HIGHLIGHTS

About Our Internship Program

Niagara Foundation offers a highly competitive internship program that gives students and recent graduates the unique opportunity to make important professional contributions to our success. Interns are assigned a long-term project that they work on during their 12 week internship in addition to daily responsibilities. Long-term project assignments range from new program development, creating strategic plans, research and analysis, as well as contributing to the organization of department specific programs. Niagara Foundation internships are unpaid.

General Requirements

Internships are available to undergraduate / graduate students and recent graduates from an accredited college or university. Individual internship postings have specific requirements so be sure to read each description before submitting an application.

How to Apply

Send your resume and writing sample to internships@niagarafoundation.org


Niagara Foundation’s Center for Public and Global Affairs offers platforms for distinguished speakers to spotlight trends, analyze important issues, exchange ideas, and participate in productive interactions that promote innovative global and public policy solutions.

Internship opportunities are available every quarter/semester for students who wish to participate in a learning environment where he or she will gain work experience for the future. The intern will assist the Director of the Center for Public and Global Affairs with daily operations, as well as larger, long-term projects. Responsibilities include researching local and international forum topics, writing bios for forum speakers, interviewing forum speakers, and managing membership and speaker databases. The ideal candidate is able to work flexible hours and attend weekly forums.

Internship Requirements:

• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit to 12 hrs/wk for 12 weeks
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills with strong writing skills
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadline
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity

Desired Skills/Preferences:

• Pursuing a degree in International Relations, Public Policy, Journalism, Communications, or other related fields
• Interest in and ability to readily acquire knowledge on international affairs
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Center for Interfaith Engagement

Niagara Foundation’s Center for Interfaith Engagement encourages pluralism by providing opportunities for all cultures, communities and faith groups to be engaged in dialogue though a variety of programs. Signature programs include the annual Abrahamic Traditions and Ramadan Experience dinners, the Abraham’s Tent home interfaith dinner program, our Sacred Sources discussion program, the Sharing the Faith series, and the annual Chicago Interfaith Gathering.

Internship opportunities are available every quarter/semester for students who wish to participate in a learning environment where she or he will gain valuable work experience in the field of inter-religious dialogue and community development. The intern will assist the Program Director of the Center for Interfaith Engagement with daily operations, as well as larger, long-term projects. There is also opportunity for personal/academic development in weekly one-to-one coffee chats with the Program Director over topics of specific interest.

Responsibilities include overseeing the organization of the Abraham’s Tent program and its database development, management of event invitations, and communicating with participants; assisting with preparation for Sacred Sources programs; logistical support for major Sharing the Faith events; and writing blog posts for promotion and/or review of interfaith events. Depending on the time of the year, Interns will also be working on the planning and coordination of the center’s annual interfaith programs. Interns will be expected to bring a spark of innovation in developing new cross-cultural and interfaith programs and opportunities for members. The ideal candidate is able to work flexible hours and attend Niagara events.

Internship Requirements:

• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit 1 full school quarter or semester
• Must be able to commit at least 10 hours a week in the office
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills with strong writing skills (please attach a writing sample with application)
• Ability to produce weekly blog posts

Desired Skills/Preferences:

• Pursuing a degree in Theology, Religion, International Relations, Communications, Sociology, or Anthropology.
• Interest in and ability to readily acquire knowledge on current trends in religious and international affairs
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment
• Ability to bring creative approaches to problem solving
While we thank all applicants for their interest, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.


Center for Academic Affairs

Niagara Foundation’s Center for Academic Affairs works in collaboration with distinguished universities and scholars to make advancements in all academic fields more visible by offering platforms for discussion.

Internship opportunities are available every quarter/semester for students who wish to participate in a learning environment where he or she will gain work experience for the future. The intern will assist the Director of the Center for Academic Affairs with daily operations, as well as larger, long-term projects. Responsibilities include researching speakers and topics, organizing conferences, and contribute to a new academic publication currently being created. The ideal candidate is able to work flexible hours and attend weekly forums.

Internship Requirements:

• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit 1 full school quarter or semester
• Must be able to commit at least 10 hours a week in the office
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadline
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills with strong writing skills

Desired Skills/Preferences:

• Pursuing a degree in Sociology, History, Economics, Business, Communications, Psychology, Anthropology, or other related fields
• Interest in and ability to readily acquire knowledge on international affairs
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.


