Springer Center for Internships
Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award


The Smith Career Center and the Springer Center for Internships congratulates the 2015 Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award. See below for highlights of this year's Award winners

Claire Annes

College: College of Education & Health Sciences
Major: Elementary Education & Learning Behavior Specialist I
Employer: Keshet

"In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to work for Keshet as a one-on-one counselor for a camper with special needs in an inclusive setting..." (Read Full Bio)
Aaron Freeman

College: Slane College of Communications & Fine Arts
Major: Communication – Sports Communication
Employer: Chicago Sky

"In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to work for the Chicago Sky, the WNBA team in Chicago. I was yearning for an opportunity..." (Read Full Bio)
Taylor Gawthorp

College: Caterpillar College of Engineering & Technology
Major: Mechanical Engineering – Energy
Employer: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

"Ever since I was a senior in high school, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in Green energy. It wasn’t until my studies at Bradley..." (Read Full Bio)
Melinda Schanzle

College: Foster College of Business
Major: Marketing – Social Media Marketing
Employer: Hult Marketing

"A year and a half ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I was entering my sophomore year, and Hult Marketing noticed my potential..." (Read Full Bio)
Sojourner White

College: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Major: Psychology & Spanish
Employer: Bradley University International Programs Office

"As the Study Abroad Intern for Bradley’s International Programs Office (IPO), my internship experience began last spring when I studied abroad in Granada, Spain..." (Read Full Bio)
As an Elementary and Special Education major, I was unsure which path of education I wanted to follow. In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to work for Keshet as a one-on-one counselor for a camper with special needs in an inclusive setting. Keshet, a nonprofit organization once founded by a small group of parents, provides educational and recreational programs for individuals with disabilities. Recreational programs allow opportunities for individuals to participate as a part of the mainstream population while having fun and feeling accepted. My experiences at Keshet proved to be some of the most fulfilling and wholesome days of my educational career.

Each day the counselors and their campers ventured off to different activities such as swimming, crafts, gymnastics, soccer, dance, and community field trips. My young camper has developmental delays, which caused significant differences between him and his peers. He required frequent repetition of instructions and consistent encouragement to participate in daily activities. Despite his challenges, my camper made an effort to greet others, share toys, and crack jokes daily.

Working with my camper for eight weeks over the summer provided me with a remarkable opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. I worked to adapt activities to fit the needs of my camper while providing a choice to foster his independence. Transitions are often challenging for individuals with special needs, so my camper and I worked together to set goals to transition to and from activities with less stress.

Throughout my time at camp, I experienced working with professionals in related fields such as social workers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. Working alongside multiple disciplines helped with designing behavior management and social plans for my camper. The skills gained working with professionals not only are assisting me in my clinical experiences of novice and student teaching, but they will be applicable to my future profession. Recently, I was offered the position of Assistant Director, an opportunity that will allow me to supervise and coach counselors into making the best possible summer for their campers.

Leaving camp knowing that my camper has further bonded and laughed with his peers makes overcoming challenges worthwhile. More than anything, this internship confirms my future career aspirations to make a difference in special education.
In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to work for the Chicago Sky, the WNBA team in Chicago. I was yearning for an opportunity to work in public relations for a professional sports team and a chance to put the skills I learned throughout my education in Sports Communication to good use. With the Sky coming off a trip to WNBA Finals, I knew this was the best opportunity for me to shine.

My job as a media and communications intern was, among other things, to assist in every facet of the media aspect for each Sky game both home and away. Before the season began, I spearheaded the re-design of the team’s game notes document and helped maintain the document throughout the season for each game. During home games, I assisted Sky broadcasters Eric Collins and Stephen Bardo every telecast to provide in-game statistics and story lines. I would also assist in creating and producing content for the Sky’s social media accounts before, during and after each game.

I am so grateful to have experience directly related to my degree and what I learned from my professors each day at the Slane College of Communications. Through connecting with various people I worked with including coaches, players and front office staff, I know that what I did this past summer helped contribute to the overall success of a professional sports organization and its fan base.

Overall, what I gained from working with the Chicago Sky is irreplaceable and will help me grow as a person and professional as I begin and expand my career.
Ever since I was a senior in high school, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in Green energy. It wasn’t until my studies at Bradley that my goals grew more focused and I decided that I wanted to focus on significantly advancing the world of sustainability, and in turn, help our planet. Last summer, I was given the opportunity to move forward in achieving my goals when I was accepted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Efficiency and Pollution Prevention (E2 P2) Internship Program.

The IL EPA E2 P2 program recruits upper-level college students, trains them in pollution prevention and energy efficiency methodologies, and places them at host facilities throughout the state of Illinois. Each student works on a predetermined E2 P2 project and makes recommendations directly to that company on ways to reduce or eliminate a particular waste stream at the source.

