UW-Green Bay

Category: Internships

How do the Humanities Connect to a Non-Profit Organization: My Internship with the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin

By Dana La Verne

The humanities explore the human experience, and one way to do this is interning with a non-profit organization. This semester I have been completing my humanities degree by interning with Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin (CWAC). CWAC is a non-profit dedicated to promoting a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment for the region. Throughout this internship I have gained a positive experience in helping humans and the environment stay healthy.

Clean Water Action Council 2019 Farmers Market Booth

I have had many opportunities through this internship. I was able to talk to the local Green Bay community about CWAC at the Winter Farmers Market. The community is what allows us to be able to continue doing our work. I was also able to attend the Making the Connection Conference in Madison, WI which discussed environmental health in our society. I was able to listen to doctors and every day individuals discuss the work they do in society to help us live the healthiest lives possible.

Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Spring 2019 Newsletter

With this internship I also learned about managing a non-profit organization. I am the manager of the weekly update. This is an update we email to our members and email list with events, actions, new legal permits, and important environmental news that is happening in Northeast Wisconsin and around the world. I am also in charge of social media. I post everything from the weekly update, and anything that I find useful that the public should know about. CWAC also has a quarterly newsletter that we publish. For the Spring 2019 Newsletter I published an article called “Electric Vehicles Making a Positive Impact Toward Global Warming”, which discussed that electric vehicles will be a healthy form of transportation for humans and for the environment.

The Clean Water Action Council also hosts many events such as health forums to help keep the public informed. This includes keeping up with research, and what the public is interested in learning. The health forum I helped promote was “The Environment and Health: Why what we eat, touch, and breathe matters.” One major project we are working on with a sister non-profit, Clean Wisconsin, is discussing the dangers of Coal Tar Sealants. In the tar sealants are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs. They are found in parking lots and driveways which pose a threat to anyone, but especially the sick, elderly, and our children who play on these surfaces. We have hosted three presentations in Brown, Oconto and Marinette Counties, sent emails and letters to schools, hospitals, and public officials in the counties, cities, villages, and towns, and advertised throughout the communities. Legislation has been passed in neighboring areas to help raise awareness, which we now want to do in Northeast Wisconsin.

“Interning for a non-profit organization allows you the ability to experience humanities from a different perspective.”

Dana La Verne

Another important aspect with working with a non-profit organization is learning how to fundraise, either through the organization or through grants. For instance, we received a grant for the Coal Tar Sealants. We sell merchandise such as bags, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, but our biggest fundraiser is our annual banquet. I had to contact local businesses for donations to our silent auction, advertise the event, sell tickets, and help with the planning process. Our banquet included a social, silent auction, dinner, program, and dance. This year the meal was slow roasted free-range chicken which was gluten-free or mushroom Marinara, which was vegan and also gluten-free. You also got a mixed green salad, roasted sweet potatoes, vegetables, and a dessert bar. Our food was locally sourced. If you didn’t find something you liked to eat, there was no hope. The program included speaker Paul Matheson from Clean Wisconsin discussing protecting our families from toxic pavement sealants, and the band was Terry Murphy and the Cherry Pickers. It was a fun time promoting CWAC and the work that we do, but it was also a lot of work. The greatest thing I enjoyed was seeing everything come together.

Speaker Paul Matheson discussing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in tar pavement sealants, and the harm it causes to the public health.
Photo Credit: Intern Lauren Felder
My boyfriend Devin and I all dressed up at the Clean Water Action Council Banquet. My family are my greatest supporters.
Photo Credit: Kayla Carolyn Photography

Interning for Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin gave me a well-rounded experience. I learned how to manage a non-profit through the wonderful guidance of President and Director Dean Hoegger, I organized events, managed the weekly newsletter and social media, wrote a published article, and I went out of my comfort zone with fundraising by calling businesses. I also gained important relationships with the other interns, Lauren Felder and Jace Hannemann, and interim manager Caitlin Cravillion. We helped each other when needed, supported each other on difficult days, and became wonderful friends. This internship helped me gain professional experience that I can use in my future careers and endeavors, and it helped me build long lasting relationships.

I hope this blog post makes you realize that humanities can be more than interning at museums or historical societies. It is also about learning about humanity today. I gained that experience by interning at CWAC. You can gain that experience by working at any non-profit you could imagine. It doesn’t even have to be a non-profit. You take out what you want from your participation in an internship.

“This internship and everything I learned along the way will stick with me for the rest of my life. “

Dana La Verne

I would like to end by saying thank you to the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, the humanities department, and especially Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin for giving me this opportunity and professional experience. I hope to take everything I learned and the portfolio I built throughout the semester to continue impacting humanity and society in a positive way.

What is DPH (Digital and Public Humanities) & Why is it Important?

Student Experience with Digital and Public Humanities: a relatively new emphasis offered at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

For my last blog post as the Humanities Department Intern, I wanted to craft a post that delved into my Digital and Public Humanities (DPH) major. The purpose of this interview is to present information about the DPH emphasis. The questions asked in this interview are from the perspective of students who are interested in the major, want to learn more about what it is, and wish to know how it may be beneficial to them.

 “Digital and Public…what?”

The Holiday Season is a wonderful time to spend with friends and family. Most of us, at this time in the semester, may be relieved and excited for the upcoming and well-deserved winter break. Many of us will retreat home to decompress from the long semester and enjoy our break traveling physically or through reading, working and spending time with loved ones. Of course, around this time of the year, the question arises, from the dear or rarely seen relative, “how is college and what are you studying?” I appreciate the look on my family and friends faces when I give them my detailed list of studies that I recite in one breath, “I am a double major in History and Digital and Public Humanities with a minor in Arts Management with an emphasis in Museums and Galleries.” Naturally, they respond with, “I got the first part of that but what is the second thing you said? Digital and Public…what? And what do you plan to do with those majors?”