Human Resources Internship

Recruiting / Talent Management

Niagara Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Chicago in 2004 currently with branches in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The foundation is committed to building global bridges locally by convening dialogue that fosters understanding, respect, and acceptance. Niagara Foundation envisions a community in which people from all walks of life interact with each other and cooperate to serve their communities, thereby strengthening civil society and promoting the development of shared human values.

Internship opportunities are available every quarter/semester for students who wish to participate in a learning environment where he or she will gain work experience for the future. The intern will work closely with the Director of Human Resources on recruitment, training, and other employee related projects simultaneously.

Responsibilities may include communicating with candidates via phone and email, database management, assisting with the on-boarding processes, managing open internship postings on various career and university websites, attending college career fairs with the HR Director, analyzing data and creating presentations for office leadership, and many others.

Requirements:
• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit at least 12 hours a week for 12 weeks in the office
• Applicants must have a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in human resources
• Strong writing skills are required

Knowledge & Skills:
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills
• Excelling organizational and analytical skills
• Ability to think strategically and understand interrelations within an organization
• Highly proficient on MS Office Suite, particularly in Excel

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

Niagara Social Media Internship

Niagara Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Chicago in 2004 currently with branches in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The foundation is committed to building global bridges locally by convening dialogue that fosters understanding, respect, and acceptance. Niagara Foundation envisions a community in which people from all walks of life interact with each other and cooperate to serve their communities, thereby strengthening civil society and promoting the development of shared human values.

Internship opportunities are available every quarter/semester for students who wish to participate in a learning environment where he or she will gain work experience for the future. The social media intern is essentially an “intelligence gatherer” for all of Niagara’s social media platforms. He or she will work with the Director of the Communications to research topics and will post content related to Niagara events and international affairs.

Responsibilities include: researching and posting for social media, researching for blog, contacting Niagara members for interviews and research, and using multimedia for web campaigns. This is an excellent opportunity for journalism students to build a stronger web presence and strengthen their ability to pitch, research and edit. Additionally, interns will be encouraged to participate in brainstorming and developing new programs and initiatives.

Internship Requirements:
• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit at least 12 hours a week for 12 weeks in the office
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work in a team-driven environment.
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills
• Strong writing skills and working knowledge of AP style are required
• An established social media presence is preferred

*Note: This internship application requires a writing sample – journalistic or research-based.

Desired Skills/Preferences:
• Pursuing a degree in Journalism, Communications, International Studies, Political Science or other related fields
• Curiosity and ability to quickly absorb information related to international affairs
• Experience working with multiple media, i.e. video editing, photography, podcasting is desirable, but not required
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.


Writing and Reporting Internship

Niagara Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Chicago in 2004 currently with branches in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The foundation is committed to building global bridges locally by convening dialogue that fosters understanding, respect, and acceptance. Niagara Foundation envisions a community in which people from all walks of life interact with each other and cooperate to serve their communities, thereby strengthening civil society and promoting the development of shared human values. The writing and reporting intern plays a big part in that mission by creating content that keeps our community informed and engaged outside of Niagara events.

The writing and reporting intern has similar responsibilities as a reporter to an online newspaper. The writing and reporting intern will research content, interview contacts, and contribute to the development of Niagara’s news site. He or she will work with the Director of the Communications to pitch ideas and will post content related to Niagara events and international affairs. Interns are also responsible for helping with writing press releases and other PR assignments.

Responsibilities include: researching and contributing to blog, contacting Niagara members and sources for interviews and research, and producing PR materials. This is an excellent opportunity for journalism and communications students to build a diverse writing portfolio and strengthen their ability to pitch, research and edit. Additionally, interns will be encouraged to participate in brainstorming and developing new programs and initiatives at Niagara.

Internship Requirements:
• Must be an undergraduate/graduate student or recent graduate
• Must be able to commit 1 full school quarter or semester
• Must be able to commit at least 12 hours a week for 12 weeks in the office
• Ability to respectfully communicate and work with diverse community groups varying in age, religion, denomination, and ethnicity
• Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
• Ability to process and protect confidential information
• Ability to work in a team-driven environment.
• Have excellent verbal, interpersonal skills (will be calling and interviewing sources)
• Strong writing skills and working knowledge of AP style are required
• An established social media presence is preferred

*Note: This internship application requires a writing sample – journalistic or research-based.

