Ten Eastern Mennonite University students are gaining professional experience this fall at the Washington Community Scholars’ Center (WCSC). They represent nine different majors, showing the range of placement possibilities available through the program. The diversity includes four computer science majors (with two also double majoring in math), two history and social science majors, one social work major, one liberal arts major, one digital media major, and one peacebuilding and development major.
The center, located in the nation’s capital since 1976, is a program of Eastern Mennonite University.
The semester-long experience is also a community-building endeavor, with students living together in the Nelson Good House in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast Washington, DC. This semester’s placements include several organizations that are long-time hosts of EMU students, highlighting WCSC’s deep ties within the region. Many alumni can trace their careers back to a pivotal experience at WCSC.
Read more about WCSC success! Nursing major Ashlyn Eby talks about personal growth and learning from her internship. Grads Tessa Waidelich and Terry Jones find full-time work after their internships.
Read on to learn more about the students, their placements and the organizations they are involved with.
Zyeasha Ba, a peace and development major from Stafford, Virginia, is with the peace education program Little Friends for Peace. She helps to lead discussions about conflict resolution with elementary school age children and men experiencing homelessness.
Seth Andreas, a math and computer science major from Bluffton, Ohio, is doing a variety of tasks at Hyperborean Studios, from scripting to 3D modeling, in the realm of virtual reality game development.
KC Argueta-Rivas, a social work major from Springfield, Virginia, works with case managers at Ayuda providing legal services and social services to clients.
Cor’Shauna Cunningham, a liberal arts major and psychology minor from Brooklyn, New York, is with Samaritan Inns, an addiction treatment center.
Mykenzie Davis, a digital media and communications major from Lititz, Pennsylvania, is with Washington Digital Media, where she is filming and editing videos for clients and enhancing her portfolio for post-graduation job search.
Natalia Hernandez, a computer science major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is with Tech Impact, where she is implementing malware detection software. She was recently offered a position as a service desk engineer at the same organization.
Anya Kauffman, a history and social science major from Goshen, Indiana, is interning at the criminal defense law firm, Scrofano Law LLC. “I help two legal assistants with tasks including requesting accident reports from the police department, scheduling hearings at the DMV, checking for court dates or case numbers. I think the most significant learning experience will be working in a fast-paced law firm, understanding the ins and outs of a criminal defense firm, and learning the process of a criminal legal case.”
Tace Martin, a history and social science major from Eugene, Oregon, is with Sumner School Museum and Archives. The site was one of the first public schools for African American children in the United States, and currently houses a museum, a research room, art exhibits, and the archives of the District of Columbia Public Schools. He is documenting and rehousing collections related to the school itself, as well as “pulling collections for upcoming scholarly visits.” Martin is also contributing to the site’s draft application to be listed on the National Park Service Register of Historic Places.
Joey Sun, a computer science major from Shenyang, China, is with the Smithsonian’s Office of the Chief Information Officer. His role consists of providing technical support to all Smithsonian employees regarding verification issues, technology assistance, and moderating access to special documents. He is learning to navigate the user interface and software the OCIO uses to support the entire Smithsonian network.
Noah Swartzentruber, a math and computer science major from Lancaster, Pa., is working on projects for the Smithsonian National Zoo’s website and collaborating on a web-based tool for zookeeping staff.
Summer 2022 placements included:
- A physical therapy practice
- Mennonite Central Committee’s National Justice and Peace Ministries office
- Community of Hope, a community health clinic that provides quality healthcare and housing to families
- Covenant House, an organization that provides educational programs, job training and placement, medical services, mental health and substance use counseling, legal aid and beyond to homeless youth
- St. Anthony Catholic School, gaining experience working with children and observing different teaching styles
- Washington Digital Media, making business cards and several other templates.
- Bread for the City’s primary care clinic in a Spanish-language setting
- Anacostia Watershed Society with their adult education classes, tree surveying, invasive species removal, wetland planting, and boat tours on the Anacostia River
- Keegan Theater
- Girls on the Run DC
- Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, which fosters just and equitable community development solutions that address the needs and aspirations of low- and moderate-income district residents.
Jamie Reich, WCSC’s associate director of communications and retention, contributed to this article.