This summer, 22 Tigers were placed in internships in the San Antonio area with companies and organizations of all kinds through Trinity’s Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) program, where they explored their academic interests through nonprofits and local community organizations.
Founded in 2013, the ALE program is Trinity’s one-of-a-kind connection between the liberal arts classroom and the professional world. The program connects humanities, arts, and STEM students with area nonprofits for highly competitive internships. These internships are fully sponsored by Trinity and made possible through the generosity of donors and the dedication of mentors at each nonprofit.
ALE internships are a bridge between knowledge and application, showing students that there’s really no teacher like experience.
Meet 11 Summer 2021 ALE interns:
Ashley Allen ’22
Art history major; medieval and Renaissance studies minor
This summer, Ashley Allen worked with Artpace, a nonprofit contemporary art gallery and artist residency program. She studied with their department of development to learn how a nonprofit art and culture organization is funded while engaging with the greater San Antonio arts community, as well as local artists.
On campus, Allen serves as president of Trinity Art Collective and works as an Arts Columnist for the Trinitonian. Her work with Artpace and the ALE program will put her one step closer to her dream career in arts journalism, where Allen aims to help others appreciate art and explore new ideas through writing.
“I was inspired to apply for this internship because the ALE program offers amazing opportunities and generous funding for students interested in the humanities to attain real-world working experience in their fields of interest,” Allen says. “My internship experience this summer is one way for me to gain valuable work experience and get an up close and personal look at one portion of the contemporary art world.”
Dakotah Brown ’24
Sociology and Anthropology double major and Spanish minor
Kansas City, Missouri
Dakotah Brown stayed in San Antonio this summer to intern with the Carver Community Center, a historic building on the East Side of San Antonio, once the only African-American Library and Auditorium. According to Brown, it is a hidden gem of San Antonio, a hub for black history as well as a place where beautiful art exhibits and performances/productions occur.
“I have a similar goal of the mission of the Carver: a celebration of the diverse cultures of our world, nation, and community, with emphasis on its African and African-American heritage,” Brown says. “I believe this is necessary to pay homage to black history. I wanted to connect with my African American culture and celebrate my heritage and all the heritages of San Antonio.”
Brown worked alongside the supervisor and director of the Carver, observing the ins and outs of hosting events, rehearsals, camps for children and adults as well as participating in the behind-the-scenes preparation. She also collaborated with another intern from UTSA, creating social media campaigns for the Carver and drafting the brochures for the upcoming season.
“We stay busy, creating marketing content and having fun,” Brown says.
Emily Warkentin ’22
Psychology and music double major
Dripping Springs, Texas
Emily Warkentin spent her summer with the SOLI Chamber Ensemble. SOLI’s mission is to give voice to living composers, and they support San Antonio artists and young musicians. Along with performances, SOLI also works with music students and young composers through its education program.
“I'm passionate about the social, emotional, and physical benefits of engaging in live music. I love to look at it from all sorts of perspectives—as a performer, listener, composer, researcher—and am preparing to study music cognition and musicology in grad school. I wanted to work with SOLI to learn more about the inner workings of non-profit programs that help make music accessible in the first place,” Warkentin says.
Warkentin focused on communicating the goals and impacts of SOLI’s youth education program to parents, teachers, and potential students. She designed a web page to make that information more accessible, created media content for the upcoming season, and organized data to inform marketing, audience development, and future programming.
“Interning with SOLI has allowed me to explore how thoughtfulness and creativity can be used to build a program that not only brings great music to audiences but also encourages growth, self-expression, and community engagement—and that challenges us to listen and communicate to each other in new ways,” Warkentin says.
Joshua Sharpe ’23
Engineering Science major and mathematics minor
Joshua Sharpe wants to be an environmental engineer, so this summer has been a chance for him to explore that a little more, beyond the scope of Trinity at Green Spaces Alliance.
“Not only did this internship provide experience for environmental work, but it also goes hand in hand with my activism for service particularly regarding environmental justice,” Sharpe says.
At his internship, Sharpe built garden assets and coordinated projects with community gardens in the San Antonio area that are tailored to each garden's needs. These projects varied from designing and fabricating a portable harvest station to leading a workshop about a new children's garden to increase a garden's outreach in their community.
“The goal of the children's garden project was to increase the community involvement and impact of the Lakeview Community Garden,” Sharpe says. “We held a workshop at this garden to encourage families to come out where we made DIY pinwheels, painted rocks, planted succulents, and searched for the fairy figurines hidden in the garden's trees. We had multiple families express a desire to start working in the garden, so it was a very successful project.”
Juliet Sikorski ’22
Art and environmental studies double major
Flower Mound, Texas
Sikorski was inspired to pursue an internship with the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance through the ALE program by GEAA's advocacy for the protection of water quality, biodiversity, and quality of life for current and future Texas Hill Country residents.
“As an environmental studies student, I wanted to explore environmental non-profit work as a possible career path, because the job combines the interdisciplinary aspects of my environmental coursework—dealing with topics ranging from environmental economics, to urban planning affecting aquifer water policy, to raising community awareness,” Sikorski says.
Her internship was a hands-on look at how an environmental non-profit organization works towards advocacy. In her role at GEAA, Sikorski explored different parts of running a non-profit as an Administrative and Research Assistant. Some of her experiences included learning about how to use donor database software to keep track of donor relationships and donations, gaining experience in coordinating events for the organization, and doing research projects including seeing how land use is changed in northern San Antonio on the Edwards Aquifer for a potential press conference.
“I have learned that there are many moving parts in a non-profit like GEAA that enable it to work towards political advocacy and community engagement and awareness,” Sikorski says.