Desired Skills/Preferences:
• Pursuing a degree in Journalism, Communications, International Studies, Political Science or other related fields
• Curiosity and ability to quickly absorb information related to international affairs
• Experience working with multiple media, i.e. video editing, photography, podcasting is desirable, but not required
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Emily Ramos
Public and Global Affairs Intern, Summer ’14
DePaul University, Sociology

Emily Ramos is a Global and Public Affairs intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is about to enter her senior year at DePaul University, and is majoring in sociology with a minor in communications and media.  At DePaul, Emily is involved in many organizations that reflect her interest in social justice.  One of these organizations is Alpha Phi Omega, a fraternity that promotes friendship and leadership through community service.  Emily is also a mentor for the Students Together Are Reaching Success (STARS) peer mentorship program.  This program ensures the academic success of at risk incoming freshmen by pairing them with an upperclassman student who guides them through their transition into college.  After graduation, Emily hopes to pursue a career in the field of public policy.


Whitney Lewis
Public and Global Affairs Intern, Summer ’14
DePaul University, International Studies

Whitney Lewis is a Center for Public and Global Affairs Intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a Senior at DePaul University majoring in International Studies with a minor Applied Psychology. She is also currently interning with MGR’s Food Circle as a program assistant addressing issues of food insecurity through a rescue and a distribution format. She had the opportunity to spend the summer of 2013 in Fez, Morocco studying at the Arabic Language Institute. After receiving her BA, she is interested in exploring the dynamics of power through a post-colonial lens, conflict resolution and diplomacy, as well as race/racialized identities in the neoliberal era.


Ryan Bisceglia
Web Design Intern, Summer ’14
Marquette University, Advertising and Corporate Communication

Ryan Bisceglia is a Web Design Intern at the Niagara Foundation and is going into his senior year at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He plans on graduating this winter as a double major in Advertising and Corporate Communication with a concentration in design and planning. After returning from an ethnographically-focused brand tracking course in England and the Czech Republic, he decided that he wanted another experience that would allow him to combine his interests in communication and world culture; he believes understanding cultural differences is the key to effective communication. He looks forward to working with the Niagara Foundation to achieve their goals and learn more about the cultural, religious and political communities in Chicago, the Midwest and the world.


Danny Davis
Writing and Reporting Intern, Summer 2014
Lawrence University, Government and Philosophy

Danny began his internship with Niagara in the summer of 2014 after completing his sophomore year at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is currently pursuing a degree in government and philosophy. Danny serves as the president of the Lawrence Interfraternity Council which promotes the interests of Lawrence Greek life through campus-wide charity events, formals, and open-to-campus social events. Additionally, Danny also contributes to the op-ed section of The Lawrentian, Lawrence’s student newspaper. As an opinion writer, he covers a variety of topics ranging from critiques of Lawrence’s administrative policies to philosophical perspectives of major world events. Danny joined the Niagara team with the hopes of new challenges to develop his skills as a writer. He also hopes his work with the organization will help him better understand his Jewish identity in a world of many different faiths and ethnicities. He will be traveling to Israel this summer and hopes that his experiences will offer something unique to the Niagara Foundation as well as fresh, exciting material to write about.  Be sure to catch up with him on his experiences in Israel later this summer on Niagara’s blog!


Nooria was born in Afghanistan, Kabul. When she was 28 years old, her husband Mutasim, who was the leader of Islamic Council of the People of Afghanistan (CPA), invited her the United States.  Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Nooria was always interested in knowing about the world and international relationship and how these relations can be either constructive or destructive. Therefore, she decided to study International Studies at DePaul University. Nooria was also interested in philosophy because philosophy could enable her to know the truth, that is, what makes an act good and what makes it evil. Also how do we know what we know and many other provocative questions that could be only solved through philosophical inquiries. Traditional ways of treating women in Afghanistan, for Nooria, were not acceptable and she was always searching for different ways to help women fight the perpetual oppression that they faced. For this reason, she has been a women’s right activist as well as political activist. For Nooria women oppression and politics are interconnected; therefore, she believes that having a sound regim in Afghanistan is a presupposition of women’s rights. She was a women’s rights activist during different kinds of regimes, during which she organized many literacy programs for adult women and informed women about their rights and taught them how to free themselves from the shackles of the patriarchal system. Therefore, in 2009 when her husband ran for a presidential campaign, she risked her life and traveled all over Afghanistan to fight the oppressive political regime. She was a campaign manager and a key speaker.  Her revolutionary and influential speeches brought thousands of women to participate the campaign rally. One of scariest challenges that Nooria confronted was in the southern Kandahar province, which is still in the Taliban’s stronghold.   Despite nearby explosions shortly before a scheduled campaign event, she shocked locals by proceeding with a town-hall meeting that was broadcast by television networks, including the BBC and Al-Jazeera. After the 2009 election, Nooria became even more convinced  that without having a strong relationship with the world, it is impossible to accomplish her dream. Therefore, she started to move beyond  her comfort zone  and meet a diverse community. Last year, she traveled to Turkey for two weeks and she found Turkish political system a model that can work for every other Muslim country. Therefore, since then, Nooria is excited to work with a Turkish-American foundation because these two combinations can bring Nooria’s dream into reality.


