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Internship Program

The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies offers an internship program quarterly that is designed to enable students with a background in Gender and Sexuality Studies and/or Sustainability Studies and/or LGBT Studies to integrate theory and practice in an applied setting through an internship with a community partner. Students in the Gender and Sexuality Studies major or minor and/or the LGBT Studies minor typically complete their internships in feminist or LGBTQ political or cultural organizations and agencies. Students in the Sustainability Studies major normally intern with organizations that advocate for or practice sustainability and environmental justice. Students complete ten hours of work per week at their internship site for the duration of the ten-week quarter while enrolled in GSST 198G. The interns and the faculty Internship Coordinator also meet once a week in a seminar format to discuss internship experiences, connect our internships to our knowledge of social change and social justice, and explore career opportunities that draw on the academic fields of gender and sexuality studies and sustainability studies. Enrollment into the internship program is with the permission of the faculty Internship Coordinator only.

Current partner organizations include:

Students may also work with the Internship Coordinator to identify other suitable placements.

Students may contact Prof. Katja Guenther at katja@ucr.edu for more information.

You may read about recent student interns’ experiences below.

Marcia Castro
Marcia Castro

Major/Minor: Sustainability Studies 

Year of Graduation: 2020

Internship Site: California Agriculture and Food Enterprise 

Internship Website: http://cafe.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site and your internship:  I am interning at CAFE where their main goal is to eradicate food insecurity at our campus and eventually on a global scale. They are doing so through interdisciplinary research and have distinguished researchers and professors from both CNAS and CHASS on their staff to contribute to their cause. 

What do you value most about your internship site?
I value the hard work and dedication they put into meeting the set goals they have established for their organization. They are aware of what the future may look like without stable food production and they have taken it upon themselves to fix that issue before it becomes too late. 

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
I advise students considering this opportunity to not think twice about it. Interning helps open the doors for many employment opportunities after they graduate due to the experience they have gained.

What are your plans after graduation?
After I graduate, I plan to work for a non-profit (like CAFE) or go into policy-making for my local government.

   
Sawani Goonatilleke
Sawani Goonatilleke

Major/Minor: Sustainability Studies 

Year of Graduation: 2020

Internship Site: GRID ALTERNATIVES

Internship Website: https://gridalternatives.org/

Tell us about your site and your internship.
GRID Alternatives is a great non-profit organization that prides itself on helping people in their community, while helping saving our planet as well. Being part of GRID for the time I was there was an amazing experience for me. Meeting an organization that was doing exactly what interested me was truly special.

What do you value most about your internship site? 
I valued that everyone was very welcoming to me, and the fact that gave room to everyone’s opinion. They never rejected what someone said just because they did not have a high position. What an intern said was just as important as what another staff member said. I never saw this quality at a company before. 

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
I recommend that everyone takes advantage of this opportunity because most other majors don’t offer the opportunity to get into an internship through UCR, I have so many friends that wishes that UCR set them up with an internship. I think it is important to start on a career path now because once you get out of University it is hard to find opportunities to get on the way to a career.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to continue in a career following the path of Green Energy, and later on I would love to be part of the Environmental Protection Agency as part of our government.

   
Alejandra Guillen Garcia
Alejandra Guillen Garcia

Major/Minor: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2020

Internship Site: R’Garden

Internship Website: http://rgarden.ucr.edu

Tell us about your site and your internship:
My internship site is the R’Garden.It is in Lot 30 behind section two. I always try to emphasize the location of the garden because not many people know about it or the resources that it provides. It provides students with in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It also gives to the R’Pantry on a weekly basis. About half an acre is used for the pantry and the general community, while the other half is community plots that anyone can reserve for personal use. The garden also holds workshops that are created by the interns in which anything is taught that is related to growing your own food. Its goal is to provide the students with produce and teach them about the ways in which their food is grown.

What do you value most about your internship site?
What I value most about my internship site is that it was created by the students for the students. It addresses the problem of food insecurity among students and it provides a solution; free produce for those that need it. The garden and the volunteers/interns that care for it are caring of their peers and their environment. I believe the space they have created is a place where students can feel safe knowing that when they are in need they have a place to go to meet new thoughtful people, create a sense of peacefulness with the land and their surroundings, or use the resources that are provided. These attributes make me very proud to be interning in the R’Garden.

