Mount Allison donors support vital student internships
This past year, more than 200 Mount Allison students participated in paid internships. They conducted groundbreaking research on the opposite side of the world, worked to improve health care in New Brunswick, and much more.
“It’s part of the University’s commitment to matching highest quality academic programming with real-world skills building opportunities,” says Rebecca Leaman, director of experiential learning and career development. “Internships are giving Mount Allison students a giant jumpstart on the next steps in their careers and life goals, and many of these internships are made possible by the generous philanthropy of Mount Allison donors.”
Michael Hart is a mature student who is pursuing a third career as a physician. After serving in the Canadian Navy and working in the trades, Hart is now a second-year biology student and received a Loewen Health Internship to work alongside medical professionals at the Upper River Valley Hospital and support research that will improve care.
“One of my primary responsibilities was to complete studies on the outcomes of surgical treatment of breast cancer patients and of colorectal cancer patients at the hospital,” says Hart. “These types of studies can help us identify populations at greater risk of certain cancers and understand why they have that risk.”
Hart also worked on long COVID research, job shadowed several nurses, and received advice and guidance from the hospital’s chief surgeon. “Before this internship, I had never had the privilege of working closely with medical professionals,” says Hart. “The experience was transformative and helped me remain dedicated to pursuing my dream of becoming a rural family physician and helping alleviate the shortage of doctors available here in New Brunswick.”
The Loewen Health Internships are made possible through the generosity of Lynn (’82) and David (’82) Loewen. Each year, the internships support students looking to work in the health profession.
Kaitlyn Keleher has long been enthusiastic about politics. The third-year philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE) student was thrilled to receive a L.R. Wilson Internship to travel to Ottawa and to work in the Office of Jenica Atwin, member of parliament for Fredericton.
“It was a wonderful experience, and Jenica and the rest of the staff made sure to tailor my duties toward my interests and what I wanted to accomplish with the internship,” says Keleher. “Primarily, my work involved research on a lot of different areas, which allowed me to learn so much about our country and how the practice of politics works.” Keleher helped research and draft a private member’s bill, handled correspondence from constituents, participated in various roundtables and conference calls on policies she is passionate about, and had the opportunity to meet many ministers and party leaders.
“The internship experience overall gave me a better understanding of what I am good at and what I want out of life,” says Keleher. “And the connections that I made on Parliament Hill and within our constituency office will be so helpful in my career and as I navigate the next steps in my education after my time at Mount Allison.”
The L.R. Wilson Internships were created by the Wilson Foundation, established by Lynton “Red” Wilson (LLD ’00), and support students within the University’s Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Noeli Gituen Urud received the Echo Foundation Internship and worked in Hawai’i researching and testing marine aquaculture projects and their potential to increase food production and mitigate climate change. Urud worked on a limu (seaweed) research team as a macroalgae research technician. She explains that the team oversaw more than 60 tanks used in trials, algae stocking, and for commercial use. Urud’s tasks included filtration changes and weighing seaweed, as well as setting up new experiments in the tanks and leading her own three-week trial.
“As my internship came to an end, we had completed around six trials relating to comparing harvesting methods, triggering reproduction in various species, and affinity for effluent or deep-sea water nutrient sources,” explains Urud. “It was a most exciting experience, and I’m so proud to be part of such groundbreaking work that has the potential to increase food security and feed communities.”
Urud helped host public events and had opportunities to connect with Native Hawaiian kupuna (Elders) about how to incorporate traditional and sustainable ecological knowledge into the marine aquaculture industry. She also says that four of the five members of her primary research team were women and having such strong role models in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) was another great outcome of the internship.
“I’m grateful to the Echo Foundation and to Mount Allison for making all this possible,” says Urud.
The Echo Foundation Internships in Environmental Leadership and Advocacy support students working with domestic and international organizations.