Category: Dubuque

How to build a profession: a personal look into Clarke’s Internship for Credit program

Becky Herrig, one of the heads of Clarke University’s Career Service Center, has been helping students pursue professional opportunities since 2011. Whether she be reviewing résumés, establishing contact with potential employers, or helping students build confidence as interviewees, Herrig is dedicated to the task of connecting students with internship experiences that will help prepare them for the working world.

Clarke University itself has heavily incorporated experiential opportunities into their curriculum over the past decade or so. Most majors offered at Clarke now require some type of internship experience as part of their programs. For students involved in those majors, it is common for them to register the actual credits under their general academic schedule, therefore making the work experience part of their class routine.

According to the Clarke website, “Credit for an Internship for Credit employment experience is based on the job description and the number of hours a student works.” Students are required to work 60 hours within a semester to acquire 1 credit hour on their transcript. Those registering an Internship for Credit are “billed the semester rate,” though if they happen to already be taking the maximum 18 credit hours within a semester, they will be billed for each internship credit hour above that limit. Additionally, they will be charged summer tuition to take an Internship for Credit during the break months.

Due to this intrinsic tie between internship experience and academia at Clarke, many students opt to take up internship positions on campus. The Marketing department at Clarke has been known to host interns, as has the Margaret Mann Academic Resource, though these are only a few examples of the many work opportunities on Clarke’s grounds. Additionally, according to Herrig, all work study positions on Clarke’s campus have the potential to be both paid and valid for credit.

That is, of course, if the position meets the proper criteria. When I had the opportunity to speak with Becky Herrig regarding Clarke and its encouragement of work experience, it was made clear that, regardless of location, an internship must provide real and valuable work experience in order for it to be considered for credit.

“We’re not just turning any job into an internship,” said Herrig. “There needs to be outcome based objectives in the student’s field attached to the position. It has to be a well-rounded learning process and experience.”

Throughout our discussion, Herrig was adamant about this component of the internship process. “We’re preparing students for the working world,” she stated. “Having experience is a big deal. Sometimes students say, ‘Becky, I did this internship and I just realized that I don’t want to pursue that,’ and I say, ‘That’s fine!’ It’s better that students get to know what they want to do now instead of later.”

And that’s the kicker with some internships. While many can be fruitful experiences that lead to realizations about professional goals and motivations, others can simply be a fulfillment of credit. Some internship opportunities might lead to future employment or a fulfilling career, while others might seem like a waste of a summer or semester. Herrig sees benefits either way.

“I tell students all the time to get off campus and get out of their comfort zone. It’s one thing to sit in a classroom, but it’s another to become a part of a business or a company with transferable skills.”

Max Kyte, a senior at Clarke University who is majoring in Communication, shares this perspective. “I think an internship is definitely useful for making contacts and getting a necessary insight into the area of work you’re interested in,” said Kyte during our brief discussion on internships and their place in the curriculum. “They can help show whether what you’re doing is something you actually want to be doing.”

Kyte completed an internship with Novelty Iron Works last semester and continues to work with them through this academic period. “My position there has given me lots of good insight into promotions, marketing, and analyzing audience reach and response. They really worked with my schedule to find the best time for both of us, which was definitely useful for me.”

Ashley Smith, also a senior Communication student, had a similar experience in her time at an unnamed print production company. “I worked as a graphic artist there, making t-shirts, designs, and a lot of other stuff. I definitely think the experience was beneficial, especially because I hope that they’ll hire me after my position ends.”

That’s what much of the encouragement towards internships is about, after all. Potential employment. According to Herrig, “A lot of times, one internship will turn into another, which will turn into an employment placement. Even if you don’t get employment in the institution you originally hire in, they can refer you somewhere else!”

However, what happens when you’re employed and feel confident enough in your abilities that the idea of an internship seems more unnecessary than beneficial? Dylan Marquez, a senior at Clarke University who is currently completing his CIS degree, stated that, while his major encouraged experiential opportunities, he feels prepared enough without that extra step.

“As far as job hunting and preparation go—in my capstone, we’ve been working on résumés and putting ourselves out there for jobs to find us. There’s been courses where we’ve worked on our LinkedIn pages and we’ve learned a pretty equal amount about technical and personal skills,” said Marquez in a brief interview.