After a week of training with other interns from schools around Illinois, I was placed in Palos Hills, a suburb of Chicago, at Moraine Valley Community College on a water conservation assignment. There, I conducted a water audit of the campus, measured flush times of toilets, and flow rates of the sinks, and then calculated how much water was used for every flush and every time the sinks were turned on. In other words, I got to put my face dangerously close to toilets and urinals for most of my time at Moraine Valley. Weekly, I would give updates to the head of operations and then I saw workers implementing my recommendations right in front of my eyes.

Everything about my internship opportunity was an absolutely amazing experience. Not only did I learn things about sustainability and industry as a whole that I could never learn in a classroom, but I also discovered how deep my passion is for the career path I have chosen. And not to mention, I had the time of my life.
A year and a half ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I was entering my sophomore year and essentially had no real-world marketing experience. Hult Marketing noticed my potential, my passion, and my excitement and took a chance on me. Because of that, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Marketing Intern and Content Developer for the past year and a half. This experience allowed me to learn more about the industry, myself, and the real world than I ever thought possible.

Hult Marketing is a full-service marketing agency located in Peoria, IL in the revitalized riverfront district. Hult works with a broad portfolio of clients to provide them with a variety of integrated marketing services, including lead generation, brand development, thought leadership, website optimization, media planning strategies, and print advertising and design.

In my position, I was able to collaborate with the marketing team to come up with innovative strategies, take the lead on various internal projects, and implement inbound marketing campaigns that would attract, engage, and convert customers for both Hult Marketing and our clients.

Amongst my various responsibilities, I managed both our blog and our social media marketing campaigns. I worked to develop ideas, write the posts, and integrate search engine optimization to increase the contents’ results. This experience allowed me to learn the responsibilities of a full-time employee by handling client projects, using inbound marketing as a tool for building brand distinction, collaborating with a diverse group of people to create unified projects, and much more. Because of this amazing experience, I developed both personally and professionally.

Hult Marketing has been more than an employer to me. It has been a teacher and mentor throughout my professional career. I am thankful that Hult Marketing took a chance on me at the beginning of my sophomore year. Because of that opportunity, I have been able to learn about the marketing industry and gain hands-on experience. Whether I decide to stay in the agency industry or choose a different career path, I strongly believe I am well prepared for my career after graduation because of the outstanding experience I gained with this organization.
As the Study Abroad Intern for Bradley’s International Programs Office (IPO), my internship experience began last spring when I studied abroad in Granada, Spain. I spent a semester living with a host family, learning about international travel, improving my Spanish language skills, and volunteering.

To motivate more Bradley students to study abroad and understanding there was not an intern position available, I researched how to create and write an internship proposal to offer my services. Dr. Christine Blouch and Kathy Stinson, the IPO office staff, graciously supported and accepted my position.

The IPO’s mission is to help students “go global” by studying abroad. There are programs ranging in length from two weeks to one year, in 25 countries across four continents and over 30 cities around the world. The office prepares students and faculty to study abroad with orientation sessions, advising with the application process, transfer approval forms and program-based scholarships.

As a peer advisor and student outreach coordinator in the IPO, I planned a Study Abroad 101 Session for interested study abroad students and crafted an internship manual for future interns who work in the IPO. With English and Spanish presentations, I spoke to my peers in various classes to increase awareness about studying abroad.

I enjoyed talking to students about where and how they can study abroad, and why it was important. Additionally, I learned about pressing issues in international education and how to improve the IPO’s service. This included the beginning of an initiative called the Global Advising Program (GAP) which provides students contact with a peer who has already been abroad and can guide them through the process.

Being a Psychology and Spanish major and Women’s Studies minor, my career options are vast. Yet, this opportunity integrated my semester abroad and one of my last semesters at Bradley into a comprehensive year of growth as a student, professional and especially a public speaker. This experience opened my eyes to the international career possibilities around the world upon graduating and how I can “go global” again.








The five selected winners of the 2015 Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award will be honored in the following ways:

  • $200 award
  • Commemorative acknowledgement
  • Name and picture displayed on plaque in the Smith Career Center
  • Name and picture in the Scout
  • Name and picture on the Smith Career Center website
  • Recognition at various events in Spring 2016


Application Information

If you have an outstanding experience as a registered co-op or intern during 2016 and meet the application guidelines, please consider applying for the award. Guidelines and applications will be available for the 2016 Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award during the spring semester of 2016. Eligible applicants must successfully complete a registered internship course with the Smith Career Center during 2016 and must be a continuing student in the spring of 2017. For more information, please contact David Schwartz at the Smith Career Center.

Previous Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award Winners