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
My advice to any student going into Sustainability Studies is to use the time before graduating to experience the interdisciplinary work that the major provides. There is so much that can be done within the major, whether it be working with communities to create sustainable ways of living such as a garden, installing solar panels, teaching children about sustainability, or helping underserved communities that need electricity at an affordable sustainable price. The major provides you with an abundance of knowledge, but the experience and outside work such as internships or volunteer work will help you apply that knowledge and understand that sustainability can be implemented anywhere. I feel like that this way of going about the major will help you understand where you want your area of expertise to be concentrated in. My advice is to also come into the major not only with an open mind but also an open heart because anywhere you decide to focus on it will create a positive change and that will need a lot of heart.

What are your plans after graduation?
One plan I have is to intern with a non-profit organization and having a hands-on job where I am able to work directly with the community. This could be either working in a farm or garden, or helping underserved communities reach the resources they need at a sustainable and affordable price. Another plan I also have is to be get my master’s degree in Sustainability in Arizona State University, and get involved with any organizations that share my interests. While there I would also like to acquire a teaching credential which I would use in any type of grade level to teach students about sustainability and environmentalism. Hopefully, someday I will also be able to create my own type of non-profit organization and further expand helping hands anywhere that need it. In general, I would enjoy working with communities or groups of people while teaching them about sustainable ways of living.

   
Sindy Gutierrez
Sindy Gutierrez

Major/Minor: Gender & Sexuality Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: UCR Women’s Resource Center

Internship Website: http://wrc.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site and your internship:
The Women’s Resource Center at UCR provides a variety of programs and services that empower, support, and promote awareness about issues that affect women and other genders. My internship task is to create and facilitate a program based on a topic of my choosing. Within the program, I can decide how I would like to address the topic, for example having an interactive activity, a presentation, or invite guest speakers. Although the majority of the work is done by me and on my own time, I can use any resources I find would benefit the program and contact my supervisor with any issues and questions.

What do you value most about your internship site?
I value the open-mindedness and support the WRC has towards the introduction of new program ideas and discussions. If you feel that an issue or topic should be addressed, someone is there to listen and see whether there is a way to advocate for it.
What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
If you are second guessing yourself and thinking whether you would be capable of doing an internship, my advice would be to just go for it. Interning for the WRC was my first internship experience, and I was nervous about applying. If this happens to be your first time applying too, it is a great start because you are not alone, if you have any questions or issues you have someone to get advice from and help you with whatever you may need. You have peers surrounding you who go through the same process, and you learn from one another.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to volunteer and explore different non-profits within the Riverside community to grasp an idea of where I would like to work or involve myself in the future.

   
Hannah Hochberg-Miller
Hannah Hochberg-Miller

Major/Minor: GSST/Education

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest

Internship Website: http://www.ppactionca.org/local-info/san-diego-riverside-imperial/

Tell us about your site and your internship:
I intern with the Riverside office of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest.  The “Action Fund” is the political sector of Planned Parenthood, which uses political intervention to keep Planned Parenthood Health Clinics open and operational.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest uses an intersectional lens to better understand the impacts of reproductive oppression.

What do you value most about your internship site?
I value the people who work at my internship site.  I learn so much from my supervisor about effectively planning, communicating with team members, and accomplishing tasks efficiently. 

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
Time management is crucial for being successful in this course.  You must be able to appropriately allocate your time to fit in the required hours at your internship site.  However, if you can commit to 100 hours for your internship, I HIGHLY recommend this program.  It has been the single most rewarding program or class that I have been part of at UCR!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be moving to Los Angeles.  My life as a college graduate will begin with me looking for work in areas related to women’s resources and/or women’s health.  I am a passionate feminist and find fulfillment in empowering other women through increased access to resources specifically catered to the individual.  After accomplishing this goal, I plan on going back to school to receive a multiple subject teaching credential so that I can be an elementary school teacher.

   
Angeline Jiang
Angeline Jiang

Major/Minor: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2021

Internship Site: The California Agriculture and Food Enterprise (CAFÉ)

Internship Website: cafe.ucr.edu

Tell us about your site and your internship:
CAFÉ is a research organization fostering the multidisciplinary study of agriculture, food, and sustainability. Members of CAFÉ come from different schools(predominantly from CNAS, but also BCOE, CHASS, and the school of medicine) and backgrounds, working together to tackle overarching issues on campus such as food insecurity, sustainable menus, and reducing food waste for the betterment of society and the environment.

What do you value most about your internship site?
What I value the most about my internship would have to be the people and the work produced. Because of this opportunity, my network has expanded to include distinguished mentors I can look up to, as well as a significant friend, Marcia (the other CAFÉ intern this quarter), who I learn from and relate to. Second, I value the work that all CAFÉ members accomplish. Like a collection gears in a greater machine, everyone works with such unity and cooperation, without whom it would be difficult to make progress. Thanks to the service and dedication of all CAFÉ members, we are closer to achieving a more sustainable campus and ultimately, planet.

