Student-made internship aids alumni office

Abigail Sprague ’20 makes use of break to plan reunion event

Internship supported by: Nancy Lyon Porter ’43 Community Service Fellowship
Student majors: Hispanic studies, sociology

Abigail Sprague ’20 interned over winter break with Wheaton’s Alumni Relations.

Resourcefulness: “I wanted to begin planning for Emerson House’s 25th reunion, which will take place sometime in 2019, but I knew I didn’t have the resources to do it on my own. I created and proposed this internship position to Marco Barbone of Alumni Relations, who so graciously took on the task of being my supervisor for a few weeks before classes started up again.”

House history: “Emerson House—originally known as the Feminist Perspectives House—is one of many fabulous theme houses on campus. The house was founded in 1994 by students as an acknowledgment of Wheaton’s single-sex origins. Just under 30 feminists work to spread the intersectional feminist agenda on campus with the help of other campus groups and local organizations.”

Outreach efforts: “I gathered updated contact information of Emerson House alumni via email, snail mail and through social media. I have also begun planning the house’s 25th reunion and am working closely with both the house and Alumni Relations to determine the most optimal time to host the reunion. Twenty-five percent of house alumni replied to me with updated information, which is incredible, but I do wish I was able to get in contact with more. Realizing my expectations of this process were farfetched has been somewhat challenging.”

Easy sheets: “I have noticed that sharpening my Microsoft Excel skills has really strengthened my patience.”

Familiar focus: “I haven’t taken any courses relevant to this job, but my time working with the Wheaton Fund has taught me about clear communication and engaging Wheaton alumni.”

Career interests: “My career goals are financial security and helping people. Although our country was started by immigrants, our track record shows we don’t do much to make them feel welcome. I want to help out by changing that. I am considering two career paths. The first is a social work type field, helping and supporting immigrant and refugee communities obtain resources. The second is primarily working with politicians and writing immigration policy.”

Callout to alums: “I encourage Emerson House alumni to reach out to me via email ([email protected]) with up-to-date contact information and/or if they’re at all interested in getting involved. I also encourage them to join the Emerson House Alumnae Facebook page.”

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