BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: College of Liberal Arts intern helps students from around the world

Sep 3, 2013 | General News, Liberal Arts

Louisiana Tech faculty members encourage students to seek and obtain internships in order to help them prepare for their career path after college. Many students take advantage of the various internship opportunities. This is the fifth part of a six-part series highlighting Louisiana Tech students and their internship experiences.
She’s a traveling Good Samaritan.
Molly Page, a graduate Liberal Arts student studying speech, spent her summer in New York working with the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, run by the International Rescue Committee, teaching students as young as 4 and as old as 12.
“The opportunity to take a job out of state for a couple of months is not something that many people my age — I’ll be 30 in January — get to do,” Page said. “I felt it was important to seize this opportunity.”
Page’s students were from more than 15 countries and spoke more than 10 languages. She co-taught a storytelling class, and the class’s goal was to get the students, many who spoke little English and never attended mainstream schools, acclimated to the expectations of the American education system.
“We played theater games, listened to songs and stories, acted out original stories, and developed a final performance for each of the three classes around the entire camp’s theme of ‘Journey,’” Page said. “How wonderful to see these kids from all over the world working in groups to create, rehearse and perform short scenes! The ultimate ‘aha’ moment for me came during our reflection time. One particularly shy girl, when asked what she’d learned this week, said, ‘I learned teamwork. And that acting is fun.’ Success!”
Page said she and the other teachers with RYSA were held to the same standards as academic teachers.
“We submitted lesson plans and progress reports and spoke to parents in formal parent/teacher conferences,” she said. “We taught three classes two days a week and attended periodic planning meetings with our on-site coordinator.”
Paul Crook, an associate professor of theater, said he felt Page’s internship was a good way to make connections in the field.
“I think internships provide valuable experience, no matter the field,” Crook said. “In theater, specifically, internships and summer gigs are vital ways to build resumes and make contacts in the professional community.”
He said School of Performing Arts’ internships were competitive, and he and other faculty members urge students to seek out internships.
“We encourage our students each year and they typically begin the process in November, looking for gigs for the following summer,” Crook said. “The faculty work to prepare and assist the students so they can make the best impressions when they go for their auditions and interviews.”
Crook said from the updates he received from Page, he believed she had a fantastic summer.
“We have been fortunate to have some outstanding students in our department who have represented us well at their gigs around the country,” he said. “Consequently, Louisiana Tech has a fantastic reputation in the theater profession for producing quality students.”
Page, a former preschool teacher, said this internship has combined what she learned as a preschool teacher with what she is learning now at Tech.
“These children have taught me about the power of simplicity and understanding to cross language, cultural and social barriers,” she said. “They taught me far more than I taught them. I even learned a handful of words in languages I didn’t even know existed before this summer. So, if I ever do make that ‘Eat Pray Love’-style trek across India and Asia I can tell the Buddhist monks ‘Thank you!’ in native Tibetan. It’s ‘thu-jhe-che.’”