Your Hendrix Odyssey

April 2014 Odyssey Grant Recipients

Hendrix Odyssey Program

Project Funding

April 2014


The Committee on Engaged Learning (CEL) awarded $120,081.44  in Odyssey grants to 39 projects proposed by faculty and students in the April 2014 cycle. The grand total for funding since the Odyssey Program’s inception in 2005 is $2,759, 012.34.


Hendrix students will be interns at a variety of prestigious businesses, where they will learn more about themselves and their ultimate career paths. Locations around the globe will strengthen their interest in the environment, human culture, and filmmaking.


The grant recipients include:


Jair Almaguer and Hsin-Ping Wang

A Multicultural Transitional Experience

Category: PL

Sponsor: Kesha Baoua


Jair Almaguer and Hsin-Ping Wang will intern with International Student Services on campus this summer. They will provide student perspective on providing new diversity programming events and the best ways to market them. They intend to form stronger relationships with Conway schools and organizations, along with the international students at Hendrix. “This experience will provide us with a great opportunity for training in management, organization, and communication skills,” they said.


Megan Barker

Summer Theatre Internship

Category: PL

Sponsor: Prof. Ann Muse


Theatre Arts and Psychology double major Megan Barker will combine her areas of interest during an internship at La Jolla Playhouse, which offers a series of summer theatre courses to young children. “It would be wonderful to be a part of a child finding self-confidence and providing support,” she said. She plans to bring some of the teaching skills she learns back to Hendrix.


Grace Blackmon

Gender and Education in Tanzania

Category: GA

Sponsor: Dr. Lisa Leitz


During a month-long trip to Tanzania, Grace Blackmon will learn more about the country’s history and culture, specifically regarding gender differences in education. “I would like to focus on why fewer girls than boys continue on to secondary school, as well as the reasons why girls tend to leave secondary school uncompleted,” she said. She added that education has a big impact on social change, particularly in countries with inequities between males and females, along with strict gender norms.


Brittany Cantrell

On Women and Writing: Professional Field Experience with a Feminist Bookstore

Category: PL

Sponsor: Prof. Hope Coulter


Charis Books in Atlanta is one of the oldest independent, feminist bookstores in the South. “From youth poetry slams to readings by local feminist authors to a weekly yoga class, it is truly a hub of activity for feminist Atlanta,” said Brittany Cantrell. This summer, she will work as an intern in the store, combining her love of creative writing with the practical business experience in her chosen field.  This project was underwritten by the Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.


Bethany Cartwright

Mayor's Internship Program

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Lisa Leitz


As part of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Internship Program, Bethany Cartwright will experience three different aspects—work with the Department of Human Services, an “Exploring Government” component and a group project. She will spend time with the social workers who protect children from abuse and neglect, learning about their careers. “Through my participation in this program, I hope to use my academic interests in sociology in order to understand social problems and the structures in place within the government to address these social problems,” Cartwright said. This grant was underwritten by Project Pericles.


Nathanael Drahn

Finnish Education: What Helsinki has to Teach Us

Category: SP

Sponsor: Dr. Jay Barth


As he studies abroad in Finland, Nathanael Drahn will take the opportunity to learn more about the country’s education system. “One of the fundamental reasons that Finland is a prime case to study in education is because not only is it ranked one of the best in the world, but it was a fairly recent reform that propelled them from mediocre to the top of the charts,” Drahn said. Through interviews, classroom observations, and informative educational events, he hopes to pinpoint causes for the change and determine if they can be applied to the United States.


Charley Ford

Internship with the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Carmen Hardin


Charley Ford will have an internship at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The experience will give her a taste of healthcare from the administrative and policy side instead of from the patient viewpoint. “Considering that I will be applying for graduate school in some branch of medicine, this internship will boost my chance of acceptance.”


Mitch Harle

Political Work in Washington, DC

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Kiril Kolev


A long-term interest in politics has drawn Mitch Harle to work with Rep, Pete Olson of Texas in Washington, D.C. “I know that both at Hendrix and in the workforce, others may not hold the same views, ideals, religion or other various beliefs that I do, and I believe that this professional field experience will help me to better work with a variety of people in the future,” he said. Harle will get to experience Washington first-hand and learn about politics from the inside. This grant was underwritten by Project Pericles.


