Samantha Lew

Internship Title: Community Support and Recovery Program Intern

Employer: Reliance House Inc.

Major: Psychology

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

If you are like most of the students here at Eastern, you know already about the great opportunities our school offers in volunteer and community work. With countless options for helping to serve our communities, internships are just another facet in being able to become involved. In past success stories, we have already discussed the importance on internships and how they may help a student find the perfect fit for a future career. In addition to that, some internships help you stand out from the rest of the pack, by applying your skills in community service projects. Samantha Lew, a psychology major in her senior year, made sure the Internship she chose had an impact on our surrounding community.

As a Community Support and Recovery Program Intern at Reliance House Inc., Samantha’s daily work includes administrative duties such as quality assurance, auditing and state fidelity paperwork. In addition, Samantha spends much of her time participating with her co-workers in course programming for clients.

When I first began searching for an internship, I knew I wanted the opportunity to work with adults who may need some extra support” says Samantha. “This internship has definitely given me the tools and guidance to further myself and figure out if I want to work with children or adults

Samantha wishes to tell students thinking about an internship, or currently on the hunt, the importance of connecting with professionals in the fields or organizations they hope to someday work for, as it worked for her. “Speaking with other individuals about this really helped me finalize my decision as well as get an idea of where I want to go with my career.” said Samantha.

Written by Andrew Way

Eric Cerino

Expected Graduation Date:
May 2014

Major: Psychology

Employer: Alzheimer’s Association

Internship Title: Research Intern

Eric found his internship at the Alzheimer’s Association through an Eastern faculty member. As a research intern, Eric is given independence to design a research study that is molded to fit not only the goals of the organization, but also his personal research interests. Eric explains that there has been a great need for Early Stage Alzheimer’s research due to the high prevalence of persons waiting too long to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. He is designing, organizing, and implementing an educational program intended for caregivers and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease currently in its Early Stage. Scheduled to begin in March 2014, this is a four session program consisting of an educational component, followed by an hour of physical activity featuring Tai Chi. Eric’s data analysis will feature before-and-after test methodology measuring factors such as life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, quality of life and knowledge of the disease, itself.

Eric has gained an extensive understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, and the ways in which the Alzheimer’s Association works towards making a difference in the lives afflicted by the disease. Most importantly, Eric has learned how to apply his research interests to a real world problem. He has come to realize that developing a passion for one’s line of work is among the strongest motivators in making a difference.

Eric’s main research interest is successful aging in older adults. Specifically, he is interested in identifying cognitive, physical, and societal factors that contribute to a healthier lifestyle in elderly populations. With these interests, his career aspiration is to be a university professor, where he will have ample resources to continue his research. Working at the Alzheimer’s Association has allowed Eric to gain the hands-on, real world experience needed to succeed in graduate school, and as a future educator/researcher in the field of successful aging.

Eric’s advice to other students is to complete as many internships as possible. He believes internships are the greatest opportunities available to undergraduate students. Internships provide fundamental learning experience to see if a career path or interest is the right fit, and allow students to make a difference in the community at the same time. Eric says, “start early and make a habit of testing out anything you may be interested in. You never know what career could be waiting for you.”

Story submitted by Francisco Bravo