Marquez’s Computer Information Systems major does not require an internship within its curriculum, though it is highly recommended by professors. Speaking to that, Marquez stated, “I like that they only suggest taking an internship and that it isn’t required. I felt prepared through my classes, and while I feel like taking an internship could help, I feel like I’ve been given the necessary skills to succeed as I am now. If an internship was required, I feel like that would be a huge additional stressor on my already heavy workload.”

What it all seems to boil down to is the idea of balance. In interviewing a number of students and the head of the Clarke Career Center, it’s become clear that Clarke’s view of work experience is revered and, at times, beneficial. However, the constant push and pull of academia versus experiential opportunities can be tiring.

I myself have completed a number of internships, from paid to unpaid, “for credit” and “not for credit.” Each has been valuable in some way, even the ones where I did nothing but copy and paste for eight hours a day, five days a week. These opportunities have provided me with some fantastic professional relationships that will, hopefully, aid in my job search post-graduation. In that same vein, I’ve also gotten the chance to better investigate what exactly I want to do for a living.

However, it was all under the veil of necessity. I’ll admit, there is definitely a benefit to having internships be required for course credit in certain majors. There’s a popular belief that students won’t do or complete anything unless there’s a grade attached to it, and while I don’t think that idea is 100% true, I do believe that the requirement of work experience adds an extra layer of motivation. That being said, there is the problem of internships becoming nothing more than an extra stressor for some students.

I myself am completing a major in Communication with a minor in Writing. Altogether, my programs require me to complete 6 internship credits. Taking into account Clarke’s hour/credit ratio, that means I’ll have to accomplish 360 hours of internship work in my time at Clarke. This, of course, is in addition to the 16 to 18 credit hours I’ll be taking each semester.

What I’m trying to get across is that there’s a line to be drawn when it comes to completing work experience while in an academic environment. Part of the appeal of university is that being a student becomes your fulltime job. So what happens when you take on a fulltime job…and then get another job? Some students are already working as a means of paying for their education, and the jobs they’re working aren’t necessarily ones that can be counted for internship credit. Where does this leave them in the grand scheme of things?

While there’s absolutely no harm in encouraging experiential opportunities, there can be harm caused when students become overwhelmed with the combination of work and academics. I can recall too many nights where I’ve put off homework to an unreasonable hour, trying to complete a spreadsheet for a supervisor of mine.

There should, I feel, be an iota of flexibility when it comes to Internship for Credit requirements. All in all, it should be a conversation between the students and the wonderful support system at the Career Center, along with the advisor and head of the program. Each student’s schedule (and life) is different, and a million things are viable to impact an individual’s ability to complete not only a degree, but an internship.

As it is now, students should look to the likes of Becky Herrig and their professors to learn more about what kinds of opportunities they can pursue to build their own professional repertoire. There are plenty of benefits in work experience, and there are tons of resources at Clarke University that can help in the process of finding and securing a professional position.

You can contact Becky Herrig at her Clarke email (becky.herrig@clarke.edu) to set up an appointment to discuss your options based on  your program of study. For more resources, you can also explore Clarke’s Career & Internships page.

Regardless of whether your major requires internship credits, it’s a good idea to look into your options. Whether you want to take on a remote internship that only requires you to work two hours a week, or whether you want to throw yourself into a full-time position career style, what you’re ultimately working towards is building your own professionalism. Analyze what works best for you, and what you think you can handle. Talk to your advisors and your peers, and keep moving forward. After all, “success is no accident.”

 

 

by Mimi Ottavi, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Clarke Crux 

Clarke University announces new president, Dr. Thom D. Chesney

On February 26th, Sister Joanne Burrows announced Dr. Thom D. Chesney as the new president of Clarke University. Burrows, who has been the president of Clarke University since 2006, announced she was going to be retiring from her position in July of 2018. Her announcement sparked a nationwide search and concluded with a unanimous vote from the Board of Trustees, electing Chesney as the 16th president of the university.

