Contributing to Public-Facing Humanities Education

Teagan Watkins
Emphasis Area
Public Health

Teagan Watkins interned with LitLabs and contributed to students' understanding of public-facing humanities education.

How did you get your internship and what was the focus of the experience?

In the Fall 2021 semester, I took PAH 200 Introduction to Applied Humanities as a general education course as I was an undecided major looking to explore my interests. After successfully completing this class, Professor Jacqueline Barrios reached out and invited me to become an intern of hers for the spring semester. Still wanting to explore, I took her up on this wonderful opportunity.

My main responsibility as an intern was to serve as a teaching assistant for Professor Barrios for the Spring 2022 offering of the PAH 200 course. With this role, I helped manage five teams as they created their own public-facing humanities focused projects. It was a great opportunity and experience to be a mentor for these teams and their projects. I didn't realize the fact that I had made such contributions to their work until I was able to see the final projects. It was rewarding to see my suggestions in their work especially when they went above and beyond what I expected.

How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

By taking a chance on participating in this internship I have already learned so much and made wonderful connections.

For example, after deepening my interests and passion for understanding human perspective on complex issues, I felt confident in declaring a major in the Applied Humanities with an emphasis in Public Health.

As for the immediate future, I will be continuing to work with Professor Barrios throughout the summer and fall on her LitLabs/Big Book Project which will entail developing a project inspired by historic literature. This will include an intensive week where I will get to work with and network with other faculty members, community members, and students. Whether this project will be applicable in my major or future career, the experience and connections will be very valuable.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?

My advice to other students as they search for an internship is to take advantage of opportunities. My personal philosophy is that things are meant to be. The opportunities that present themselves are setting you up for the path you are supposed to take. For me, taking a chance and getting outside of my comfort zone by becoming an intern for Professor Barrios allowed me to declare a major in the Applied Humanities and gain many new skills and connections.