MHC Summer Internships: Day 5 of 5
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MHC Summer Internships: Day 5 of 5


Videographer Clarity Guerra: The arrival of
Day Five meant my travels were coming to a close. First thing, I connected with Emilie Coakley,
who was working at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings as a communications and marketing intern. Emilie Coakley ’11: “I got interested in ethnomusicology
through taking a class in my first semester, first year, Intro to African Music, with Olabode
Omojola, who is now my advisor. He’s a Five College ethnomusicology professor, and then
the next semester I was so enamored with his class that I took another one, his world music
class, and then I decided that my music major was going to be focused on ethnomusicology. I define ethnomusicology as the study of people
and places through their music. So a big part of that is doing internships and studying
abroad, which I did last fall in Indonesia. I’m in communications and marketing intern
for the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and I’m working on marketing some new music, including
Elizabeth Mitchell’s Sunny Day, which will be coming out in October, and I’m actually
developing some lesson plans, some multicultural lesson plans for different ages. And then,
in addition to that, I’m working on our social media networking. Being able to disseminate
information through social media, through our Web site, through the many educational
programs we have, that’s what I love and that’s the mission of both the Smithsonian Folkways
and the Smithsonian Institution. Based on my experiences here I think I could see for
myself a field in both ethnomusicology and education. I think one of the most valuable
parts of my Mount Holyoke education that has been able to come to fruition here is the
true liberal arts education that I’ve gotten there. I can say, “Yes, I can create a lesson
plan because I did a prepracticum in education. I can say, “Yes, I can talk to you about this
Georgian music, because I took a world music class. Many places you wouldn’t be able to have that
diversity in your education. And at Mount Holyoke I definitely have gotten that and
definitely have been able to put that to use.” Clarity Guerra: My next stop was 395 East
Street, S.W., where Liana Simonds was interning at the Department of Health and Human Services, in the
Office of Policy Planning and Emergency Operations. Liana Simonds ’12: “When I walk out of my office,
I see the Capitol, and I see the National Monument. I love the hustle and bustle, I
love the fast pace, especially in D.C.. There’s just this atmosphere of power and influence.
And so it’s good to know that I’m in that world and not just watching it happen. I feel
like I’m part of a team and like I’m participating in making a big, big impact in
the work that we’re doing. Right now we’re dealing a lot with the aftereffects
of the H1N1 phenomenon. So it’s really contemporary issues, stuff that’s happening right now.
Earlier this week I sat in on a call with the White House about the international health
regulations, because they’re redrafting them right now. It felt so cool to be that close
to policy making and big decision making. I think policy making is the direction I want
to go, which is one of the reasons that the Law and Public Policy Nexus is so appealing
to me. The biggest thing about Nexus is the internship research project part of it. Because
the idea behind it is that you’re learning to incorporate your liberal arts education
with real-world experience. This has given me a taste of how policies
are shaped in the federal government. And I want more!” Clarity Guerra: My work done, I looked forward
to the train ride home. I was impressed by the young women I had met. They were creating
change in policies and communities. They were working on international magazines and sealing
business partnerships. They were charting new understanding of the human brain and outer
space. I returned to South Hadley feeling more connected than ever to the great network
of vibrant Mount Holyoke women.

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