Thom Chesney photo

via Clarke University

According to a biography issued by Clarke University, Dr. Thom Chesney previously held the position of president at Brookhaven College of Dallas, TX. He also maintained a number of administrative positions at other surrounding universities and colleges around Texas. Among these are The University of Texas (UT) at Dallas, vice president of academic affairs and provost of Collin College, and additional faculty and administrative roles at UT Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas Wesleyan University, and Whitman College. Chesney earned a doctor of philosophy in English literature, a master of arts in creative writing, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

His background has been a positive point of discussion among many members of the Clarke community. Some students have expressed excitement about his involvement in liberal arts programs. The press release issue by Clarke University also revealed that Chesney’s wife, Noelle, is also deeply involved in the arts—holding a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance.

Hannah Ingles, a junior at Clarke who is currently studying Graphic Design, said, “I think his leadership has the potential to bring about some exciting opportunities for some of the arts programs at Clarke. I’m really excited to see what changes he makes in promoting programs like mine. I hope he’ll be an advocate for the fine arts—all of them.”

In Chesney’s time at Brookhaven, he attempted to encourage student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Additionally, according to Clarke University’s press release announcing his appointment, Chesney has also been a reliable and active member of his community. He served on the board of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, which named him 2014 Citizen of the Year, and also took part in a number of other community programs.

Dr. Thom Chesney, along with his wife, Noelle, and two kids, Drew and Ellen, will be joining the Clarke community July 15th. Sister Joanne has stated that there are a few things she wants to complete before making her departure this summer, but is overall happy to pass the torch to Dr. Thom Chesney.

 

by Dane Shaull

 

Midterm elections end November 6th. Make your voice heard– go vote!

Election season is once again upon us. While the hype around the Midterm election is not as massive as that of the Presidential election, voting is nonetheless extremely important. Not only is voting an integral part of the American democratic experience—it also allows citizens to make their voices heard in the context of greater government decisions. November 6th is the last day Iowans are able to cast their votes for their governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, secretary of agriculture, and house representatives. Will you be at the polls?

Currently, the political sphere is riddled with unease—the tension between parties higher than ever. This 2018 election could either make—or break—the nation’s political stability. Some are hoping for a blue wave, citing that it might add balance back into the political system. Others are hoping that the election turns out red, which would make Republicans the majority in the United States government.

Regardless of what party you may align with, it’s extremely important that we as citizens practice the right to vote. Some countries have major limits on citizen participation within the government. However, in the United States, we are given the chance to express our opinions—to cast our votes and influence the turnouts of major political decisions.

The last day to vote in the Midterm election is Tuesday, November 6th. However, if you have not yet filled out an absentee ballot or if you have not yet registered to vote, have no fear. Dubuque voters are allowed to register the day of the election. Just bring a valid Iowa Driver’s license or another picture ID with proof of your permanent address. Additionally, polling stations will allow absentee ballots which have not been posted in the mail to be brought in and counted at the station.

In regards to location, Dubuque voters are able to fill out their ballots at the Election Annex on 75 Locust Street. Clarke students can also vote at the city’s 9th and 10th precinct polling place, Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 2155 University Ave. If you happen to be a commuter, you can also use this resource to find out what precinct you belong to and which polling place aligns with your address.

Voting is a fundamental right, one that should be exercised whenever possible. You have the chance to make your voice heard, so use it! Go out and vote tomorrow, and wear your “I Voted” sticker proudly!

 

By Mimi Ottavi

 

Dubuque Police Monitor Social Media for Threats

 


The Dubuque police department monitors social media to track and respond to threats in the Dubuque area.

The police department will now focus some attention on social media in response to the alleged shooting threat directed toward Dubuque Senior High School on February 22. This allows the police department to not only respond quickly to confirmed threats but also to control any hearsay about discredited threats. The Dubuque community and its institutions benefit from the police department’s efforts to monitor social media.

For special circumstances, like the Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat, the police department will assign an officer to monitor social media for threats, according to Joe Messerich, a Lieutenant on the Dubuque police force. However, the police department does not staff specific police officers to oversee social media for threats. Instead, the police department has intelligence officers who gather vital information and relay it to the police officers.

Although, Lt. Messerich said all officers are expected to act as intelligence officers to find trends on social media – whether it involves underage house parties, gang-related posts, or possible threats – and relay the information to the department.

Another way officers monitor social media is during their own time when they are off-duty. If the officers peruse their social media accounts and come across something alarming, then they are expected to use their judgment to consider if it is a threat. “It doesn’t matter who you are,” said Lt. Messerich. “You’ll find information on something on social media.”

