Monthly Archives: June 2016

Mykala Harris: Federal Diversity Intern at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (New Orleans, LA)

Jazz. Jazz Hands.

greeting NOLA

The great NOLA welcomed me with open arms and a lot of humidity. The airport was not as large as many other international airports I have arrived and departed from, so it was easy to maneuver through the crowds of people. The ride from the airport was smooth and picturesque. From all of the negative thoughts surrounding Hurricane Katrina, my first impression was the direct opposite of what I expected to see throughout the streets of New Orleans. Though a lot of people were skeptical of my decision to come down to New Orleans, I am glad that I was able to see the city first hand.

The people of New Orleans are warm and inviting. Though it is a tourist city, if you enter a new shop or restaurant, you are greeted like you are a frequent visitor. A lot of business owners throughout my travels in Europe were not very inviting or friendly. However, I believe New Orleans, as a whole, loves to give everyone the best time of their life. Whether you are going out for crawfish or gelato, you will find people who will make sure that you have the best quality and the best experience. Southern hospitality at its finest!rivewalk outlets

Oh, and do not be afraid to ask for discounts or specials! The tax in New Orleans is 14.5%, so it will quickly add up. If anyone has ever been to Washington, D.C. and has bought anything, it is similar to that experience. Your subtotal maybe $9, but with tax it is roughly $11. For my foodies and shopaholics, make sure that you catch food deals crawfishsuch as $10 plates before 3 pm, festivals, clothing sales, and street vendors. Even though you are having fun, be smart with your money and budget as much as possible!

Also, before you leave NOLA, be sure to embrace everything the culture has to offer. During the summer months, there is a festival every weekend by the river. The festivals put NOLA’s culture all in one place. There is traditional music, traditional food, and great people. You can choose to go alone or with someone, either way you will always have a great time. If you love seafood, make sure that you eat crawfish; if you are of legal age, drink a Daiquiri; and if you love music, make sure you listen to some jazz.

jazz festWhatever you do decide to do when you come to NOLA, make sure you live it up! Stay tuned for more about the infamous Bourbon Street, Canal Street, and Essence Festival festivities.


Follow My Journey on SnapChat (kikis_ego) for exciting times throughout NOLA.

Peace. Love. Harmony.



Stephanie Michel ACRE


Photo Courtesy of Dr. John Pankratz

Hello all! 🙂 Welcome to my first blog post about my Albright Collaborative Research Experience (ACRE)! In this blog postI will be speaking about what brought me to the ACRE program! I first learned about the ACRE program during my freshman year by visiting the Experiential Learning and Career Development (ELCDC) Office. I’d like to call that office one of my homes at Albright because I am definitely a regular. Everyone is so helpful in the office! I’ve worked with Laura Kline, Karen Rieker, and Karen Evans. It got to the point where I would call and Cindy Becker would know who I was by just saying, “Hello, my name is Stephanie!”  So….shout out to the ELCDC! If you haven’t gone to the ELCDC yet during your time at Albright so far, put that on your to do list! I have learned so much from them about networking, resumes, interview tips, and internship searching!  

Now, back to my ACRE! 🙂 I knew I needed to complete an honors thesis to graduate with college honors but I also knew that I would have no time senior year to compile my data from start to finish with all my school work and outside work to attend as well. Well… I may have been able to do it but I wouldn’t have done it to the best of my ability and that is important to me. After some deliberation, I thought maybe I should apply for an ACRE since I would have some free time over the summer. Well, the thought of applying for ACRE works but you need to ask a Professor to work with you, and….you need a PROJECT! I was missing both.


Fall of 2015, the Psychology Department gained a new professor, Dr. Hearon, a Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist. Before she arrived, during spring of 2015, my advisor, Dr. Couchman knew that I needed to complete a thesis and also suggested the possibility of completing an ACRE to me. He knew that my interests lie in health so he told me that the Psych Dept.will be welcoming Dr. Hearon to Albright the following semester and that I should wait, introduce myself, and speak to her about my interests and ideas to see if she would be willing to work with me. I was scheduled to take Dr. Hearon’s Health Psychology course during the Fall so I knew I would meet her then. I also knew that I needed to establish myself as a good student in her course so she would be willing to work with me. I know… sounds devious right but I didn’t do anymore than I expected of myself because my grades are important to me as well as having the respect of my professors. I added that piece because it is important to be conscious about what steps you need to take to reach your goals. There is nothing wrong with that!

Sorry everyone! I get sidetracked sometimes! 😀 To continue, on one of Dr. Hearon’s first days at Albright, I met with her during an office hour and we began to brainstorm. I am interested in meditation and how it affects individuals, which matched Dr. Hearon’s interests in health psychology. So then, over the Fall and Spring we came up with a project idea and Dr. Hearon agreed to work over Summer 2016 on an ACRE with me, upon approval from the ACRE Committee. Yay!

Our project is titled “The Effects of Meditation on Perceptions of Attractiveness in Women.” We had to complete the ACRE application which took some work and time to do. Since we also had to complete an Institutional Review Board Research Review Form (IRB), we explained the same information twice which made the process a little easier. I’m so excited to learn more about how to do research, use new software, and run participants!


My IRB and Planner are ready for Summer ACRE 2016!


Mykala Harris: Federal Diversity Intern at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (New Orleans, LA)


Oh, the last summer before graduation! It is bittersweet as I know when I return in the fall, it will be my last year at Albright College. The first three years have flown by as everyone said they would. As a first generation college student, I started off college wanting to explore and complete everything that I could before I walked across the stage in May 2017. The journey has been long, but beneficial to my future endeavors and success. The Experiential and Career Development Center (ELCDC) here at Albright College has been very supportive on my road to self-growth by extending opportunities and assisting in exploring different options for career success.

When I thought about what I wanted to do with my last summer as a semi-adult, I knew I would complete an internship. (I thought about studying abroad again, but I think I will hold off until Alternative Spring Break!) I applied to many different internships that included sales, retail, and banking. However, I came across a competitive internship through the Washington Center. It was a program where many people apply, but few get selected. (Kind of like Google). Out of over 800 applicants, only 80 were selected for the regional program.

Furthermore, The Washington Center has many different programs under its organization, but I chose to apply for the Federal Diversity internship. It is aimed toward minority students who have above a 3.0 GPA. The program pays for housing, your transportation to and from your chosen city, and you are given a stipend for the summer that is distributed twice a month. The Federal Diversity Program does place you around the country, so you have the option to intern anywhere within the USA. If you apply, you have to be willing to relocate. I fit the criteria and everything was paid for, so I applied.

Now after applying for internships or any program, there is the “Waiting Game.” I call it the waiting game because you are anxiously waiting to hear back from a recruiter or staff member to say that you have qualified for the next round of interviews or that you are the perfect fit for their company. Neither is true for the Washington Center. Either you get a call, or email, that says you were selected or denied. The Washington Center was my top choice, so I waited to hear back before I chose to intern with another company that I had in my back pocket. I was selected as 1 of 80 and I could not be more excited. My location was going to be in New Orleans, LA and I became even more excited! Anyone who knows me, knows I love to explore new cultures and travel. New Orleans could not have been a more perfect place!

Program Info: