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Dean’s Interns are Ready for a Real-world Challenge

By Adell Crowe

SOC Journalism Collage, Gannett and USA Today

The first class of SOC Dean’s Interns is well prepared and excited about the opportunity to work at some of DC’s major media outlets this spring.  

Graduate student Maria Howell, who will work on USA TODAY’s video storytelling team, says Prof. Bill Gentile’s Backpack Documentary class “taught me not only how to create visual stories, but also built my confidence as a storyteller. It was in this class that I learned the power of storytelling with video.”  

Howell, who was drawn to the program because she will be assigned a mentor at USA TODAY, says she hopes to “improve my story structure and to experiment with different styles of news video. The guidance of a mentor is absolute key, as the feedback is necessary to developing my skills.” 

“USA TODAY was eager to participate in the internship program because of our close association with SOC in a series of newsroom seminars over the past year in which Prof. Gentile provided top-notch training in visual storytelling and video best practices,” said USAT Video Team Leader Sam Meddis. “I fully expect our Dean’s Intern to be a valuable player in our video team, and I am not surprised to find someone as enthusiastic and skilled as Maria Howell among the internship applicants.”  

Cara Kelly, who was selected by Gannett editors to join its Washington Bureau, says AU has groomed her for the challenge. “Professor Amy Eisman's class really prepared me for this internship because she forced us to cover some difficult meetings and hearings on Capitol Hill. They were great experiences because we learned how to sort through the jargon and tell the story.”  

Kelly, a journalism graduate student, worked on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show for two weeks in October while it taped in Washington. is a new regional website in DC that incorporates competing media and community journalists in its news coverage. Editors there selected three AU students who will rotate through a number of jobs from finding new local bloggers to editing news stories. 

“TDB is working with a great new model, and I'm really excited to get to work with them,” says Boston University graduate Rosemary D’Amour who is studying international media. She says one of the best things about AU is it’s “focus on getting students real-world experience.” Sarah Cough, another TBD Dean’s Intern, says she was drawn to the internship because of TBD’s willingness to experiment. “I know that this is a time where everyone from interns to owners are trying to figure out where journalism is going and I would like to be part of an organization that it isn’t afraid to try something a little different.” Chandler Clay is the third intern at this spring. 

The Dean’s Internship program pairs SOC’s partner organizations with top AU students for a for-credit semester-long internship. The organizations agree to provide mentors and travel stipends for the highly-skilled seniors or graduate students.  

Dean’s Interns for the summer will be selected in March.