Hannah Hill

Guidance through Support-A Volunteer Probation Officer Experience

Category: PL

Sponsor: Leigh Lassiter-Counts


Hannah Hill’s future career goals include working professionally with children and teens facing problems at home. As a Volunteer Probation Officer, she will mentor young people charged with various non-violent crimes in the hopes of getting them back on track. “Gaining insight into the struggles my probationers face will help me to provide them with assistance in a more sensitive and efficient way, while also laying the groundwork for professional relationships with young adults in the future,” Hill said.


Jessica Himes

Professional Development through a Politics Internship

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Lindsay Kennedy


Jessica Himes will continue her interest in politics during an internship with the Democratic National Committee, following a successful one with the Clinton Foundation last year. “This internship will give me the opportunity to apply my academic skills in a professional setting and strengthen my passion for politics and commitment to public service,” Himes said.


Sophie Knorek

Professional Field Experience at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: Critical links between plankton and small pelagic fishes

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Jenn Dearolf


Sophie Knorek has been selected a guest student fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. “I expect to not only enhance my ability to communicate within the field of marine ecology but also gain exposure to a variety of discipline-specific lab and field techniques while being challenged to think critically and analytically,” she said. She will be part of a cutting-edge marine ecological investigation into the ways energy flows in marine ecosystems.


Michaela Larabee

Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Lisa Leitz


As a sociology major and psychology minor, Michaela Larabee has taken classes on domestic violence, the experience of victims, and its effects on children. This summer, she will gain real-world understanding of these issues as she interns at the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, helping with the day-to-day duties at the facility. “These duties will allow me to not only get a feel of the behind the scenes work that goes into making the shelter run, but will also allow me to interact with the victims and their children, and to get a more up-close and personal understanding of their experiences,” she said.


Marissa Lee

Internship at the Faulkner County Courthouse

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Kiril Kolev


A lifelong interest in law has led Marissa Lee to an internship at the Faulkner County Courthouse. She will shadow lawyers who practice in civil, criminal and juvenile courts. Her internship allows her to see the amount of work each lawyer must put into their cases. “It will give me a great opportunity to see sides of the justice system I wouldn’t be able to otherwise and help me decide what sort of legal career I would like to pursue,” Lee said.


Keen Maher

Permaculture Farming in the Costa Rican Forest

Category: GA

Sponsor: Beth Lambert


Keen Maher will travel to Finca Inti, a small permaculture farm in Costa Rica. The philosophy of the farm is that human effort is minimized because nature functions best uninterrupted. “Permaculture thinks about the past, present and the future by growing species that have existed in a given geographic area for a long time and by using practices that enrich rather than deplete soil quality for future years,” Maher said.


Meet Modi

Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in La Paz, Bolivia

Category: PL

Sponsor: Al Eastham


Through Child Family Health International, Meet Modi will focus on pediatric and adolescent medicine, shadowing doctors at three hospitals in La Paz, Bolivia. “The overall goal of the program is to provide me this experience in the field of healthcare and make me a better healthcare provider.” Modi said. In addition, he will live with a host family, giving him the opportunity to improve his Spanish skills.


Serena Murphy

Examining Primate Behavior

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Penner


A psychology major with an interest in comparative animal behavior, Serena Murphy has been offered a competitive internship with the Oregon National Primate Research Center. She will be with the division that monitors the behavior and psychological needs of the animals. “By working to enhance the psychological well-being of the facility’s primates, I will learn about primate emotional expressions and species specific behavior,” Murphy said.


Lauren Nelson

Dream Internship with Slow Food USA as Network Development Intern

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Anne Goldberg


The Slow Food movement focusses on the pleasures of eating to connect people with food and their local environment. It has a dynamic approach to conservationism and cultural preservation. “Slow Food combines my love of the earth, my interest in other cultures and my passion for food,” Lauren Nelson said. As an intern in the Network Development area, she will help chapters across the United States as the movement grows.


