Madison Ward is a 2020 Summer intern from Indiana University South Bend. She will graduate in 2021 with a degree in Public Relations with a minor in Sociolgy and Graphic Design. Madison is from Elkhart IN.
How did this experience affect your view and attachment to the South Bend/Elkhart region?
It was really amazing to be able to visually see all the resources available and communities working together in our area. There is so much that has been done to promote community involvement and sustainability already, and with this internship in place that will keep continuing. It really makes me feel grateful to be able to work with the people in our region to contribute all that I can.
What was the most rewarding experience in the program?
Both of my projects made me feel very accomplished in the end. My food mapping project was all very much focused on completing preliminary research, but this is extremely important information that could be used in endless other projects in the future. My dam marker sign project was a visual work that was installed and completed, which gives me a sense of closure and pride as well, knowing it will educate people on the benefits to the river's ecosystem. Overall, I feel like we all accomplished so much this summer, even with working virtually, and the feeling of contributing and helping others just makes it all the better.
How did your experience in the program enhance your academic and professional goals?
Because of this internship experience, I have been able to do more in the community faster than I would have ever thought possible. It has not only added to my professional experience in community engaged projects and communication with local stakeholders, but has also motivated me to continue working towards motivating the community towards sustainability and involvement in future career paths.