Geri Michalzuk
Human Resources Intern, Summer ’14
DePaul University, Human Resources Management

Geri Michalzuk is a Human Resources intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is originally from Dearborn, Michigan, growing up surrounded by diverse culture. She will be starting her senior year at DePaul University in the fall, working towards graduating with a Bachelors degree in Management with a concentration in Human Resources, and a minor in Public Law/Political thought. Geri has always been interested in law, and plans to pursue Employment Law after undergrad.  At DePaul, Geri is involved in a few different organizations. She is a member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority where she works closely with their philanthropy, the Special Olympics. She is also treasurer of the Women in Business club, a member of the Society for Human Resources, and part of the morale team that helps put together a 24-hour dance marathon, DemonTHON, which benefits Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. Being involved and surrounded by different types of people working towards similar goals is very important to Geri. She believes it is important integrate and understand perspectives in order to constantly grow and enhance the community.


Yanelis was born in Cuba and when she was nine years old her father decided to bring her to America for a better future. After high school Yanelis decided to continue her education at Triton College. During her two years at Triton, she participated as an intern at the Television and Radio Department. Yanelis discovered her passion for editing, writing and being in front of the camera. She was part of Triton College Radio, participating in morning shows and recording audio for the oncoming events. When she received her associates degree in Communications she decided to continue her education. Yanelis is a current student at North Park University getting ready to start her Senior year. She is an intern at the Career and Internship Department at North Park University helping commuter students to find their way to get involved on campus activities. She will graduate with a degree in Media Studies and hopes to follow her passion as a reporter.


Katie Stever is a Center for Cultural Exchange & Interfaith Collaboration Intern at the Niagara Foundation. In the fall of 2014, she will be a senior at Hamline University majoring in religion and minoring in creative writing. Katie spends her time in Hamline’s theatre department as the scene shop manager where she builds sets for the season’s performances. Katie will be doing a departmental honors project in the upcoming school year studying the causes and effects of the decline of the American Protestant church. She is believes that dialogue between cultures that are different from one another is important in order to create a healthier and more sustainable community.


Brandon Carter

Writing and Reporting Intern, Summer ’14
DePaul University, International Studies

Brandon Carter was born in Detroit, Michigan and when he was about three years old his family moved to Valparaiso, Indiana. He has always had a strong interest in world history. As he learned about the world he became more interested in economics and international law. In June of 2013 Brandon graduated from Depaul University with a major in international political economy and a minor in economics and Japanese. He was involved in only a handful of extracurricular activities but he found them very fun and beneficial for meeting new people and making friends. Some of these extracurriculars were the LAB: Depaul’s breakdancing club, Depaul rugby, Depaul Leadership Scholars, and working as a resident advisor in the University Center of Chicago. In the past he had interned with the Consulate of Japan, the International Law School Association, and taught English in Zaragoza, Spain for three months. Brandon enjoys traveling and has had the opportunity to see 9 different countries in his lifetime, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Egypt, the Bahamas, Canada, Spain, France, and England. Each journey had put him in contact with someone who saw life from a different angle. This is one reason why Brandon Carter enjoys meeting new people. He believes one always has a story to tell and we can always enrich our lives by listening from time to time.


Hannah Ward

Writing and Reporting Intern, Spring ’14
DePaul University, English

Hannah Ward is a Writing and Reporting Intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a junior at DePaul University, and she is majoring in English with a concentration in Literary Studies and minors in Journalism and Environmental Studies. She is a Chicago Quarter Mentor, which consists of teaching a class of Freshman college students about diversity, identity, service, and the various communities in Chicago. She is a DePaul Honors Student, a member of Sigma Tau Delta, and the student representative for the English Department. She spent last quarter as a Public Relations Intern at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Over spring break, she volunteered in national parks in Colorado and Utah to support more sustainable practices in the area and help the local community better utilize their resources. After graduation, she hopes to work in the communications department of a nonprofit focused on environmental awareness and sustainability.


