Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beginning the Internship

Although I am only just sinking my feet into my internship, I am already feeling extremely proud to be a part of such a wonderful program. You are probably wondering where I intern at, and exactly what my role entails. Here is a short video clip of the program I am interning with:

Pretty powerful, huh? As I mentioned before, I am really interested in the field of community corrections. When I was offered a position as a research intern, I was extremely excited to be able to get an inside look into community corrections. It is my hope that this internship helps me explore and decide if this is an area I wish to pursue a career in.

So far, I am still getting acclimated with the range of services Centerstone has, the grants I will be working with, and the culture of community corrections. I am currently being trained on administering our bio-psycho-social interview for clients of Project CARE. Clients who indicate they want to help us with our grants are administered four interviews- an intake, 3 month follow up, 6 month follow up, and 12 month follow up. These interviews ask a wide range of questions, focusing on examining how the client is responding to Project CARE. This data is crucial for our various grants.

I am both excited, and a bit anxious about administering the interview. Some of the questions deal with sensitive issues, such as drug usage, and mental health. I am a bit concerned that clients may have trouble answering these questions to a new, young face. I want to create an environment in which clients feel comfortable sharing this information, without feeling judged. Any tips or ideas?

Posted by Anne

Exploring is Fun

I am enjoying all of the exploration I am having an opportunity to do at IU. Having been in class for a few weeks, I am now understanding almost fully what my teachers will be expecting of me. I almost have enough hours in the day for my coursework, projects, job, meals, and sleep. Almost. But I am having fun, and looking forward to the challenge of handling so many responsibilities.

Exploring is fun. I am learning what I really enjoy, and getting a better insight into what my strengths are. Also, at the same time, I am learning what I do not enjoy so much, and what I need to work on getting better at in order to succeed. Now, a few weeks into my journey, I can say that I am really enjoying my business K-201 class. My instructor, Cindy Stone, is amazing! She makes class so much fun. The material is not easy, by any means, but I strongly believe I am preparing myself for my career in the future by becoming proficient at Microsoft Access.

I am also having an interesting time exploring informatics because I honestly have no prior experience whatsoever. It is an introductory class, and it is giving me a good idea of what informatics involves and what it has to offer. I am keeping an open mind, even though informatics is a little different than I thought it was going to be. I am learning HTML formatting and computer programming, which is not exactly what I pictured myself doing in that class. However, it is kind of cool to learn, so I will see where it takes me. I am unsure of whether or not I will continue on my path in informatics after this semester; it is too early to tell.

My job at the Career Development Center is fitting into my day-to-day schedule, but also I am finding it to be a great asset to my academic life. This is because the marketing aspect of my job is allowing me to do cool new things I have never done before, and it is giving me good experience in the field of marketing. Since I still don’t have an idea what I want to do as a career, it’s helpful and satisfying to integrate a field that I am considering a major in, marketing, into my daily working life. It is a great chance to experience hands-on something I am considering a career in!

That is all for now, but I will check back after I have had more experience and personal development here at IU!

Posted by Rachel

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Breaking the Bubble: Why I Chose to Intern

My senior year of high school I had AP History and AP Government back to back. In these classes, we usually started by discussing current events in the news, and what was going on in the world around us. My instructors could not have been more different-- they had completely polar opposite views in politics. After AP History, I always felt I had a strong opinion on an issue-- only for that same opinion to be changed by my AP Government class. As the year progressed, I began to critically and independently analyze events from both perspectives, and in the context of both political science and history. I really valued studying a subject from various lenses- it made me realize solutions are never clear cut, and there is never a "right" answer.

As I have mentioned in the previous post, my required classes for my majors (Sociology and Criminal Justice) and minors (Psychology, History, and Gender Studies) have a tendency to over lap in content. This is both beneficial, and a bit annoying at times. Beneficial for examining concepts through different lenses, but annoying because I hate paying lots of money to learn things twice. Anyways, in several of my classes we have learned about 'total institutions' . A total institution, in my own definition, is a social group that is completely surrounded by their own beliefs, living situations, and social norms-- while being isolated from the rest of the world. I like to think of total institutions as 'bubbles'.

This concept resurfaced in my Sociology of Religion class a few weeks ago, when we were discussing cults. After class, I walked around campus thinking about how total institutions shape the way an individual examines the world around them. When you're in a bubble, it is so easy to only experience and understand what is in your grasp.

In a sense, IU is like a bubble, or a total institution. As students, we are surrounded by peers, instructors, and co-workers, all who hold similar values (education). We have our own social norms, and even an in depth socialization policy (Orientation). Our understanding of politics, economics, social relations, culture, and class material is largely shaped by the IU community.

Many of the subjects and topics we read about and discuss for our classes seem a safe distance away from our 'bubble'. In my Criminal Justice classes, this is extremely apparent. It is easy to pass judgments, theorize about motivations for criminal behavior, and make assumptions about the deterrence of criminal sanctions when the majority of criminal activities students encounter is petty theft or alcohol related incidences. Solutions seem so clear cut when you're dealing with hypothetical situations.

So, how do we break this bubble, and view our course material through various lenses?


I chose to intern! Throughout this academic year, I will be interning with Centerstone Research Institute. It is my hope that this experience will help me further understand my course material, and examine the intricate world of community corrections through a different perspective.

Posted by Anne

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First week = success

First week = Success. I survived all of my classes, and also had a lot of fun. I’m taking BUS-K 201, the prerequisite class for Kelley School of Business, INFO-I 101, the prerequisite for the School of Informatics, ENG-W 131 composition class, and M-211 Calculus. I am enjoying all of my classes so far, and although the homework is far more than I’m used to, it’s not unmanageable. In my business class, we hit the ground running and we are doing a lot of work very quickly, but it is very enjoyable because I love business. I took marketing classes and was a member of DECA for 4 years in high school, so I have prior experience in this type of class. I honestly don’t know how I ended up in my M211 calculus class, because apparently it’s the “hard class,” as opposed to M 119 - which is a brief survey of calculus - and not as rigorous. But even though everyone is telling me “wow” and “good luck with that,” I’m doing fine in my class because I really like math and my professor is hilarious. I don’t know much about Informatics, so I’m taking I-101 to figure out whether I am interested in pursuing it or not. Since I’m exploratory, I’m considering many different majors and possible combinations of majors/minors. I think I will probably want to combine business as a major with something else as a minor.

I’m also working 10 hours a week at the Career Development Center. I got assigned to this job based on my interview for the Cox Scholarship, and I am confident they put me in the right place because I love working there and it also gives me a chance to learn about careers and job opportunities through the process of helping other students. I’m also having a lot of fun because during my 5 project hours in the Center each week I’m responsible for marketing. So, over the next year I will have the privilege of developing new marketing strategies and coming up with new and innovative ideas for the Center, including the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I’m working 10 hours a week to pay a stipend for 25% of my scholarship. It is a very reasonable amount of time to work and I still have plenty of time for everything else I need to do. I’m getting in a routine and getting to know the good places to eat and the fun things to do around campus in Bloomington. Mother Bear’s Pizza is also conveniently located very close to my dorm. First week = Success.

Posted by Rachel

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New to IU!

Bloomington, Indiana is my new home. I am leaving behind my whole life and starting new where nobody knows my name. I’m not alone though, because one of my good friends, Katie, is going to be my roommate for the next year. My name is Rachel Frazer and I grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. Terre Haute was my home my entire life and I’m going to miss some of the perks of living there, such as the long country roads and bonfires at night. It’s going to be a brand new experience living in this college town. I wasn’t born with IU pride in my blood, and I actually found myself deciding up until the last minute whether I should attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) or IU. When I came to IU, however, for a prospective freshman student day, I fell in love with the school and never looked back. I have been here a few days now and I’m soaking in the environment and the feel of campus. I have attended some great Welcome Week activities, such as the Culture Fest and the School of Informatics Ice Cream Social. I also met some great people that already feel like my good friends. I love the open-mindedness of this school, and although it was hard to leave behind my family, my boyfriend, and everything I have ever known, I am confident that I made the right decision to come here. I applied for housing in Central neighborhood, and I was surprised when I got put in Southeast, in Read, and I didn’t really know what to expect. So far, it has been awesome living there and there are a ton of great girls on my floor with all different interests and areas of study. I was surprised because I had heard that Read was all music students but that isn’t the case at all. It’s cool that I’m living with some of the music students that are in the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, though, because even though I’m not a music major, I definitely appreciate their talent and good music!

So what is my major? I am undecided, and in IU’s terms, “exploratory”. Declaring my major as exploratory has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, because as a result, I was informed about the Cox Exploratory Scholarship, and after applying and interviewing, I was selected as a 2011 Cox Scholar. I received a full ride to school, including housing, dining and anything else I may need for the next 4 years. In combination with one other scholarship I received, the Helen I. Smith Scholarship, I am proud and excited to say that I am getting paid to go to the school of my dreams!I am excited to get involved in many of the activities IU has to offer. I was a soccer player all through high school, and I have also enjoyed playing tennis for many years. I think I am going to join an intramural soccer team with some friends, and play tennis in my free time. I also played piano for 10 years, but as I made my transition into high-school four years ago, I had to make choices about what I did and didn’t have time for, and piano didn’t make the cut. But I would like to start playing again, and I think college is a great place for that.

I am happy to say that I’ve been enjoying my time at IU, but I haven’t started classes yet so I will check back in a week ;)

Posted by Rachel