Monday, April 12, 2010
Senior Emily Maack had the opportunity to complete an internship through the sociology department and nearby San Miguel Middle School in Fall 2009. According to the school’s website, “San Miguel Tulsa is dedicated to helping children from challenging environments to achieve academic and personal success through a non-tuition driven, Lasallian education.” Emily was able to observe this mission in action as she worked with the teachers, staff, and 68 Hispanic students (all of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch), becoming an integrated member of the school and gaining valuable experience in the process.
Emily spent her time tutoring students in reading and writing skills, assisting the school’s principal and director of development, joining students and faculty at mass, on fieldtrips and at special events, and even acting as a substitute teacher for Language Arts classes. Aside from gaining practical skills towards working in the realm of education, Emily also was able to see principles of sociology in action, applying specific concepts studied in Sociology of Poverty and Sociology of Education to daily life at the school. Such connections between curriculum and “real life” experience enriched her understanding and her discussions both at the school and in her own TU classrooms. Emily kept field notes of her sociological observations and concluded the project by writing a formal paper summarizing several sociological themes.
Through her experience, Emily developed lasting bonds with students and staff, as well as a passion for the school’s mission and unique culture. Such an opportunity proved the perfect complement to her TU sociology coursework. TU sociology students with unique interests have the opportunity to craft their own internships in a way that is academically stimulating, personally meaningful, and professionally valuable.
Dr. Lara Foley