Megan Deppen
Writing and Reporting Intern, Winter ’14
DePaul University, Journalism

Deppen is the writing and reporting intern at the Niagara Foundation. A sophomore in the DePaul University honors program, Megan is working towards her degree in journalism with a minor in history.Megan is passionate about immersing herself in new cultures and plans to study world war era history in Bonn, Germany next fall. Outside the Niagara Foundation, Megan is a tutor the DePaul University Writing Center and writes for the DePaulia student newspaper. Megan hopes to continue traveling, writing, and taking photos until she can find her place with a forward-thinking, international organization like the Niagara Foundation after graduation.

“I knew I would be an intern, but I hadn’t anticipated becoming a valued contributor to Niagara’s mission. In addition to their worthwhile cause, Niagara inspires, educates, and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds into their warm office for some Turkish tea and enlightening discussion. Niagara has opened the door for me to enter the community of international peacebuilding and dialogue, and I will carry Niagara’s mission with me as I navigate my future career as a journalist and global citizen.”


Kristin Micek

Public and Global Affairs Intern, Winter ’14
DePaul University, Masters Candidate in Media and Cultural Studies

Kristen Micek is a Center for Public and Global Affairs intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a Media and Cinema Studies graduate student at DePaul University. She received her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University in English with a minor in Digital Cinema. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Athens, Greece where she took classes on Greco-Roman history, Greek language, mythology & religion, and art & archaeology. As a graduate student, Kristen has been a teaching assistant and is currently working on her thesis. Her academic interests include narrative evolution, intersections of society and media, and the manifestation of cultural anxieties in popular cinema. Following her master’s studies, she will be attending law school to pursue international communications and media law.


Danmei Zhang

Human Resources Intern, Winter ’14
Loyola University, Masters Candidate in Human Resources

Danmei Zhang is a Human Resources intern at Niagara Foundation. She is currently in MSHR Program at Loyola University, receiving a Master of Science in December 2014 in Human Resources Management. Danmei got her Bachelor degree of Communication in Atlanta. Her communication and interpersonal skill contributes a lot to HR field. Danmei did an internship at Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) as she finished undergraduate degree. After graduating from Loyola with Master degree in Human Resources, Danmei is considering to be an HR consultant in a global company.


Paige Girardi

Center for Cultural Exchange & Interfaith Collaboration, Winter ‘14
DePaul University, Anthropology

Paige Girardi is a Center for Cultural Exchange & Interfaith Collaboration Intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a senior at DePaul University and is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Arabic Studies. Paige spends time volunteering with Refugee One, an organization that is dedicated to the empowerment and aid of refugees in Chicago. She works as a women’s mentor and helps run an afterschool program for refugee children. Last year, Paige spent the semester in Fes, Morocco studying the Arabic language and Moroccan culture. She is also currently an intern with the Girl Scouts of America, a non-profit organization focused on leadership and service among young girls, which allows her to mentor girls in their independent leadership projects and activities. Paige is passionate about intercultural dialogue, cultural studies, and international humanitarian aid and service. In her free time, Paige is a dedicated runner. Following graduation, she hopes to volunteer with the Peace Corps and explore more of the world!


Lauren Messenger

Public and Global Affairs Intern, Winter ’14
Loyola University, Masters Candidate in Political Science

Lauren is a Center for Public and Global Affairs intern at the Niagara Foundation. Currently, Lauren is a Masters student at Loyola University Chicago majoring in Political Science with a concentration in global politics, with an anticipated graduation of Spring 2015. She graduated with honors from Lewis University in May of 2013 with BA in Political Science and Philosophy of Law. During her time on campus, she was a member of three academic honor societies, and the recipient of the Philosophy Department Senior Award, which is based on academic achievement. Her research interests include international human rights law, constitutional rights, and international conflict. After graduating from Loyola, Lauren hopes to pursue a career in international relations, focusing her attention in human rights and conflict management. She would like to continue her education by obtaining her PhD in Political Science.


Amber Staines
Center for Public and Global Affairs, Summer ‘13
Miami University, International Studies and Economics

Amber Staines is a Center for Public and Global Affairs Intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a senior at Miami University and is majoring in International Studies and Economics with a concentration in international development. On campus, Amber is serving as the secretary of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and as a volunteer for Global Business Brigades. This past fall, Amber spent the semester in Geneva, Switzerland studying international relations and business. She was also afforded the opportunity to intern at World Vision International, a humanitarian and development organization focused on women and children, which allowed her to work at the United Nations and experience the diplomatic process. Diplomacy and international and intercultural dialogue are where Amber’s passions lie. Following graduation, she hopes to enter the Foreign Service.

“My time at Niagara Foundation has been invaluable. I have had the opportunity to work on projects that will undoubtedly set me apart from other candidates as I go out into the workforce. I have also been able to work with people from many different backgrounds, opening my eyes to different religions, cultures, and ways of life. Niagara’s cause of promoting global fellowship is dear to my heart and I am excited to take what I learned at Niagara to continue working towards peace through diplomacy and dialogue.” – Amber Staines


Trevor Harty
Social Media Internship, Summer ‘13
Northwestern University, Psychology

Trevor Harty is a social media intern at the Niagara Foundation. He is a Sophomore at Northwestern university, majoring in Psychology. During the school year he divides his time between class, producing and acting in several student-created webseries, and working as a research assistant in a social psychology lab. This summer, besides working at the Niagara Foundation, he is also continuing the research assistant position, studying how both demographic and self-created roles impact our daily lives. Trevor intends to continue developing a diverse portfolio of psychology-related experiences, and next summer will either be interning with a counseling organization, or will apply for an undergraduate research grant, though he also hopes to explore other areas of public service work, including the Niagara Foundation.


Lindsey Conger
Center for Public and Global Affairs, Summer ’13
Indiana University, Journalism with a concentration on Public Relations and Radio

Lindsey is interning in the department of Public & Global Affairs at Niagara Foundation. She is a senior at Indiana University majoring in Journalism with a specialization in Public Relations and Radio and a minor in Psychology. She is also currently interning in the Marketing department at Humanitarian Service Project, who distribute groceries to impoverished seniors and children. While at school, Lindsey is a reporter and producer of a short program Skin for American Student Radio. Prior to her internship at Niagara Foundation, she volunteered at Middle Way House, a half-way house for domestically abused woman, as a Public Relations intern. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys bike riding and was a co-founder and member of a bike team and participated in the Little 500 for four years. After graduation, Lindsey plans on working in the Public Relations department for a non-profit.


Stephanie Lee
Center for Public & Global Affairs, Summer ‘13
M.A. Thunderbird School of Global Management

Stephanie Lee is Public and Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Before becoming a M.A. candidate she attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she received a B.A. in International Studies with a focus in International Law. During her time at UIUC she studied abroad in Granada, Spain where she took classes in Spanish Law, Islamic Studies, Spanish Language and Grammar and Spanish Art History. Upon graduating from UIUC she returned to Spain for another year to obtain a certificate in Spanish Politics, Spanish Business and Spanish Language and Grammar. After obtaining from a Master’s degree from Thunderbird, Stephanie plans to pursue a career in International Relations.


Corinne Stubbs
Center for Public & Global Affairs, Summer ‘13
M.P.P. University of California, Los Angeles, Public Policy

Corinne Stubbs is a Public & Global Affairs intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is currently a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is working towards a Master of Public Policy with a focus on international, social and environmental policy. Before her time at UCLA, Corinne received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, majoring in Broadcast & Electronic Communication and minoring in Music. During her time at Marquette, she studied abroad at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. While in South Africa, she worked at Bush Radio 89.5 MHz FM, a non-profit, community radio station that was very active during the end of the apartheid in the fight against racial segregation and injustice. Corinne hopes to one day work for the U.S. Department of State.


Gabriela Polo
Center for Public and Global Affairs, Summer ’13
DePaul University, International Studies and Economics with a concentration in Latin American Studies and a minor in Sustainability Studies

Gabriela is a Public & Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She will be graduating from DePaul University in June 2014 with a B.A. in International Studies and Economics with a concetration in Latin American Studies and a minor in Sustainability Studies. As an international student from Ecuador, Gabriela loves to travel and engage in intercultural exchanges. She works as a Resident Advisor and has received DePaul’s Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for the past three years. She is also a member of various honors society including the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honors Society, Phi Beta Delta International Honors Society, and Sigma Iota Rho Honors Society for International Studies. As a Vincentian Misson Fellow, Gabriela has been developing a project to find realistic solutions to improve public elementary education in several low income nieghborhoods in her hometown. She currently volunteers at the Marillac House tutoring kids ages 4 to 12. Gabriela is a recipient of DePaul’s undergraduate summer research grant and plans to travel to Ecuador during the summer to meet with indigenous and civil society leaders and learn more about Ecuador’s environmental Yasuni-ITT initiative. After graduation, Gabriela wishes to pursue a Masters in Sustainable International Development.

