Summer 2020 Internship and Training Wrap Up

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Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

This summer the Swetland Center virtually hosted its second cohort of interns and trainees who were immersed in engaging and thought-provoking experiences to enhance awareness of and skills to address the environment's disparate impact on communities and populations.

This committed group included Deidrhe Clayton, Carolina Lemos, Carlos Lewis-Miller, Emma Wallens, Maya Williams, Rachel Wyetzner, and Jiada Zhan. 

We would like to thank them for their meaningful contributions and encourage you to read more about their experiences at Swetland as well as their future plans below!

 

Headshot of Deidrhe Clayton
Deidrhe Clayton

Institution: CWRU, School of Medicine

Project: Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0)

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? Moving forward, I intend to keep working on projects that I began this summer. The first project that I am working on consists of analyzing foodNEST data to see if there is a relationship between income level and perceptions about healthy eating. The second project that I am working on is looking to see if perceptions of community are associated with stress. 

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? One thing that I have learned while interning at Swetland is the importance of collaboration. At the start of the internship this summer, I had so many ideas about what variables I wanted to analyze but I had no idea of how to execute my research goals. I was able to connect with research associates from Swetland and they have helped me to refine my research question and they have also taught me how to effectively approach data analysis. I really appreciate that everyone at Swetland makes themselves available to others for support and I hope to do the same for others in the future. 


Headshot of Carolina Lemos
Carolina Lemos

Institution: CWRU, School of Medicine

Project: Ohio Childcare COVID-19 Study

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? After my summer training experience with the Swetland Center, I will be entering my second year towards my MD at CWRU School of Medicine. I will stay involved in the Ohio Childcare COVID-19 Study until its completion later this year and hope to continue involvement with the Swetland Center on different projects in the future. 

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? Something I really admired and enjoyed at the Swetland Center is the sense of community and friendship between all the people. Everyone is very willing to help one another and highlight the strengths of other members of the team. This was really evident while working in interdisciplinary groups, playing to each person's strengths, and making sure all voices were heard. During my time here, I learned so much about study design, data collection, and overall the research process from the beginning to end which provided me with so many lessons to take with me for the future!


Headshot of Carlos Lewis-Miller
Carlos Lewis-Miller

Institution: CWRU (c/o 2020), Medical Anthropology & Global Health

Project: Swetland Evaluation

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? Last January, I applied to the Peace Corps and was invited to serve as one of their Primary Education teachers in Lesotho for two years. However, I declined my invitation in May as the coronavirus persisted without signs of subsiding. I've now shifted my focus towards local opportunities for public service at the federal level.  

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? The most important lesson I learned during this internship was how to turn theory into practice and practice into evaluation. Initially, the gaps between theory, practice, and evaluation seemed too large to cross, but through this training experience, I developed the ability to meaningfully connect these three--often conflicting--puzzle pieces and articulate that connection. More broadly, I gained first-hand experience regarding the flexibility needed for mixed-method data collection and analysis.


Headshot of Emma Wallens
Emma Wallens

Institution: CWRU, Social Sciences & Public Health

Project: Ohio Produce Perks

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? I am planning on finishing my MSSA/MPH degree in the next two years, and will continue to be involved in healthcare advocacy and equality efforts, specifically in the realm of oncology. 

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? One lesson from Swetland (of many!) that I will take into my future endeavors is that I need to consider every intersectional aspect of each project I am involved with. How do social issues, environmental issues, and medical access issues all intersect? How can I make sure that each area is thoroughly covered, and that no one issue or group is left out of this project. I chose to pursue an MSSA and MPH to meld the social sciences and health sciences together in whatever I pursue- each and every seminar from my time in the Swetland center has stuck with me, and I will try to emulate each person's ability to combine the two and cover intersections in my future work in academia.


Headshot of Maya Williams
Maya Williams

Institution: John Carroll University, Environmental Science & French Studies

Project: Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0)

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? After my training experience with Swetland, I will be finishing up my senior year at John Carroll and applying to graduate school programs. I hope I can use the many skills that I learned through this experience, such as graphic design, communication, research and more for my extracurriculars, Fall internship, and beyond.

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? An important lesson I have always struggled with is taking constructive criticism, but I realize this kind of advice is for me to learn, grow and use for my work, future internships, programs and jobs. I also think it helped to be in a very safe, and welcoming environment that helped me to move out of my comfort zone and be completely myself. I thank the Swetland Center for being an incredibly inclusive and open-minded community when taking all of us interns in!


Headshot of RAchel Wyetzner
Rachel Wyetzner

Institution: CWRU, Biology & Human Nutrition, Spanish (minor)

Project: Swetland Data Management

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? After Swetland, I will be continuing as an incoming second year undergraduate student at Case Western Reserve University. I am majoring in biology and human nutrition, with a minor in Spanish, on a pre-medical track. 

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? One of the many lessons I learned at Swetland is the value of discussion and perspective. Whether it be during virtual staff meetings or weekly seminars, important community issues were discussed, with new ideas constantly being developed. Within these discussions, the unique backgrounds and perspectives of speakers, staff members, and trainees served to deepen my understanding of these multifaceted issues and help form connections between everyone involved.


Headshot of Jiada Zhan
Jiada Zhan

Institution: CWRU, Public Health Nutrition

Project: Dietetic Internship

What are you planning next after your training experience with Swetland? I plan to complete my dietetic internship and obtain a certificate of registered dietitians. Meanwhile, I will apply for Ph.D. programs in public health nutrition because I love to conduct nutritional research.

What is one lesson from Swetland you will take into your future endeavors? I have learned that chronic diseases are not only influenced by individual behaviors but also by the surrounding food environment. If we plan to control chronic diseases, we may need to address individual and environmental factors at the same time to achieve the greatest effectiveness.