By James Benavides, Senior Communications Specialist
UTSA continues to make strides in providing access to education as part of its Bold Vision. Preparing students for success in the workforce is another component, and calls for hands-on experience including practicum, internships, work-study programs, and other channels for students to accumulate experience as they complete their education.
With the challenges of today’s economy, unpaid internships have become a bigger burden on students and have shrunk the candidate pool for student positions. Funds raised for the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures on UTSA Giving Day, April19, 2022, will directly fund paid intern positions.
The ITC continues to offer students the opportunity to work in a professional setting that touches on several industries and disciplines: arts, culture, multimedia communications, and more. This year, staff members have selected five students to work on ITC projects.
Adriana Christian, museum collections manager, currently oversees Harley Ossorio, assigned to object care and cataloging in the collections area. With plans to expand on the American Indian exhibit area, Ossorio has continued to remove, assess, and prepare objects to return to lenders, making space for the new gallery expansion.
“This is hands-on experience to put on a resume and bring up in a job interview,” said Christian. “Harley is handling priceless artifacts, working with inventory software, and interacting with lenders. The skills can apply in any job setting that tracks assets and interacts with customers. Real-world experience is going to get her ready for a professional career.”
Kirstin Cutts in the education department currently oversees Senior Jason Madden and Junior Ruby Castro, interns working on the ITC’s Becoming Texas podcast with professor John Philip Santos. They research topics Santos covers with his honors seminar class and podcast guests, generating guides for listeners to identify and understand the critical people and events referenced in the conversations.
“Jason and Ruby are learning how to sift through information, capture key concepts, and deliver vital information,” said Cutts. “They can exercise their own judgment on topics that appeal to everyday people, and present information critical to telling more complete stories. They have the opportunity to determine how to present that information effectively to a general audience. They’re learning how to work with people when more than just a letter-grade is at stake.”
“This is hands-on experience to put on a resume and bring up in a job interview”
Adriana Christian, ITC’s Collections Manager
Robert Gonzales, ITC’s multimedia designer, oversees Junior Mason Hickock, who wrote for the Paisano student newspaper and has his own podcast. Under Gonzales’ direction, Hickock continues to hone his audio recording and editing skills, which as a digital communications major, will transfer into his career field. Currently, Hickock works on the technical aspects of the Becoming Texas podcast.
Additionally, Gonzales supervises Ireland Robinson, who studies classics at UTSA. Robinson has videography experience and has directed her own short films. Gonzales assigned her to a project with Advanced Learning Academy, whose students have been interviewing family members about their personal experiences in civil rights. She can shoot and edit video, and assist on Becoming Texas with sound editing skills.
“We rely so heavily on multimedia information,” said Gonzales. “If you can produce and edit audio-visual works, you’re going to be an asset to the workforce. Television, radio, online – businesses need the tools to engage media and media need people who can generate content. We can help our students develop these skills by actually getting them in the field, and putting their work online and on display.”
UTSA Giving Day begins at 10:11 a.m., April 19, and lasts 1,969 minutes, in honor of UTSA’s founding year. Museum supporters can make a gift online at Giving.utsa.edu, and the first 50 donors will receive a free ITC Fiesta medal. For more information, visit the UTSA Giving Day 2022 website.