“It has been a privilege to work for an organization that finds richness in diversity and strives to create spaces for interreligious and cross-cultural dialogue. In today’s world it is vital for people from different walks of life to come together and understand and celebrate their differences. I love that Niagara is a part of this process” – Gabby Polo


Eleanor Peck
Center for Public and Global Affairs, Spring ’13
B.A. Roosevelt University, Political Science

Eleanor Peck is a Public & Global affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She is a recent graduate of Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus in International Relations. Eleanor was selected in summer 2012 to attend the Young Atlanticist NATO Summit as a Chicago University representative. During that time she also interned for Congressman Mike Quigley in his district office. Additionally, she worked at Roosevelt University as a tutor and a peer instructor while studying there. She plans on returning to school to receive her masters in International Relations next year.

“Working at Niagara this summer has been a challenging but intensely rewarding experience. I have gained experience in event planning, research, and strategic planning, while also enjoying myself immensely. Working in Niagara’s diverse environment has been endlessly enriching. This organization will always have a special place in my heart.” – Eleanor Peck


Brendan Dowd
CENTER FOR CULTURAL EXCHANGE & INTERFAITH COLLABORATION, ’13
M.A. Catholic Theological Union, Theology with a concentration in Interreligious Dialogue

Brendan Dowd is interning in the department of cultural exchange and interfaith collaboration. He is currently finishing his MA in Theology with a concentration in Catholic-Muslim Dialogue at the Catholic Theological Union having the privilege of studying under Dr. Scott Alexander. Having made the transition from his art director’s chair, Brendan hopes to flex his creative muscle as he begins his work in the field of interreligious dialogue. Brendan is interested in exploring unique ways of creating spaces for encountering the “other” and learning from already existing confluences of convivencia. Brendan received a BFA in Visual Communication with minors in Political Science and International Studies from Loyola University of Chicago in 2007 and is currently active in the former Jesuit Volunteer community of which he served in Anchorage, AK from 2007-2008.


Elizaveta Melkova
CENTER FOR PUBLIC & GLOBAL AFFAIRS, Winter ’13
Lake Forest College, International Relations

Elizaveta Melkova is a Public & Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She is currently a junior at Lake Forest College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in May 2014 in International Relations with minors in Politics and French. Elizaveta is very passionate about travelling to foreign places, learning different languages, and experiencing new cultures. She spent last year in Munich, Germany studying business administration, learning German, and traveling around Europe. Next fall Elizaveta is planning to participate in the Lake Forest College Paris Program which will help her to improve her French language skills and provide an opportunity to hold an internship in International Business. After graduating from Lake Forest College Elizaveta is hoping to earn her Masters degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business.


Usma Baseer
CENTER FOR PUBLIC & GLOBAL AFFAIRS, Winter ’13
Roosevelt University, Industrial Organizational Psychology

Usma Baseer is a Public and Global Affairs intern at the Niagara Foundation. She is a senior at Roosevelt University studying Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a focus in cultural relations and integration in the workplace along with a minor in Human Resources Management. Currently as an undergrad, Usma is a member of the Dean’s list, and is an active volunteer at Morrill Elementary helping underprivileged children in Chicago create a safe and open environment to advance their educations. Her social and academic interests are mainly focused on helping people for the greater good of society and creating peace within communities of her own and others. She has also volunteered at different Mosques in the Chicagoland area, and gave workshops on how to promote peace and restrain from conflict and violence. She plans to get her Masters degree at Roosevelt and eventually a Ph.D to further her knowledge in Psychology.


