Students to Intern in Asia, Thanks to Freeman Foundation Grant
May 10, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— More than two dozen Illinois Wesleyan University students will
intern in Asia starting in June, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation.
The Freeman Foundation grant covers airfare, housing, a living allowance, and all
internship placement and visa costs for the students. With offices in New York and
Honolulu, the Freeman Foundation works to strengthen the bonds of friendship between
the United States and countries of east Asia. The $400,000 grant, payable over two
years, is the second internship grant received from the Freeman Foundation.
"The successful completion of the Asia internship program last year was key to obtaining
the renewal funding from the Freeman Foundation. More IWU students will be exposed
to Asian culture and will have the experience of working and interacting with Asians
in a real work setting,” said Professor of Sociology Teddy Amoloza, who has served
as director of the program from its inception. She has worked closely with Hart Career Center staff and the International Office, and with Asian Studies and International Studies faculty to implement the program.
The first group of IWU Freeman Asia interns traveled to the region in 2015 as a result
of a $100,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation. Several of the students who applied
for the opportunity in 2016 said they were heavily influenced by the “fantastic experiences”
of last year’s cohort.
One of this year’s students is student athlete Eric Rydell ’17. He said his track
and field teammate Ariella Tavor ’16 interned last year at the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines. “She said the whole experience
– from the travel to the culture and the people – was great, so she kind of pushed
me to apply,” said Rydell. He will intern at Human Nature, a top Filipino brand of
natural and organic cosmetics and personal products. Human Nature is a new internship
site in this year’s IWU program.
Rydell said he considered the IWU Freeman Asia program a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to travel outside of the United States and work for a summer with almost no cost to
me and to represent Illinois Wesleyan in a very different way.”
He said his experience at Human Nature will focus on social enterprise development.
“I’m excited to understand how people work and to compare differences in the workplace
to those here in the U.S.,” said Rydell.
This year’s Freeman Foundation grant has allowed Illinois Wesleyan to expand the number
of students in the program and also provide additional internship sites. New placements
this year and the students interning at those sites are:
Human Nature, Manila – Elizabeth Oltman ’17 (psychology major from Port Byron, Ill.); Eric Rydell ’17
(psychology major from St. Joseph, Ill.)
Akita International University, Akita City, Japan – Andrew Litherland ’18 (computer science major from Le Roy, Ill.)
Food & Nutrition Research Institute, Manila – Keila Magafas ’18 (biology major from Chicago); Susan Tonin ’18 (mathematics and
economics double major from Beach Park, Ill.); Hyeon-Bin (David) Yoon ’17 (nursing
major from Bloomingdale, Ill.); Brianna Dao ’17 (nursing major from Rockford, Ill.)
Institute of East and West Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea – Zoe Bouras ’18 (International Studies major from Aurora, Ill.); Molly Johnson ’17
(political science and International Studies double major from Westmont, Ill.)
Internship sites continuing from last year and this year’s students include:
Gawad Kalinga – Suchana Chaulagain ’18 (biology major from Bloomington, Ill.); Morgan Flynn ’18
(biology major from Sherman, Ill.); Jessica Gutheil ’17 (psychology and Hispanic Studies
double major from Libertyville, Ill.); Brandon Honig ’17 (environmental studies and
political science double major from Elmhurst, Ill.); Christopher Taraszka ’17 (environmental
studies major from Burbank, Ill.); Nate Wilkins ’17 (psychology major from Freeland,
IRRI – Piotr Barnas ’17 (biology major from Hampshire, Ill.); Kiersten Bergquist ’18 (environmental
studies major from Oak Lawn, Ill.); Abigail Brown ’17 (biology major from Des Peres,
Mo.); Jamie Gradishar ’17 (biology major from Lombard, Ill.); Mansi Patel ’18 (biology
major from Schaumburg, Ill.); Vishnu Divya Velupula ’18 (biology major from Bloomington,
Lingnan University, Hong Kong – Emma Alcock ’17 (sociology and Hispanic Studies double major from Wheaton, Ill.);
Regina Blaskie ’17 (International Studies and political science double major from
Shorewood, Ill.); Aida Cheung ’18 (history major from Rowland Heights, Calif.); Citlalli
Gonzalez’18 (International Studies major from Melrose Park, Ill.)
Technos International College, Tokyo – Kyle Serafico ’17 (nursing major from Buena Park, Calif.)