social justice has been a huge part of my Fordham experience, and I think it’s so cool that Honors has taken up that banner in a substantial way. I hope Fordham will always educate students to think critically about systems of oppression and work as an institution to better the New York City community.

Gigi: What will you miss most about Honors?

Rosie: I will miss being around other students who are motivated. In some non-Honors classes, I feel like there are only one or two students who you could count on to be present and participate, and in Honors almost everyone had something they wanted to contribute. 

Study Abroad Spotlight: Literature and Theology in Dublin, Ireland

Author: Ashley Conde, junior

This past fall I had the privilege of studying abroad at Trinity College Dublin. There, I encountered a rich and fascinating academic environment. During my time at Trinity, I discussed controversial literary theories in class, learned to encode texts, and even had a pint with a former president of Ireland. Trinity is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most prestigious universities and I was initially nervous about taking upper-level classes there. I soon found that my time in the Honors Program prepared me well for my courses. 

Trinity College’s “Long Room” library, which houses the Book of Kells, the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and the Guinness harp.

I took two advanced (called “sophister” by the university) English courses— “Digital Humanities Now” and “Hamlet in Theory”— and two theology courses— “Jewish Thought and Practice” and “Imagining Moses and the Exodus in the Arts.” Each class was around 12 students– the same size as my Honors seminar classes– and I was often the only visiting student in my class. I enjoyed all my classes thoroughly and appreciated how the small class sizes fostered better class discussions.

“Hamlet in Theory” was both the most difficult and rewarding of my classes at Trinity. Each class meeting reminded me of Dr. Miller’s Honors Philosophy course, with students scrambling to copy the professor’s words verbatim. I made an effort to participate in each class (even after my traumatic experience of offering a misreading of Walter Benjamin) and attended office hours in preparation for my final 20-page paper (upon which my entire grade was based). Going to office hours is a common practice at Fordham, and especially in Honors, but I was surprised to hear from my Trinity professor that I was one of the only students to consult him before the final was due. 

Being in a foreign academic environment made me appreciate the skills and study habits the Honors Program has instilled in me. My discussion-based Honors classes empowered me to be vocal in my Trinity classes. Honors’ rigorous curriculum, furthermore, taught me to be proactive in seeking help from professors. 


Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, popularized by Game of Thrones.

Now that I am back at Rose Hill, I plan to integrate my readings from “Hamlet in Theory” into a potential topic for my Honors Senior Thesis topic. I was particularly interested in critiquing Jean-Françis Lyotard’s reading of Hamlet. During office hours at Trinity, my professor informed me that my paper idea would likely exceed 20 pages and encouraged me to write a thesis on it in the future. 

An Engineer’s Praise of A Liberal Arts Education

Author: Daniel Joseph, senior

With the help of the Honors Program Ambassadorial Grant, I was lucky enough to attend the national conference of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers last October, along with 8,000 other undergraduates from around the country. While I was there, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend talks and workshops by industry professionals and leaders, network directly with hiring managers and engineers, and meet other incredibly bright students. To cap it off, the career fair featured almost 300 companies from around the country seeking to snap up young and developing talent for both internships and new-graduate positions. 

To be honest, I was a bit intimidated. The students I talked to were aiming at aeronautics internships at Boeing and SpaceX, or software engineering positions at Google and Microsoft. I began to think that knowing I’d want to pursue Computer Science, choosing a liberal arts school like Fordham might have been a mistake.

However, my anxieties were unfounded. In an impromptu interview with a hiring manager, it was my time and experience in the Honors Program that differentiated me from the thousands of other qualified candidates at the conference. My interviewer had also attended a university with a Great Books program (they began with The Iliad, too) and we mostly talked about everything other than software engineering. Even Larry Stempel’s music history class came in handy — as he always promised us it would. She expressed that she was thrilled to have found a candidate that both knew what they were talking about technically, but could also hold a conversation and was obviously excited about continual learning and approaching situations from a variety of perspectives. I cannot help but credit the Honors Program for honing those latter aspects. 

I am incredibly grateful to the Honors Program both for helping me to get to the conference all the way across the country, and for helping mold me into a person that could stand out from the crowd.

Honors Students Attend Humanism and Self-Respect Conference

Authors: Sophie Cote and Charlotta Lebedenko, sophomores

Thanks to the Ambassadorial Grant opportunity offered by the Honors Program, we were able to attend the Humanism and Self-Respect conference hosted by Periyar International and the American Humanist Association in Maryland. Humanism is an international movement dedicated to promoting secular values and the pursuit of truth through scientific empiricism. Our passion for humanism was largely inspired by the conversations and lively debates we had in many of our Honors classes, such as Ancient Philosophy with Professor Miller and Medieval Theology with Professor Davis, where we were able to hear a diverse selection of views on topics such as ethics and religion. The chance to meet speakers from around the world dedicated to humanism provided us with the invaluable opportunity to learn and network. This conference, which placed a significant emphasis on Periyar and the humanist “Self-Respect Movement” in India, expanded our previously narrow views on humanism in the world. We had not imagined that there would be such strong, established communities of humanists in other countries such as India, and having the opportunity to meet members of that community gave us new perspectives that we will implement into our own secular experience and journey at Fordham. In addition to spreading awareness about the Periyar movement in India, the conference hosted passionate speakers from the American Humanist Association and a group of secular activists and authors from Germany. We had many opportunities to speak with these prominent members of the humanist community, some of whom actually live in New York, which has provided us with a strong, lasting network of secular leaders throughout the world. 