Anna Nester

Summer Internship with the Church Health Center in the Child Life Department

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Carmen Hardin


As an intern in the Child Life Department of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Anna Nester will help teach children about diet and exercise in programs that prioritize their holistic growth, health and self-confidence. “The wellness center of the Church Health Center attacks the issue of local poverty and lack of wellbeing by emphasizing preventative measures in the form of educational programming,” she said.


Jill Nguyen

A Public Affairs and Law Professional Field Experience

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Kiril Kolev


Founded by former Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben, The Raben Group (TRG) is a public affairs and law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Jill Nguyen will spend the summer as an intern for the firm. “During my 11 weeks there, I will be working on new policy proposals for gun control measures with the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, and conducting legal research for lawsuits TRG is filing on behalf of its clients,” Nguyen said.


Rachel Parmer and Jill Nguyen

Youth Activism and the Civil Rights Movement

Category: SP

Sponsor: Dean Jim Wiltgen


Now in its fourth year, the Dean’s Civil Rights trip allows students to deepen their understanding of the civil rights movement in unique ways. This fall, Rachel Parmer and Jill Nguyen will lead the group with a focus on youth activism. “While the historical facts about the movement can easily be learned through reading timelines and historical documents, we place strong emphasis on learning through oral history and experience,” they said.


Rebecca Perez

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Category: SP

Sponsor: Dr. Gabe Ferrer


Rebecca Perez, Luke Lasley, Buzurg Arjmandi, Elizabeth Dye and Deonna Thornton will attend the 2104 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona, this fall. They will network with women professionals, observe current computing research, learn about new trends in media and computing, and reflect on the role of women in computing.


Tammi Ragan

U.S. State Department American Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Kiril Kolev


As primary intern for the U.S. Embassy in Jarkarta, Indonesia, Tammi Ragan will get a look inside the American foreign service as she receives extensive educational and experiential training. “My duties will include participating in meetings with government officers, contributing to communications or reports that further U.S. policy objectives, and promoting and improving public understanding of U.S. Foreign Policy goals,” Ragan said.


John Ring

Career Discovery at Harvard University

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Rod Miller


Art major John Ring will head to Harvard University this summer to participate in Career Discover, a six-week program exploring four different disciplines of design. He will learn about Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Urban Planning from daily lectures by experts in each area. “After these lectures, we will be instructed on the usage of tools and technologies used with designing, such as drawing or computer programming,” Ring said.


Elizabeth Rogers

Assistant at the Little Museum in Dublin, Ireland

Category: PL

Sponsor: Prof. Maxine Payne


“The Little Museum tells the history of Dublin in the 20th century through its hundreds of artifacts,” says Elizabeth Rogers, who will be an assistant to the museum’s director this summer. The museum has only two rooms, but its 1,000 square feet houses hundreds of Irish artifacts and artwork. Rogers will work with the administration of the museum, such as researching exhibits, marketing, fundraising and assisting with public relations.


Blair Schneider

Internship with the Children's Room

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Jay Barth


Judge H. G. Foster recognized that children whose parents were involved with court cases needed a safe, comfortable place to stay instead of sitting in a hall with a bailiff or witnessing the proceedings. The Children’s Room was created to fill this need, and Blair Schneider will serve as an intern there this summer. “Since I am particularly interested in education, immigration, and family law, the opportunity to work with children and families in a legal setting would be an ideal scenario,” Schneider said.


Allison Schrank

A Summer of Marketing and Event Planning at TLU

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Ralph Scott


Although Homecoming and Tailgating occur this fall at Texas Lutheran University, Allison Schrank will work on planning and marketing them to alumni as an intern this summer. “Ultimately, my learning goals are to have a clear understanding of marketing, press releases, and event planning as they pertain not only to the Homecoming and Tailgating events at Texas Lutheran University, but also to any future events I may have the opportunity to be involved in,” Schrank said.


Graham Senor and Drew Allen

Summer of Senate Management Experience

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Carmen Hardin


Graham Senor and Drew Allen have different majors, political backgrounds and learning styles, but they have been accepted to the same internship program. This summer they will work with the re-election campaign staff for Mark Pryor, Arkansas’ senior United States Senator. “Working on the campaign of a United States Senator from our home state will provide insight as well as help define for us what, if any political inclinations we want to pursue,” they said. By working together, they will share the same experience, but see it from different perspectives.


