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2014 WOW Internships

Madeline Engeler

Liset Hernandez

Allyson Parziale

2014 Summer Internship Blogs

Caitlin Buegeler

  • Read Blog 1!

  • Read Blog 2!

  • Read Blog 3!

    In her final SEWA USA internship blog, Caitlin writes, ". . .Although my courses at Brandeis have emphasized the differences between creating change on the macro vs. micro level, I have realized during my time with Sewa International that not everyone is aware of the macro-level policies in place to help them. This realization leaves me wanting to learn more about health policy in order to spread the information to communities such as the one I worked with this summer. . ." Want to read more?  

Jessica Plante

  • Read Blog 1!  

  • Read Blog 2! 

    Jessica writes inthe second installment of her Riverside Community Care (RCC) internship blog, ". . . In recruitment, there are always a number of priorities to balance, so my day never has a set schedule. A fair amount of what I do now is checking new hires’ references…and, a lot of the time, reaching references is the hardest part of recruitment! When I manage to get in contact with a reference, the conversation can last as little as five minutes or as long as an hour.  When I’m not doing reference checks, I’m searching for candidates. This is probably how I learn the most about what actually goes into the mental health care workforce (at least at RCC). At any given time, RCC has about 100 job openings across Massachusetts! . . .Want to read more?  

Chen Zhang

  • Read Blog 1!

  • Read Blog 2!

  • Read Blog 3!

    As he summarizes 'lessons learned', Chen writes in his final blog posting, ". . . I was able to make use of my strengths as an HSSP major when AdMeTech was developing an ad campaign. . . I insisted that the ad emphasize the word “early” because early detection is what AdMeTech has done differently than other organizations promoting prostate cancer awareness. Thanks to my training as an HSSP major, I strongly believe that preventive/primary care that can detect a disease in its early stages is of substantial benefit to people’s health and decreases costly dependence on more expensive forms of care. My colleagues saw my passion, understood my reasoning, and accepted my suggestion for the ad campaign. . . "  Want to read more?  

Past HSSP Internship News and Blogs 

News ~

  • Little did HSSP Senior Daniel Leisman know that a clinical research study that he designed and completed through his summer internship would lead him to Vancouver and the Pediatric Academic Societies' 2014 annual meeting this May! Read On!


Blogs ~

poster session

Experiential Learning


Overview:  The Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) Program offers the following five options for fulfilling the Hands-On Experience (HOE) Requirement:

1.      A health-related Internship and an Internship Seminar:  HSSP 89a - HSSP Internship, ENVS 89a - Environmental Studies Internship, LGLS 161b - Advocacy for Policy Change, PAX 89a - Internship in Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Studies, or WMGS 89a - When Violence Hits Home;

2.      HSSP 98a/b - Independent Research;

3.      HSSP 99d - Field-based Senior Thesis;

4.      A health-related Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS); or

5.      A health-related Study Abroad.

Note:  Prior written approval is required for all HOE options.

  • For Options 1 and 4, students must request approval from Andy Hart, our HSSP Internship Instructor.
    • Additionally, for Option 2, students must request approval from the HSSP Chair.

    • Additionally, for Option 3, students must request approval from the HSSP Honors Coordinator.

  • For Option 5, students must request approval from the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison.

After reviewing the information below, if you have any questions about these HOE options, please contact our HSSP Internship Instructor.


Option 1: A health-related Internship and an Internship Seminar

Many HSSP majors complete their HOE requirement with HSSP 89a - Internship and Analysis

This course for declared HSSP majors combines: 1) a supervised health-related internship, and 2) a weekly, classroom-based discussion during the Internship Seminar.

Internship Guidelines:

  • The internship placement must be arranged in consultation with the HSSP Internship Instructor.

  • Internships must be approved in writing by the HSSP Internship Instructor before the internship begins.

  • Internships must be “health-related”, i.e., in a health (care) organization whose work involves:

    • Science (e.g., natural sciences and medicine),

    • Society (e.g., the social sciences and public health), and/or

    • Policy (e.g., law, politics, economics, and organizations).

  • Internships may be completed:

    • During the summer (i.e., prior to the Internship Seminar) and such summer internships must span at least 8 weeks and 110 hours; or

    • During the academic semester and such internships must span at least 10 weeks and 100 hours.

  • Internships can include work in either the public or private sectors.

  • Ideally, students will complete the Internship Seminar as close as possible to their internship; however, ultimately it’s their decision as to how to fit these requirements into their schedule.

  • Internships can be either unpaid or paid. To receive credit for a paid internship, the student must notify the HSSP Internship Instructor that the internship is paid and get prior approval from the HSSP Internship Instructor. If an internship is approved as an unpaid internship and a student then receives funding for this internship, the student needs to inform the HSSP Internship Instructor. However, the internship will remain approved, unless the student is informed otherwise.

