Out-of-Classroom Experiences Expand Student Horizons
Building theater sets. Shadowing a brain surgeon. Interning at the International Criminal Court.
These and other out-of-classroom experiences are preparing Alma College students in sometimes unique and interesting ways for their chosen careers. The following vignettes are a small sampling of recent student experiences and accomplishments.
Summer theater opportunities test student skills
A summer internship at BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing has Alma College senior Philip Himebaugh of Mason enthused about future possibilities.
While his “eye-opening experience” into the real world of professional theater involved building sets, painting, scrubbing floors and taking out the garbage, it also provided an opportunity to act.
“I was in a production of Werner Treischmann’s new play, The Clawfoot and Hot Tub Interviews,” said Himebaugh. “Not only did I have a chance to act, I bought the rights, did the PR and pretty much produced the entire show with the help of some of my co-workers. At times I worked up to 16-hour days, but I am glad to have persevered through the rough times.
“I have now earned my Actor’s Equity membership candidate card and am working on gaining membership into this professional actor’s union, which is very exciting and should open a lot of new doors for me in theater,” he said.
Himebaugh was one of 17 Alma College students and recent alumni who worked as summer interns with such companies as the Summer Studio Theatre Co. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing; Naked Ape Theatre Project in Chicago; Central Piedmont Summer Theatre in Charlotte, N.C.; Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass.; the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y.; Circle Theatre in Grand Rapids; New Harmony Theatre in Evansville, Ind.; the Utah Shakespeare Festival; Brenau University Summer Theatre in Gainsville, Ga.; and the New Shakespeare Co. in Chesaning.
“My experience allowed me to work with professional and student actors in an environment with new conditions, such as a shorter rehearsal process, longer running shows and new directors with a variety of backgrounds,” said Matt Hutchinson, a senior from Merrill who interned with the Summer Studio Theatre Company at the University of Illinois.
A member of the core acting company, Hutchinson’s summer responsibilities include attending rehearsals, memorizing lines, maintaining physical appearance and performing through the duration of the season.
“It also provided me with a great networking opportunity,” he said. “I have met numerous directors and actors and have developed a list of places to send resumes.”
Pre-med student selected for Yale Medical School enrichment program
Brandon Smith, a junior from Harrisville in Alma’s exercise and health science program, was accepted into an Ivy League summer enrichment program for students pursuing medical school.
Smith was one of about 90 pre-medical students from around the country selected to participate in the Yale Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, an intensive six-week summer program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Selection was competitive, with participants from flagship schools like Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Notre Dame and Cornell.
The program provides additional preparation for pre-medical students. Time is spent in science coursework, career development, panel discussions with practicing physicians and medical students, and clinical experiences. Smith accompanied an ER doctor as he made his hospital rounds. He also shadowed a neurosurgeon in surgery removing a brain tumor.
“I don’t want to sound corny, but this experience has truly changed my life,” said Smith. “I’m going to come back to Alma with so much more confidence that I can make it in this profession. I met some amazing people and was very happy to be around other young men and women who have similar goals as myself. This experience was one of the most positive I’ve had so far in my life.”
Recent pre-law graduates distinguish themselves
Colin McLaughlin, a 2004 graduate from Gladstone in the Upper Peninsula, has won an appointment as the first American legal-intern to serve at the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands. McLaughlin is enrolled at Case Western Reserve Law School.
Another 2004 graduate, Jessica Karbowski of Freeland, has enrolled at Yale Law School. She faced a decision after being accepted to the law schools at Yale, Stanford and Harvard and chose to attend Yale because “its reputation is second-to-none.” Michael Yavenditti, professor emeritus of history and former director of the pre-law program at Alma, says Jessica “is the first Alma student in my memory to be accepted by Yale.”
At Alma, Karbowski was president of her senior class, participated in Model UN and was a member of the Alma Leadership Alliance. A foreign service major with a minor in economics, Karbowski also spent 11 months in Mauritius, a small island in Africa, to research the use of information and communications technology as part of her Fulbright scholarship.
Posted: Mon, July 31st, 2006 at 10:09AM