First Couple Weeks

By MATTHEW S HOFFMAN on September 15, 2012
During the first two weeks, I have been assigned to do work for my internship at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) on an array of projects. Working with my adviser Sarah Lyall-Combs, CGS’ director Dr. McClennen and our secretary Amy Tegeder has been an engaging and positive experience. Not to mention the other two interns, Sara Thompson and Mary Rish, as well as graduate assistant Jeff Resta, have been a pleasure to work with so far too.
One of the projects I am assigned to is researching grants for a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant application. In particular, this is a grant that will hopefully bring an Arabic lecturer to Penn State.
With this being the beginning of the semester, assignments and duties are at a low hum before the engines of time speed up the schedule. Nevertheless, I have to focus on possible interviews from participants involved in upcoming events. They could potentially be utilized in the CGS newsletter.
As part of my internship, I am to keep in mind my political science studies and synthesize them with my work whenever possible. As far as concepts and theories from coursework are concerned, there is a lot of basic knowledge that has come into play these first couple weeks. Mainly the studying of globalization and geography throughout my college career so far.
However, my interests in the criticism of neoliberalism and capitalism will be tied into an upcoming presentation. On September 19th, Luz Angelica Kirschner will address attendees with a presentation titled: “Neoliberal Globalization and the Mothering of the Nation in Crisis.”
Such presentations are just one of the many types of events that CGS hosts during the semester.
At this juncture, the internship is better than I had anticipated. My tendency to focus on European politics is being challenged, which is great. I’m moving out of my intellectual comfort zone in order to gain a more well-rounded global education. And considering the diversity of topics slated to be covered over the course of the semester, it’s an opportunity to discover more of the world while engaging with the community.

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