Madeline Spjut

Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C.

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Jay Barth


Madeline Spjut will learn more about the role of a congressman in Washington as she interns for Ted Poe, who represents the second district of Texas. “interning with Congressman Ted Poe is the perfect experience for me based on my future professional interests,” Spjut said. She intends to attend law school and become involved in local Texas government.


Sam Spjut

Choosing the Capital: An Internship with Congressman McCaul

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Jay Barth


Sam Spjut is interested in National Security, and this summer he will serve as an intern in Congressman Michael McCaul’s Washington office. “As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman McCaul is a driving force behind policy and decision making, and he offers a unique insight into the legislative side of this area of politics,” Spjut said. He will learn more about security issues from the experts creating new policies.


Isabelle Staines

Politics and Social Justice Abroad

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt


Isabelle Staines will get valuable work experience and the opportunity to explore her Jewish heritage with an internship in Tel Aviv. “As part of the Onward Israel program in which I am participating, I will work four days a week and am required to engage in Israeli society outside of my internship at least one day a week,” she said. Her professional interests include non-profits and social justice.


Haley Thomson

Internship at Splice Microcinema

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Ty Jaeger


Splice Microcinema is an innovative new theater concept in Little Rock where avant garde or cult 16mm films are presented to a limited audience in a small venue. “Unlike a regular movie theatre, after watching a film at Splice, viewers will be encouraged to participate in a conversation about the film (what issues it addresses, its artistic qualities, how it reflects society, etc.),” said Haley Thomson. She will intern with Splice this summer, helping the organization grow.


Jessa Thurman

Bottle to Drawer Curations with Reference to Parasitic Hymenoptera of North America

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Maureen McClung


During her internship at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Jessa Thurman will receive training in the identification and curation of insects. “The curation component works to build the Smithonian’s collections through specimen mounting, labeling, and dehydration,” she said. Thurman will help build high-quality collections of ants, bees and wasps for research.


Sarah Varnau

Internship at Dallas Heritage Village

Category: PL

Sponsor: Dr. Sasha Pfau


As an intern, Sarah Varnau will help Dallas Heritage Village prepare for its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration. Located on 20 acres in the historic Old City Park, Dallas Heritage Village has the largest collection of 19th century buildings in Texas. “These buildings were chosen, transported, and preserved through the efforts of the dedicated women in Dallas nearly 50 years ago, and their legacy now lives on through the museum,” Varnau said.


Laurie Waters

Therapy and Rehab Solutions Internship

Category: PL

Sponsor: Sheila Rupert


Aspiring physical therapist Laurie Waters will explore the rehabilitation and therapy field this summer. She will intern with Therapy and Rehab Solutions in Conway, learning about outpatient clinics, home health, acute care and rehab settings. “Being able to work in all these different settings will allow me to compare the different techniques used for the different injuries or disabilities and help me decide which route I may want to take as a permanent career later in life,” Waters said.


Reid Zarker

Filmmakers at Home and Abroad: Visit to The Jonas Mekas Center of Visual Arts in Vilnius, Lithuania

Category: SP

Sponsor: Dr. Kristi McKim


Reid Zarker will produce a creative project that synthesizes the interaction between globalization and cinema, including a short film shot in the style of influential Lithuanian-American filmmaker Jonas Mekas. Zarker will visit the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in Lithuania this fall to learn more about his films. “In visiting and reflecting on the museum’s exhibitions of films influenced by Mekas’ work such as those by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and a film on John Lennon, I hope to trace Mekas’ influence on filmmaking and culture, resulting in a self reflexive synthesis of research and personal, individualized reflection,” Zarker said.


Dr. Rod Miller

Senior Art Major Trip to NYC

Category: SP



Dr. Rod Miller will take senior art majors on a trip to New York City to see works of art first-hand and to see how galleries work and display their collections.


Prof. Mary Richardson

Hendrix Mock Trial Association

Category: SP



Odyssey funding will help the Hendrix Mock Trial Association, under the direction of Prof. Mary Richardson, as the group participates in invitational and regional tournaments.