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
The best advice I have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship is to just apply! As a first year student myself with no merit on campus, I just assumed that I would not get the position, let alone be able to manage the additional 10 hours each week and increased responsibility. Thankfully, I applied anyways with the objective of getting familiar with the process, and to my surprise, I received referring me the opportunity to intern at CAFÉ. Even if the idea of taking on an internship may seem intimidating, you may never know what you can accomplish unless you try!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to be fully conscious of the type of work I would like to do and be more aware of the career path options available. In order to gain work experience, I will most likely apply for position at an organization making efforts similar to CAFÉ’s, with means to positively impact the food system. If beneficial, I may eventually go to school because the learning never stops. 

   
Wesley Liang
Wesley Liang

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: R’Garden

Internship Website: http://rgarden.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site: The R’Garden is a community garden on the UCR campus that contains group owned plots, as well a large community plot that provides produce to the R’Pantry. In the garden, we work to maintain the community plot as well as interact with community members who maintain the plots. What we grow in the garden goes towards alleviating food insecurity.

What did you enjoy most about the internship?
I enjoyed tending to the community plot and learning about organic and sustainable food growing methods. It feels great knowing that the crops we harvest go towards providing healthy meals for students both at the R’Pantry and the dining halls.

   
Caroline Magaña
Caroline Magaña

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: GRID Alternatives 

Internship Website: https://gridalternatives.org

Tell us about your site and your internship: At GRID Alternatives, they work a lot with the surrounding community as a non-profit that provides free solar panels for those who qualify. I work with the marketing team and we deal with fundraising and media. I had to research contact information for important political figures and media outlets in order to invite them to events. 

What do you value most about your internship? I value the connections I made with the organization and the concern my site supervisor had for ensuring I learned everything I was interested in.

What advice do you have for students thinking about participating in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies internship? I feel that students who do an internship should definitely take advantage of the connections the internship site may have and make it a point to compare their internship with their future career plans.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan on moving out of state and beginning a career in solar power after graduation.

   
Sunya Mauriz
Sunya Mauriz

Major/Minor: Gender and Sexuality

Year of Graduation: 2019-2020

Internship Site: TruEvolution

Internship Websitehttps://www.truevolution.org

Tell us about your site and your internship:
TruEvolution is an organization that serves the greater Inland Empire providing youth with the tools and resources needed when they face discrimination, homelessness, and are in need of HIV testing. The goal of the organization is to provide a movement for young people who are underrepresented to feel they are empowered to be who they are and celebrate differences.

What do you value most about your internship site?
Overall I found TruEvolutions community building to be most impactful. Through their annual Youth United Conference, they create a space that allows for the youth to come together and speak about their experiences, connect with one another, and have fun. The community building is alive in all that they do. 

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
The internship program is truly an eye-opening experience, and anyone that can should participate in at least one internship experience. But what I found, being apart of the GSST internship, was the amount of knowledge one gains not just about what you anticipate to gain, but also other opportunities that come out of networking with your peers. It really allows for you to gain insight into what is going on in the world on a deeper level. 

What are your plans after graduation?
I am planning to continue my education, in hopes of getting into medical school, and helping underrepresented communities have better access to healthcare. I have grown up in the IE, and through TruEvolution and my own experiences, I have witnessed communities in need of doctors who are aware of their needs, and I hope to deliver that and more. 

   
Shawna McCann
Shawna McCann

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: R’Garden

Internship Website: http://rgarden.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site: The R’Garden is a community garden set up to help combat food insecurity, as well as provide healthy and sustainable food for Riverside. A lot of the food is donated to the R’Pantry, but there are personal plots as well for people who want and need space to grow their own plants. For my internship, I have mostly worked on planting the new fall crops as well as other tasks like weeding and turning compost.

What do you value most about your internship? What I value the most is being able to learn more about gardening and actively being able to help produce food that nourishes our bodies and community. I’m vegan and therefore eat a lot of plants and this helps me appreciate the work that goes into growing our food.

What advice do you have for students thinking about participating in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies internship? I I think this is a great class because it allows you to get experience in work relating to our major and may help you find out what your interests are. I would recommend making sure you are able to commit to 10 hours a week, but other than that I would highly recommend just trying it!

What are your plans after graduation? My plans are to get experience with working in whatever way I can. I’m looking at internships and jobs that deal with sustainability and social justice in any form.

