Academics: Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education

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Global Travel, Internships Signal Busy Summer for Spelman Students

From the U.S. Department of State to Uncommon Schools

Natazia Johnson, C’2015, looks forward to interning with the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During her summer internship, the international studies major and Spanish minor will be responsible for helping the department conduct relations with China and Mongolia. Also, she will serve as the first joint intern with the Thursday Luncheon Group and the Association of Black American Ambassadors, which was created in honor of Ambassador Ruth A. Davis, C’66.

Both opportunities will connect Johnson with African-American foreign service officers and introduce her to various programs including the Pickering, Rangel and Presidential Management  fellowships as pathways to a career in international relations.

“What makes my internship so meaningful is that everything I do directly impacts relations between the United States, China and Mongolia,” said Johnson. “I am treated as if I am already employed by the State Department and am given the same responsibilities as current foreign service officers. Some of the things that I work on may get sent to the embassies in Beijing or Ulaanbaatar or may even be read by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry or President Obama.”

Senior psychology major Renatta Landrau will soon be participating in the Summer Teaching Fellowship Program with Uncommon Schools in Newark, New Jersey. While there, Landrau will teach first-grade students in the summer enrichment program at North Star Academy. The program’s mission is to foster an early interest in graduating from high school and attending College.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of our education system and areas that need improvement, so when I enter the field of education, I can make an effective impact through my work,” said Landrau. “I also hope to further develop my leadership and professional skills so that I may be thoroughly prepared for my experiences after Spelman.”


Groundbreaking Research

This summer, senior biology majors Stranjaè Ivory and Brianna Burlock will conduct research abroad in Spain as part of the G-STEM Scholar Program. Ivory will research epigenetic alterations of human colorectal cancer at the University of Cordoba, while Burlock spends her summer in Granada conducting lupus research at the Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López Neyra CSIC.

Both students are already immersing themselves in their research, as well as Spanish culture, history, teachings and more.

“With this experience, I hope to gain a comprehensive view of the culture of Spain while learning a lot academically as I conduct research in the field of biomedicine,” Burlock said.

Ivory agreed:  "I look forward to broadening my understanding of science through research while being able to positively represent African Americans pursuing opportunities in science and abroad studies."

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