Note: With prior written approval from the HSSP Internship Instructor, a student may substitute a health-related internship taken in conjunction with one of the following Internship Seminars:

  1. LGLS161b - Advocacy for Policy Change (Prof. Melissa Stimell |

  2. ENVS89a - Environmental Internship (Prof. Laura Goldin |; students also interested in interning with Healthy Waltham should first speak with Prof. Goldin – i.e., do not contact Healthy Waltham)

  3. PAX89a - Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies (Prof. Leigh Swigart | -- (for Sorensen Fellows only),

  4. WMGS 89a - When Violence Hits Home (Prof. Deirdre Hunter |

Note: Click here for a fuller description of each of these options.

Internship Requirements:  Students must fulfill the following requirements to secure an approved health-related internship and enrollment in HSSP in any health-related Internship and Internship Seminar:

  1. Meet with the HSSP Internship Instructor in the fall of their sophomore or junior year;

  2. Complete the Student Profile before any meeting with the HSSP Internship Instructor;

  3. Declare HSSP as a major;

  4. Complete the Internship Approval Form; and

  5. Receive prior written approval before beginning their internship.

Students should plan ahead and be aware of this schedule so that they do not jeopardize the approval of their internship. Failure to plan may result in more time and resources devoted to their completion of the HSSP major.

Option 2:  HSSP 98a/b - Independent Research

Under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty or faculty sponsor approved by the HSSP chair, students will conduct an intensive laboratory or field-based project that culminates in a 20- to 25-page research paper relating the research to science, society and policy. This requires a one-semester commitment.

The project requires collection of primary data or use of existing data (with permission from advising professor) for analysis. Literature reviews and library-based projects are not appropriate for HSSP 98. Students should have prior training in the appropriate research methods that will be used during the project. In addition, students are responsible for finding an appropriate faculty supervisor by the end of the semester preceding enrollment in HSSP 98. If the faculty supervisor is not a member of the HSSP faculty, approval of the project by the chair of HSSP is required before students can register for HSSP 98.

Option 3:  HSSP 99d - Field-based Senior Research

With the approval of the HSSP chair and under the direction of a member of three HSSP faculty members, each student will conduct an original health-related research project field. Similar to the independent research option, the senior thesis requires collection of primary data or use of existing data (with permission from advising professor) for analysis. Literature reviews and library-based projects are not appropriate for HSSP 99d.

Students who select this option will register for HSSP 99d in both of their two final semesters, one of which will count toward the major requirements. This option can be used for students who wish to seek HSSP Honors (see Honors Requirements).

Students who complete their internship requirement through the other options may still be eligible to undertake senior honors thesis research.

Note: See HSSP Senior Thesis Guidelines for more details.

Option 4:  Health-related Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS)

A health-related JBS can fulfill the HOE requirement will satisfy the HOE requirement. JBS programs are integrated and immersive academic programs. Small groups of students explore a topic in depth through academic courses linked to real-world experiences. JBS programs teach important real-world transferable skills. Interested students should meet with the HSSP Internship Instructor before applying to the JBS program.

In Summer 2015, there will be three Justice Brandeis Semesters:

  1. Food, Lifestyle & Health - Professors Elaine Lai & Lindsay Rosenfeld:   12 credits (3 courses):  BISC 4bj - Food, Nutrition & Health, BISC 10aj - Diabetes, and HSSP 120bj - Health Care Landscapes.  This JBS is for a wide variety of students and majors that want to learn more about a current public health issue that spans biological, social, historical, economic, nutritional, health and policy domains.

  2. Health, Law & Justice - Professors Sarah Curi & Alice Noble:  12 credits (3 courses):  LGLS 114aj - American Health Care: Law & Policy, LGLS 131bj - Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine & Ethics, and LGLS 98bj - Independent Research.  Health, Law & Justice is designed for students with career interests in public policy, medicine and health care, law, ethics, business, and social research, and for any student curious to understand how the American health care system works in practice.

Option 5:  HSSP 98a/b - Study Abroad

Fieldwork performed during a Study Abroad program may satisfy the HOE requirement. Students interested in this option must first speak with and obtain prior written approval from the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison, and then notify the HSSP Internship Instructor in the semester prior to beginning the Study Abroad program. The program will be reviewed to ensure it meets criteria for a hands-on experience in a health-related field.

Upon completion of the Study Abroad experience, students must submit a 20-25 page paper to the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison. The HSSP Study Abroad Liaison will review this paper to ensure programmatic requirements are met. If met, the HOE requirement will be fulfilled.