Katie Maloan ’22
Political science and international studies double major; economics and French double minor
Katie Maloan spent her summer furthering her work in social justice by interning with Magdalena House, a transitional home in San Antonio serving mothers and children who fled dangerous and abusive lives. The organization supports families through their transformation by providing education, a nurturing community, and programming.
“I’m extremely passionate about issues of gender equity, economic development, and human rights. I chose to work with Magdalena House because it is an amazing nonprofit organization where I can be a part of working with such an inspiring group of people,” Maloan says. “Magdalena House is also women-led, and all employees as of right now are women, which is incredibly empowering and one of the big reasons why I was drawn to work with them.”
Maloan’s work as a development intern for the nonprofit gave her valuable insight into the important “behind the scenes” work of fundraising, grant proposals, and research and conceptualization that go into successfully running a nonprofit.
“For me, I feel like this experience has given me a sense of clarity about where I hope to be in the future,” Maloan says. “It’s also helped me get a much more broad background on what it looks like to work inside a nonprofit and on all the different things that go into funding programs that do so much for people.”
Mackenzie “Macks” Cook ’23
Macks has been working two jobs as part of their virtual ALE summer internship. Not only is Cook working with Trinity’s publications team Trinitonian to create the latest edition of Trinity Declassified for incoming freshmen, but they are also working for the San Antonio Current, creating articles and producing the recent pet slideshows on their website, which have been a big hit.
Cook does a wide range of things with the Current, but their main focus has been on online content. A recent article that had a lot of engagement was a piece about a sunflower field in San Antonio, and Cook is excited to put their skills from being a Pulse editor for the Trinitonian to use with the Current.
“A lot of the work I do day to day is super collaborative with my awesome supervisor, Kelly Merka Nelson, as we do calendar approvals and work on all aspects of content production,” Cook says. “I was inspired to take this internship due to being the Pulse editor for the Trinitonian this past year and really enjoying it. I love working to produce publications that give back to the communities I am a part of!”
Martina Ashby ’22
Human communication major; education minor
Martina Ashby spent her summer working with disABILITYsa, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting people with all types of disabilities and their support networks to information about local resources, programs, and opportunities.
Ashby worked with disABILITYsa as a disability advocacy intern. In addition to outside research, she learned about resources through advocacy meetings with community leaders. She also disseminated that information through various channels including the organization’s website, events, and social media. She collaborated with other planning members to help develop and execute tasks for their latest open discussion, researched and reached out to potential exhibitors and conversation facilitators, and then helped facilitate the event through zoom.
“A quarter of the US population has some sort of disability, and yet there is a huge stigma attached to that label in addition to a lack of easily accessible resources and community," Ashby says. "I still have a lot to learn, but I want to be a part of the change to make life better for people with disabilities, including myself. I am also planning to apply to graduate school to become a school psychologist and I believe having contacts and experience in the nonprofit disability sphere will help me be a better resource to my future students."
Mylinh Du ’23
Accounting and business analytics technology double major
For the last two semesters, Mylinh Du has been working with Chromosome 18, an organization dedicated to bringing together and supporting families affected by chromosome 18 abnormalities, and she continued interning with them this summer.
“Chromosome 18 is a great organization to work with. Not only is the staff and office culture
extremely welcoming, but the organization's mission is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated,” Du says.
As one of the more experienced interns at Chromosome 18, Du has taken on a leadership role among her peers to help guide newer interns through the organization’s culture and work environment. In her role as team leader and communication specialist, Du built on skills and projects she’d been working on for the last year, including Microsoft Office, planning event logistics, and creating systems for event preparation and execution.
“The great thing about this is that my position covers a broad range of responsibilities,” Du says. “I have continued some of my more administrative work that I did in the past, but I also work more with the staff and to prepare for upcoming events. I do a lot with the organization's platforms such as Salesforce and Constant Contact, reports, and files, as well as coordinate some social media.”
Natalie Intihar ’22
History and political science double major; creative writing minor
“Working with Gemini Ink has been an absolute joy, and I’ve learned so much from the wonderful team that I will take with me moving forward well beyond the end of the summer,” says Natalie Intihar.
At Gemini Ink, San Antonio’s Writing Arts Center, Intihar works on marketing content and developing their Partner Class program. Gemini Ink’s Partner Classes program brings professional writers into classroom settings, and her big project was to help redesign the Partner Class Handbook and other promotional materials for Gemini Ink to present to their program partners.
“I was inspired to do this internship after spending the past year as one of Trinity’s creative writing interns,” Intihar says. “Gemini Ink’s values line up perfectly with what I plan on doing after graduation—helping others to share their stories. I’m planning on getting my MFA in creative writing to help achieve that goal as well! My time at Gemini Ink has really helped to solidify that this is the work I want to do, and I am so excited to keep growing and learning in this field.”
Vanessa Silva ’24
Political science and art double major; French minor
Mexico City, Mexico
Vanessa Silva is no stranger to working in museums, and this summer, she gained even more experience at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) as a marketing intern.
“I have always loved art museums and have always dreamed about working in one, so I was very excited to see that SAMA was looking for an intern. I have done programs at other art museums before, like the Kimbell and the Modern in Fort Worth, but I have never been able to work with marketing before so I was really excited to gain experience in a new field,” Silva says.
She has been working on projects and posts for social media, video production for the new exhibition, blog posts for the SAMA website, and a special new project that will launch in the Fall. Her favorite part has been creating video projects from start to finish.
“I have loved learning how the museum operates behind the scenes,” Silva says, “how they communicate between departments, and how much the museum really works as a team to complete projects.”