To report any threats, call the Dubuque police department at (563)589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at (800)747-0117.

Lt. Messerich said the now-discredited Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat was a rumor that “spread like wildfire” because social media users would share the story without any credible sources.

The rumor forced the police department to follow more leads and investigate more individuals, to which they dedicated one police officer to sift through social media for information on the possible shooting threat. This assigned officer would then contact people to see if the threats circulated were credible.

The Walk Out on March 14 was another circumstance that compelled the police department to monitor for threats. Those who participated in the Walk Out to protest gun violence left the safety of their school/building to march to Washington Park. The latter location is an open area which exposed individuals to possible threats; so, the police department had to take all precautions necessary to protect students and community members involved.

The police department monitored the “National Walk-Out Day – Dubuque” Facebook page and analyzed users’ comments to determine if they were possible threats. The police department needed a solid understanding of the threat-level during the Walk Out, and they turned their attention to Facebook to analyze the situation.

Lt. Messerich said, “We must know if 50 people from Loras or 2,000 people from the community are going to determine the level of safety.”

The police department monitoring social media for threats benefits the community and its institutions. Clarke University, a private Catholic university, benefits from the police department’s examination of social media.

Sister Joanne, Clarke University’s President, showed excitement and support for Dubuque monitoring social media. She said, “Lots of people and groups monitor social media. Clarke does. People are naïve if they think their texts and tweets and whatever are not being monitored. Given the pervasiveness of social media and the increased incidents of violence, I think the monitoring of social media by law enforcement is increasingly necessary.”

Sr. Joanne continued, “Such surveillance could provide our campus community with an advanced warning about a potential threat of violence or alert us to any abusive behavior being perpetrated by or directed at a member of our campus community.”

Laura Naber is a Clarke University student directly affected by the Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat.

Laura said, “As a student teacher at Dubuque Senior High School this year, I was affected by the supposed shooter threat in late February when classes were canceled for an entire day. While the administration and police handled the threat with the utmost concern and professionalism, the incident caused me to reflect on my future career in education and the influence of social media in the classroom and society.”

Laura continued, “While social media can be a great tool for communication, it has also become a negative pool where people post ignorant comments and bully others through an LED screen. Because this is becoming more and more of an issue, I think it is

important for police officers to monitor social media posts for potential violence and threats. If there are serious issues and concerns circulating the internet, law enforcement should be made aware so that immediate action and protection can be taken to avoid any detriment to innocent people.”

Caitlyn Ambrosy is a life-long Dubuque resident who attends Clarke University. She said, “In a society where social media is an ever-growing presence to which many believe there is a sense of anonymity and lack of consequences, a law enforcement presence is necessary. In the instance of the threat towards Senior High School, having a police presence on social media allowed for a quick, tactical, and thorough response to investigate the threat and protect the students.”

 

By Kyle Majerus

Yesterday, I Walked Out.

I’m writing this because I’m mad.

On Tuesday morning at 10am, a group of us in the Clarke community stood outside in the 30 degree weather. I was surrounded by students, professors, staff, BVMs, and even local Dubuquers. I should feel a sense of happiness to see this group standing up. But I’m not. I’m mad.

I’m angry that this has to happen. I’m angry with myself that there are students my age and younger in fresh plots of grave and I am here complaining about the cold. I’m mad at you, the gunman. How could you?

I’m mad at those who won’t listen to us. I’m pissed at the people who won’t take a call to action. I’m angry that the crowd who showed up on campus was so small.

I’m mad because there have been 14 school shootings this year and it’s only March (CNN).

I’m done just “keeping the victims and families in my thoughts and prayers.” We need action. We need change now. This can’t keep happening.

You may be wondering, why did I even attend the Walkout if I’m so upset about needing one in the first place?

That’s exactly why I’m here. I can’t keep letting this get pushed into the nooks and crannies of my brain, feeling sad for a day and then moving on.  Did the victims get to move on?

I’m saddened that there were so few who joined this powerful moment, today. I know it’s cold. I know it’s midterms and we are overwhelmed and busy. I know we don’t have time to give. That’s the point. We don’t have the time, we have things to do, but we pause. We walk out anyway. We take a stand. I want my voice to be heard. I want all of our student voices heard. We are smart, fierce, passionate, and fearless.