   
Abby Moua
Abby Moua

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: Women’s Resource Center

Internship Website: http://wrc.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site and your internship: The Women’s Resource center is a very friendly and welcoming environment. It is located at costo hall and during this internship you spend about 10 hours a week doing research. Once this is done, you will be doing a presentation and preferably with a panel talk with other students/professors.

What do you value most about your internship?  I value how I have really learned and grown as a person myself. I’ve come to realize many new things about others and myself. I learned patience and really thinking outside the box especially with the different viewpoints that many people may have about the world and beliefs/ideas.

What advice do you have for students thinking about participating in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies internship? If you intern at the WRC, do a presentation on something you are passionate about. If you choose a topic that does not interest you, then you will not enjoy your internship experience. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and send a ton of emails to many people to get help or resources.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to work in a sustainability related area to help the earth in any way. There are many job opportunities so the only issue is to really choose which type of work I am interested in.

   
Stephanie Nava-Angeles
Stephanie Nava-Angeles

Major: Political Science and Sustainability

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: Wellness Program

Internship website: tobaccofree.ucr.edu

Tell us about your site and your internship: As an intern for the Wellness Program, my main duties are to run and manage the Clearing the Air Ambassador Program. My internship site is geared towards spreading the message of a healthier campus.

What do you value most about your internship? My favorite part of my internship is being able to spread awareness about a tobacco free life. A lot of students on campus don’t realize the negative

What advice do you have for students thinking about participating in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies internship? I I feel like the skills and experiences I have gained through this internship could never have been learned in a classroom setting.

   
Judith Ohan
Judith Ohan

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: Women’s Resource Center

Internship Website: http://wrc.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site and your internship: I am interning at the Women’s Resource Center. The Women’s Resource Center is a center that offers services which include counseling, printing, etc… for both men and women. They also facilitate workshops and other events that help empower women. Each intern is asked to complete a workshop in a topic that they are passionate about. This would require a lot of research and work from home but it is a great experience.

What do you value most about your internship? My experience here is amazing. I value the sense of community at the Women’s Resource Center. The people there are very nice and genuine. Future interns would not have a hard time completing their program there. It is totally worth the experience.

What advice do you have for students thinking about participating in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies internship? I had switched sites during week four and I struggled to get back on track with my new site. I would suggest that the students about to complete the internship class to complete some research about the site once they are matched with a site so that they could make sure that the site is a right fit for them. Be sure you won’t have problems completing your hours due to commutes and scheduling conflicts.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on completing a Master’s in Public Health program. I plan on working with women, especially women from low income backgrounds and communities.

   
Alyssa Tocker
Alyssa Tocker

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2019

Internship Site: GRID Alternatives
gridalternatives.org

I am a marketing intern at GRID Alternatives. GRID is a nonprofit organization committed to helping low income families and individuals through low or no cost solar system installations, job training, women empowerment, native tribe empowerment, and more. Through government funding and donations from partners and individuals, GRID is able to provide these services for free or low cost. What I value most about my internship site are the people working in it because they are truly committed to the cause and GRID’s mission. They are honest, helpful, cooperative, generous, and passionate about the work they do. Without them, GRID would not be the organization it is. My advice for GSST/SUST majors thinking about doing an internship is to just go for it, because you never know if you will come across an organization or career path that will peak your interest and give you a course for after graduation. My plans after graduation have changed to being involved with GRID, either at their Inland Empire office in Riverside or at their Greater Los Angeles office. Hopefully I can continue with marketing or even begin doing field work. This internship has changed my view on a career path and given me direction for after I graduate.

   
Thomas Wei
Thomas Wei

Major: Sustainability Studies

Year of Graduation: 2018

Internship Site: CAFÉ (California Agriculture and Food Enterprise)

Internship Website: http://cafe.ucr.edu/

Tell us about your site and your internship:
CAFÉ is all about food security and sustainable agriculture. Its goal is to educate the public about sustainability, food systems, sustainable agriculture, and health.

What do you value most about your internship site?
At first, I didn’t really have a desire to work with food insecurity or agriculture because it wasn’t appealing, but I’m glad I was able to work at CAFÉ because I now appreciate what CAFÉ is trying to make people aware of and that is that we are not growing food sustainably and we are not using our crops to their full potential in order to feed everyone in the whole world!

What advice do you have for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST Internship?
My advice for students thinking about doing a GSST/SUST internship is to go into their internship with an open mind and a mindset that you’re there to help their cause.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on relaxing for a while after I graduate, but I hope to volunteer for organizations that revolve around keeping our ocean and water healthy.