Ryan Bell of Secular Student Alliance with Honors students Charlotta and Sophie.

We are currently in the final steps of starting a chapter of the Secular Student Alliance here at Fordham. This organization provides a community for atheists and agnostic students on college campuses. We feel that the presence of a secular club on campus, especially at this religiously-affiliated school, will provide a safe space for students who may feel that their religious views are a minority on this campus as well as allow students who may be questioning their religious identities to explore free of judgment. There is a pressing urgency to shatter the stigmas surrounding the truly harmless titles of “atheist” or “humanist,” and we believe it is beyond important that secular students have a safe space and a platform to explore their own views just like any religious student would have access to. At the conference, we were able to meet Ryan Bell, the National Organizing Manager of Secular Student Alliance. He is the creator of the podcast “Letting Go of God” and is an author at the Huffington Post. Ryan gave us valuable advice on how to make our new chapter engaging and meaningful on a campus that desperately needs it.

As students deeply invested in the humanist cause, this conference provided an opportunity for us to meet other humanists and learn about the different ways to get involved in secular issues. We will apply the lessons we learned at this conference to our roles as leaders of the Secular Student Alliance at Fordham. 

From Honors Music Major to Budding Concert Conductor

Author: Kristina Lazdauskas, junior

With support from the Honors Program, I participated in the Choral Institute at Oxford this summer. The ten-day program consisted of lectures on the philosophy of music-making, masterclasses in conducting technique and culminated with a final performance in which I conducted in concert for the first time. 

I applied for the Ambassadorial Grant to help me with this opportunity because I knew that it would prepare me to apply for a graduate degree in Choral Conducting in the future. My studies as a music major have focused primarily on music history and theory rather than performance. I knew that the practical experience I would gain at the Choral Institute at Oxford would complement the academic side of my major and help me put what I’ve learned in my classes at Fordham into practice. 

The immersive nature of this institute was invaluable. Though I arrived having had virtually no experience, conducting daily in the masterclasses and receiving real-time critiques from conductors Dr. James Jordan and Dr. James Whitbourn helped me to improve my technique and musicianship quickly. Daily lectures on conducting delivered by music faculty from Westminster Choir College and Oxford University also helped me to gain a deeper appreciation for the philosophy behind conducting. These talks encouraged me to think critically about the way in which the conductor’s performance is influenced by their self-perception, which aligned well with the ideas about the self which I had begun exploring in my Honors Early Modern Philosophy course and which I continue to explore in the Honors’ Religion in the Modern World course. Now, I am expanding on this question of the role of the artist’s self and its impact on conducting in an independent study, and it’s one that I hope to investigate further in my research as I progress through the major. 

Studying in Oxford also afforded me opportunities I couldn’t have had elsewhere. I was able to sing mass with the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral, view original medieval manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, and observe featured conductors in rehearsals with the Institute’s choir-in-residence. Furthermore, the program opened up to me an amazing support network of fellow conductors and singers equally interested in fostering human connection through the collaborative art of choral singing. 

My experience at the Choral Institute at Oxford has been a shaping force in my studies. I’ve narrowed my research interests to the history and philosophy of conducting, and I am more confident now that I want to pursue choral conducting in graduate school. I am extremely grateful to the Honors Program for supporting me in this endeavor. 

Honors Summer Internship Fellows: Megan

Author: Megan Gilligan, senior

This is the fourth and final post in a series of four posts written by the Summer 2019 Honors Internship Fellows. The students received a stipend that enabled them to work at non-profit organizations for the common good.

Thanks to The Honors Program Summer Fellowship, I was able to work as a student intern for the Pace Women’s Justice Center.  PWJC is a nonprofit that advocates for and provides legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault.  It also conducts outreach and training sessions on how to interact with victims of abuse as well as how to escape abusive situations.

Megan (left) with the other PWJC summer interns.

As an intern, I was able to take part in many different aspects of PWJC’s work. I provided support to attorneys and staff and researched topics relating to individual cases as well as New York State law. I attended client interviews and court proceedings, created Excel spreadsheets for client financials and outreach events, and revised a 150-page resource guide for attorneys on the PWJC legal helpline. Additionally, I attended Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse training sessions and represented PWJC at Family Law, Women’s Advocacy, and Immigrant Advocacy committee meetings.  Most importantly, I witnessed the positive impact that PWJC has on so many victims’ lives by providing access to legal services. Many people in abuse situations are not fully aware of their legal rights or are afraid of taking their abusers to court. PWJC works with all of its clients to figure out the best plan for them and coordinates with other organizations to make sure the clients are receiving all the help they need.

As someone who hopes to become an attorney and is currently studying for the LSAT, my internship with the Pace Women’s Justice Center solidified my passion and determination to enter into the legal profession.  Through my history classes in the Honors Program, I learned a lot about how law can shape the course of a nation. This internship furthered that understanding by allowing me to see how law can directly affect individual people’s day-to-day lives.  It gave me the opportunity to learn from and interact with all sorts of legal professionals from attorneys to paralegals to law students. I was able to see firsthand the dedication of the PWJC staff to do the best they possibly could for their clients and the effect that has on their clients’ lives.  I am very grateful to the Honors Program for allowing me the opportunity to have this profound and rewarding summer internship experience; I could not have asked for a better way to spend my summer.