The most effective way to illustrate my choice of majors is by giving examples of projects, research, and opportunities that I have encountered throughout my studies. This semester marked the beginning of my junior year here at UW-Green Bay, and I have a number of interesting and mind-expanding classes in history, the humanities, and the arts under my belt. This fall semester, I took my first Digital and Public Humanities course, “Hum Stud 200: Introduction to the Digital and Public Humanities,” otherwise known as the “Packers Class.” In this course, students were introduced to some of the basic skills foundational to the DPH major. A large part of the course was dedicated to learning HTML (Hypertext Markup Langauge),  which is the first step in understanding the language necessary for creating web pages and applications.

The Packers class was a combined class between the Intro Digital and Public Humanities students and the Craft of History (HIST 290) students. Brent Hensel, the curator of the Packer Hall of Fame, co-taught this class with Professors Heidi Sherman and John Shelton. The overarching project of the semester was a collaboration project with both history and DPH students to create an interactive WordPress site that explored the history of the early years of the Packers. This year, the Packers are celebrating 100 seasons, dating back to 1919. We explored and researched the early history of the Packers organization, and the students created very impressive digital projects. There was a variety of different subjects, ranging from the evolution of the forward pass, civil rights in relation to the Packers organization, how the Great Depression affected the Packers, amongst others.  At the end of the semester, our class had the exciting opportunity to present our projects and research at Lambeau Field. UWGB Packers Class

The Digital and Public Humanities students’ basic and fundamental knowledge of technology was put to practice in the creation of the WordPress sites. All of the skills we learned at the beginning of the semester were tested and practiced in the creation of my group’s website. The group that I was in completed our research project on Lyle Lahey’s Packer Cartoons. Our argument was that political and sports cartoons are portals to history. Lyle Lahey was a political and sports cartoon artist that published a variety of different cartoons from 1968 until his death in 2013. For our project, we analyzed and conceptualized a variety of different Lahey cartoons that focused on topics such as Coach Vince Lombardi and Dan Devine, as well as Labor Strikes in the NFL during the 1970s.

My favorite part of our project was creating the interactive pieces that were used on our website. For each Packer theme we discussed, I created a presentation using the software Canva that included the Lahey cartoons we were analyzing and researching. The purpose of these presentations was to show the viewer what key aspects of the cartoon that caught our attention and developed our research. Through our website, we presented Lahey’s cartoons in an interactive way enabling the viewer to take part in our analysis and history. With each page, the viewer is able to make their own conclusions about Lahey’s illustrations while being provided with the necessary historical context. I am immensely proud of what we all crafted, and I am glad that Lahey’s cartoons may be viewed with as much enthusiasm and appreciation as we had. Throughout this class, I not only learned digital basics, but I also gained digital competencies, which has enabled me to think critically about how to use digital platforms for communication, preservation, presentation, design, and analysis.

In conclusion, when my family and friends need clarification on what exactly is Digital and Public Humanities, I have issues giving them a concise definition. To me, the Digital and Public Humanities can embody many different definitions depending on who you ask. I would define Digital and Public Humanities as an interdisciplinary field that uses various forms of media to excite and engage the public audiences about culture, language, the world of history, and the humanities. Digital and Public Humanities students learn how to use different technological tools and methods in order to serve the public. It entails critical thinking, artistic design, and research while engaging with technology appropriately. This emerging field and new emphasis is interdisciplinary and integrates conversations on different platforms. The Digital and Public Humanities have the potential to tear down the long-established “ivory tower” of the Humanities and creates a public platform of relevance and accessibility for anyone.

What other students have to say about the major:

John Werner, a double major in History and Digital and Public Humanities: “Digital and Public Humanities, as a field, is both rapidly growing and highly flexible. It is a critical puzzle piece in moving the Humanities field as a whole into the 21st century as everything [becomes] more digitized, further promoting education by permitting interactivity in what students are learning.”

Brian Domina, a double major in History and Digital and Public Humanities: “Digital and Public Humanities helped me further develop myself as a person and clarify my points of view…enabling [me] to connect to points of view I did not know existed.”

Rachel Bowker (a major in Digital and Public Humanities): “Originally, I was just going to go to UW-Milwaukee to get my masters in Library Sciences because I already have a bachelors in Business Administration. However, I chose Digital and Public Humanities because it I felt like it would be a great stepping stone before going on to the master’s program. Within the first semester, I have learned how to do HTML coding, operate and design a website, and create a Wiki page. All of the projects that I have done I would have thought would only have been in a Graphic Design program. Looking forward, I am confident that the classes and projects that are within this program will help me further my education in Milwaukee and looks great on a resume! I am really happy that I enrolled in this program! All the staff within (and outside) the program is so helpful and knowledgeable!”

Thank you for reading,

Rachel Scray, Humanities Intern Fall 2018.




Interning at the Hazelwood Historical Home Museum

UW-Green Bay offers a variety of internships for students to take part in. Humanities interns are able to get internships at local museums, libraries, and more! The last post of the Spring 2018 semester features the next Humanities Department Intern, Rachel Scray who interned throughout the semester for the Hazelwood Historical Home Museum!

Click the link below to read about her experience!

Hazelwood Internship Blog

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