Unique Internship Program Teaches Students Public Speaking Skills

Women's Resource Center program asks participants to make a campus-wide presentation on a topic that is important to them

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — A unique internship program through the University of California, Riverside’s Women’s Resource Center is giving students more than just valuable work experience. It is also giving them the chance hone their public speaking skills while educating the campus community on an issue that they are passionate about.

“The internship program is designed to educate, lift up and strengthen women and the UCR community,” explained Student Affairs Officer Romanie Arterberry, who added that male students may also participate in the internship program. “They gain confidence, new skills, and real-world experience.”

Arterberry said that WRC staff brainstorms with the interns to find a topic that they are passionate about and on which they are interested in making a presentation.

“We ask them to figure out what they want the audience to learn about the topic,” she said. “They do the research and put together the presentation, and the Women’s Resource Center then promotes it as part of the series.”

The series covers a wide range of topics, some of which come from deeply personal experiences.

“I think it is another way I have worked towards recovery,” she said. “Telling my story and letting other people in is part of my recovery process. If I can turn that into something beneficial for other women, well that is fantastic.”

Senior Genesis Castellanos decided to do her presentation “The Reality of Domestic Violence,” after meeting a pair of women who had gone to prison after defending themselves from attackers while working on a project for her Women’s Studies 20 class, Women, Feminism, and Society in a Global Perspective.

“I think it is crucial that our community be made more aware of this issue,” Castellanos said. “I’ve come to understand that communities aren’t always aware that people are being victimized.”

“Recovering from domestic violence can be a long process, but if we work together to bring awareness to the issue, we can break the cycle,” she added.

Castellanos said that the presentation, which she made on January 24 to an audience of about 100 people, allowed her to “come out of my shell” and helped given her insight as to a possible future career.

“I’ve always been a quiet person, but taking opportunities like this helps me overcome that fear and, at the same time, allows me to learn more about these issues that affect our community,” she said. “When I first started working there I was completely lost about what type of field I’d want to go into. I knew I wanted to help people, but I just didn’t know in what way or form to do it. Working there has allowed me to figure myself out as a person.”

Castellanos had high praise for Arterberry.

“She has been so much help,” Castellanos added. “Romanie is like a mother-figure to me. She is an amazing friend and mentor. The UCR community is very lucky to have such an amazing person like her on this campus.”

For more information about the internship program visit the Women’s Resource Center website or contact Arterberry or Adrienne Sims via email or at (951) 827-3337.

Past Presentations

Counting My Spoons:  Living Life with an Autoimmune Disease

Presented by Angelica Bautista, 4th year sociology major
Wednesday, January 23 – HUB 260, 7-8 p.m.
“In the beginning, I didn’t take my health seriously.  I treated it as if it was a common cold that would go away.”  A student’s story of hospitalizations, life changes and college life.

The Reality of Domestic Violence

Presented by Genesis Castellanos, 5th year psychology major
Thursday, January 24 – HUB 355, 5-6 p.m.
Broken bones, skull fractures, bruised and battered:  Sometimes prison is safer than being with the love of your life.  Listen as two victims from the prison system share their traumatic stories.

Upcoming Presentations

Organic Living

Presented by Melyssa Solomon, 4th Year, media and cultural studies major
Thursday, February 7 – HUB 260, 4-5 p.m.
Explore the definition of “organic living.”  Learn the importance of a life-change to a healthy lifestyle.  Find out how to eat well on a college student’s budget.

The Balancing Act

Presented by Brittney Sims, 4th year, anthropology major
Tuesday, February 12 – HUB 265, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Learn how students “juggle” everything in their schedule and maintain a sense of balance.

The Double Standard:  The Emotional Effects of Sexual Actions and the Idea of Sexual Cognition

Presented by Evangeline Elder – 4th year, public policy major
Two-part series: Tuesday, February 26 – HUB 367, 7-8 p.m. & Thursday, February 28- HUB 367, 7-8 p.m.
This program will provide a means for men and women to better comprehend the emotional effects of sex and understand the dehumanization of the sexual woman.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Romanie Arterberry
Tel: (951) 827-3337
E-mail: romanie.arterberry@ucr.edu

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