As a 2010 recipient of the Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend Award, Lisa Philippone ’11 will again get the chance to travel to India, to put her classroom learning to the test.
A cultural anthropology major, with minors in Latin American studies and environmental studies, Philippone spent last fall studying in northern India and, during fall break, worked at the family-owned Mansukh Organic Farm on the outskirts of the desert village of Barodia in the northern state of Rajasthan.
“I learned more about myself and the world around me in four months abroad in North India than I ever imagined,” Philippone says.
This summer, she will return to Mansukh to work on the farm, learning about the lives of the region’s inhabitants, local customs and the details of the operation of the farm. The farm is supported by the proceeds from commercial sale of farm goods and is run by the family and other certified teachers who live in the village.
Philippone will work with the three brothers who own the farm, helping to prepare the summer crops, developing a new plot of land for farming and learning about the challenges of farming in the desert region. She will also teach English and computer classes at the Sundar Mandal Vidhya Mandir School.
Her experiences in India will feed into her Honors Project, which extends her research from her Independent Fieldwork Project in India, focusing on the conflicts and difficulties Hindus face in their beliefs and purification rituals, with water scarce or polluted.
“This experience will allow me to pursue what I would like to do in the future,” Philippone says. “It will help me gain a better background in teaching, as I plan to go into academic Anthropology after graduate school.”
And while teaching, Philippone will also be learning.
“With many of the family members learning to speak English and students at the school learning the language, I will help them enhance their English as they will help me do the same with Hindi,” she says. “My goal in life is to make a difference; as an anthropologist, I want to create social change, help solve pressing human issues, and learn about myself and the world.”
Philippone is a Helen Heath Scholar and a member of the Dean’s List. She works for the HWS Office of Admissions as a tour guide and the anthropology department as a research assistant. She is a member of the William Smith Varsity Cross-Country Team.
The Salisbury Stipend, now in its fourth year, is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges’ history. Created by Honorary Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, the fund provides financial support for each for three students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice. By supplementing classroom education with internship experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.
In the photo above, Philippone is pictured with her mentors Professor of Sociology Sheila Bennett and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Brenda Maiale.