I looked around the small crowd and I saw anger, I saw tears, I saw passion, and I saw fear. I hope this leads to something more. I don’t want another shooting to just become a dusted over book, a vague memory of what once was. I don’t want to forget. As one woman in the crowd reminded us, “It wasn’t always like this. It doesn’t have to be like this.” There was silence and then applause and understanding from the crowd.

After the walk out, some of us chose to join in a small group discussion in the Fabiano conference room. We were faced with the questions, “What do you think we should do about gun violence?” and, “How can we prevent gun violence here at Clarke University?”

I had plenty of thoughts, comments, stories, and examples to share. But, I had no answer. We all had great discussions and conversations, shared worries, views, and connected with each other…But, we had no answer. Maybe part of the answer we are looking for is to start talking and listening to each other. We need to take the time to check in with one another; don’t let people get lost in the crowd. We need to listen to others’ stories, concerns, and worries. We all have something to say, so please, listen to us.

 

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

 

By: Megan Kane

A Fresh Look at the Tenth Muse

The Tenth Muse, Clarke’s literary magazine, is revamping its brand this year, as the staff puts together the eighth volume of the magazine. Professor Emily Goodmann has taken the reigns on the project, with help from editor-in-chief, Jenna Weber, a sophomore here at Clarke University. Changes will be seen this year in brand, logo, and overall tone of the Tenth Muse. It’s a very exciting time for the Tenth Muse staff.

Weber took some time to reflect on her experience with the Tenth Muse, thus far. She explained to me, “My role as an editor started last year when, as a freshman, I agreed to do an internship with the professor who was the previous faculty advisor of the magazine. I was interested in taking the class after getting my first poem published through the Tenth Muse but was the only student who signed up for the course in the Fall 2017 semester.”

Weber then goes on to say, “However, I was still determined and excited to be a part of this literary magazine at Clarke. After this professor left, I took the course with Emily Goodman and worked one-on-one with her on understanding copyediting, improving my skills in this field, and learning how to serve as a positive leader.”

download.jpg

I then asked Weber about her experience as the editor-in-chief position. She said, “The experience as Editor-in-chief has been challenging and rewarding as I learn more every day about the publishing process as well as what it means to be a part of a literary magazine. I am and always will be passionate about the Tenth Muse and its mission.”

The Tenth Muse supports the creativity of Clarke students and among any creative minds wanting to submit their work for publication, and sharing it with the local community.

Weber’s final remarks were, “I plan to keep working with others to expand its voice across the Clarke campus as well as the Dubuque community. I look forward to the changes this magazine will go through and hope those who follow the Tenth Muse share in my excitement.”

Now, with 5 students on staff, and the hard work and dedication of Emily Goodmann and Jenna Weber, the process of putting together and publishing the magazine is underway. Clarke University is proud of all the students who submitted and contributed to the making of the Tenth Muse, and we all should give some thanks to ambitious, dedicated students like Jenna Weber, who has kept the Tenth Muse alive, fresh, and better than ever.

The Tenth Muse will launch in late spring at the Tenth Muse’s launch party. Details to follow from the staff at the Tenth Muse.

 

By: Megan Kane

Instagram Worthy Destinations

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Voices Mural Project artists have completed 18 intriguingly aesthetic murals in downtown Dubuque. Filled with vibrant colors and whimsical designs, they have surely brought a lot of life to the streets of the city. The organization behind the street art project, Voice Productions, wanted to bring an urban experience to the city and give a space for artists around the country to express their ideas. This project has been funded through a state grant and supported by local business.

The main reason for this project was to be able to draw out more talent from the area and give people an interesting place to go and feel as though their city has culture. People of all ages can come and enjoy a stroll through downtown to view these urban works of art.

If you haven’t posted anything new on your social media in a while you should take advantage of the amazing artwork displayed within the streets of downtown Dubuque. There’s definitely a reason why these murals are getting so much attention.

To see even more art that Dubuque has to offer, the Dubuque Museum of Art and newest Art on the River sculptures are something you will enjoy! The Dubuque Museum of Art is open 10am through 5pm Monday through Friday, and on weekends 1pm to 4pm.

 

By: Stevie Eide