URI students put action into
KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 15, 1999 -- It started
with a small three-year ACTION grant back in 1975. The grants primary
purpose was to provide student volunteers to organizations, agencies, and
groups working toward the elimination of the causes of poverty.
Nearly 25 years later, approximately 1,800 URI students have successfully
completed the 15-credit University Year for Action (UYA) internship program
and in some cases, now serve as supervisors for current students. Ninety
percent of the organizations currently listed with the UYA Internship Program
are from the non-profit/public sector in Rhode Island. (See sample listing.)
The UYA Program is designed to provide undergraduate students with opportunities
for personal and professional growth, and career development. As an academic
program, the weekly seminar and meetings with the faculty advisors are critical
to the students learning and connecting classroom learning with the
students field experience.
Students by the end of their internship often describe their experience
as eye-opening or as one student wrote, "I feel as if I have been awakened.
I met people who were passionate about their work and this has given me
ideas as to what I would like to do with my life."
Faculty who serve as UYA advisors describe their experiences as one that
is satisfying and valuable to the communities as well as the University
as a whole. Recognition that student internships are of value is reflected
in the growth of internship opportunities within Rhode Island. More than
600 active placements are available in the non-profit/public sector as well
as with emerging companies or with well established corporations.
In addition students have opportunities to intern through URI affiliated
programs in Washington D.C., Dublin, Ireland, and in the Dominican Republic.
A professional staff with more than 20 years in the experiential education
field is available to work with students and faculty. Lynn Gaulin, assistant
director, is the national chair for the Internship Special Interest Group
through the National Society of Experiential Education and serves on the
Liaison Advisory Board of the Washington Center, Washington D.C.
Kerrie Stanley, intern advisor, has been with the UYA program for five
years and also is a member of the National Society of Experiential Education.
The grant in 1975 that got the program in gear was written by Leo DiMaio,
director of URIs flourishing Special Programs for Talent Development
Program. UYA is another of DiMaios successful legacies. For more information
or an appointment, call the UYA Office 401-874-2160.
Sample Listings for UYA Spring 1999 Internships:
Christian Picard, zoology major, Bristol, R.I.
Placement: US Fish & Wildlife, Wakefield
Mouangkham Amkhamavong, human development and family studies
major, N. Stonington, Conn.
Placement: Southern Regional Early Intervention, North Kingstown
Michelle Freestone, marine biology major, New
Placement: Mystic Marinelife Aquarium, Mystic, Conn.
Kate Lukas, English major, Plymouth, Mass.
Placement: Lucys Hearth, Middletown
Gabriel Toro, psychology, Pawtucket, R.I.
Placement: RI Attorney Generals Office, Judicial Complex, Wakefield