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Debbie Tahmassebi with students in Seattle

Debbie Tahmassebi with students in Seattle

CAS Students Get REAL About Summer Internships

McCullough, del Toro, Hmelar, and Bose network REAL experiences in Seattle

McCullough, del Toro, Hmelar, and Bose network REAL experiences in Seattle

By: Ally O'Connor '20

Can a college internship truly impact a student’s life choices? If you ask SCU students Noel del Toro ‘21 (Public Health & Anthropology), Bevin McCullough ‘19 (Studio Art & English), Emma Hmelar ‘20 (Sociology) and Jade Bose ‘20 (Psychology), the answer is a resounding “yes.” The students attended a College of Arts and Sciences outreach event in Seattle in November at which they shared their REAL program experiences with SCU supporters in the Pacific Northwest.

The opportunity to tell the gathered supporters about her summer research work in the jungles of Costa Rica studying rare white-faced capuchin monkeys was “incredible” for del Toro. She also was eager to “share my unique experience...and network with alumni.” The research experience was made possible by a $5,000 REAL grant.

McCullough, too, appreciated the chance to “show potential donors where the money could go” by sharing her experience working as an art camp leader through the Palo Alto Art Center. The students “had such diverse projects that it was great to represent a wide array of opportunities and experiences that students can have.”

Daniel Iritani, the College’s Director of External Relations, as well as creator and manager of the Seattle event, notes that “after many conversations with alumni, parents, and friends of the university, the College realized that there was a significant need to connect the university and the Seattle region, specifically around jobs and internships. Parents especially wanted their kids to have opportunities to come back to the region and work in the Pacific Northwest.”

The Seattle event showcased the impact supporters play in the education of SCU students and allowed “the SCU network to learn about the REAL program firsthand from the students who went through it last year,” says Iritani. He also describes the students as  “the best storytellers” of their experiences.

The REAL program, created in 2018 from a $1 million gift endowed to the College of Arts and Sciences, supports CAS students by financing summer internships, research opportunities, and creative projects up to $5,000. 127 CAS students received help from the program in the summer of 2018.


REAL, student story

Emma Hmelar ‘20, Dean Debbie Tahmassebi, Bevin McCullough ‘19, Jade Bose ‘20 and Noel del Toro ‘21 at recent College of Arts and Sciences event in Seattle