Following their experiences studying abroad in the spring, Mikaela Benny ’19 and Shaamar Samuel ’19, MAT ‘20 are helping to advance environmental research as communications interns for Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) this summer. Benny develops videos, presentations and press releases for scientists in the plant pathology division, while Samuel is aiding the team in event planning.
“Creating content that explains the value of this research is vital to not only ensuring results and action from findings, but also to creating opportunities for research in the future,” says Benny. “Science, in many ways, is a language in and of itself.”
For Benny, a media and society major, the internship is an opportunity to apply her passion for storytelling in a professional setting. “Writing has always come the most naturally to me and I look forward to building a career in communications and marketing around those strengths,” says Benny, who recently returned from studying abroad in Rome.
Aiding the Station’s administration, Samuel is helping plan events like the Empire State Farm Days, research workshops and cider production classes. “Having a world-renowned research center right in Geneva that plays a vital role in agriculture and food safety is an invaluable resource,” says Samuel, who sees the internship as just the latest in a wide-range of experiences meant to provide perspective in his future career as a teacher.
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet new people in a field that’s new to me,” says Samuel, who spent the spring semester studying abroad in London and explored the social impact of theatre as a Sills Family Endowed Fellow last summer.
A history major and a member of the Caribbean Student Association, Samuel will earn his Master of Arts in Teaching from the Colleges in 2020.
At HWS, Benny is a Writing Colleague, study mentor and writer for the student publication Her Campus. She previously volunteered as a coordinator for America Reads and is completing a second internship remotely this summer with the photo and video editing app RLY.
The Colleges hold a long-standing relationship with NYSAES, which hosts several students throughout the summer and academic year in internships and research roles. The Station is known for working to safeguard New York’s production of fruits and vegetables, developing new crops, enhancing food safety for consumers and promoting economically viable farming solutions.