Vincent (Yunxiu) Deng
CENTER FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Winter ’13
M.S. Loyola University Chicago, Integrated Marketing Communications

Vincent Deng is a Social Responsibility intern at Niagara Foundation. He is currently a graduate student of business school at Loyola University of Chicago concentrated on Integrated Marketing Communications. During his undergraduate studies in Beijing, Vincent put his marketing knowledge and skill fully into practice by initiating a non-profit project, One Racquet One Dream, which is committed to improving the condition of sports education at migrant schools. As the Founder and Project Manager, he worked with his team to set up a public fund as well as a voluntary teaching program. Approximately 250 students from 14 universities were involved in the voluntary service and over 500 badminton racquets have been donated. After graduating with his Master’s Degree, he plans to work as an integrated marketing specialist in a company with core value of creativity and humanity such as Wholefoods and Toms Shoes.


Danya Sherbini
CENTER FOR CULTURAL EXCHANGE & INTERFAITH COLLABORATION, FALL ’12
Northwestern University, History, Concentration in Asia & Middle East

Danya Sherbini is a Cultural Exchange & Interfaith Collaboration intern at Niagara Foundation. She is a junior at Northwestern University studying history, with a regional focus on Asia and the Middle East. This past summer she received a research grant from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to explore the theme of Turkish identity though the lens of Turkish literature. She is a member of Global Engagement Summit, a student group that holds an annual capacity building summit for students from across the country and the world who have change-based projects and project ideas. Last spring, she went on a trip with Global Engagement Summit to Istanbul. She has also traveled to Egypt, France, China, and Singapore. She hopes to attend law school after graduating from Northwestern.

“My experience as an intern at Niagara Foundation has made me extremely interested in interfaith cooperation. I hope to apply the ideas and knowledge I gain from this experience to future work or research on the field. Working with Niagara Foundation has allowed me to strengthen my research and communication skills, and has also allowed me to develop creative ideas for the Center for Cultural Exchange and Interfaith Collaboration. I have been greatly inspired by Niagara Foundation’s commitment to creating a community in which people from all cultural, religious, and social backgrounds are valued and respected.” -Danya Sherbini


Jeannette Papalotti
CENTER FOR PUBLIC & GLOBAL AFFAIRS, FALL ’12
B.A. DePaul University, International Studies and Journalism

Jeannette Papalotti is a Public & Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She is a recent graduate of DePaul University, receiving her B.A in International Studies with a concentration in Social Justice and Ethnic Conflict and a minor in Journalism. As an undergrad, she was a member of the Dean’s List, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Her academic and social interests have focused on international law and displacement caused by international public policy. She is currently a volunteer writer for a Compassion and Justice Newsletter, and prior to her internship at the Niagara Foundation, she volunteered with CPT—an international organization that focuses on peace building in conflict areas. Jeannette hopes to pursue a career in the area of social justice, advocating for human rights and working in conflict areas overseas. She plans on returning to school to receive her Masters in International Relations.

“My experience at the Niagara Foundation has provided me with the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, allowing me to develop new skill sets and expand my knowledge of non-profit work. As the Public and Global Affairs intern, I have had the fortune to meet highly distinguished individuals and attend forums that focus on topics relating to local and international affairs. But more importantly, I had the pleasure of working alongside an awe-inspiring, dedicated staff, building lifelong friendships. Being a part of this Foundation means being a part of a community that works to promote a peaceful and tolerant society.” -


Swapna Pisipati
CENTER FOR PUBLIC & GLOBAL AFFAIRS, FALL ’12
M.A. DePaul University, International Studies, Middle Eastern Affairs

Swapna Pisipati is a Public & Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. She is currently a Graduate student at DePaul University studying International Studies with a concentration in Middle Eastern Affairs. During her undergraduate career at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she was the Secretary of UIC Model United Nations and campaigned for the Obama Administration in 2008. Currently, she is involved in various organizations such as Alpha Kappa Psi, Model United Nations, G.LO.B.E, UNICEF and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Additionally, she has worked for DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago as an IT Assistant and Administrative Assistant, while interning at The World Trade Council as a Public Relations/Communications.

“Working for the Niagara Foundation has been an educational and informative experience when it comes to meeting dignitaries and delegates from all over the world. During one of the many Luncheon Forums the Niagara Foundation hosts, I had the opportunity to see dialogue established between many culturally diverse individuals in the Midwest region. Interning for the Niagara Foundation has been an exceptional experience, thus far, and I hope to maintain the bonds created for a lifetime.” -Swapna Pisipati


Tom Willmot
CENTER FOR PUBLIC & GLOBAL AFFAIRS, SUMMER ’12
Illinois State University, History and Political Science

Tom Willmot is a Public & Global Affairs intern at Niagara Foundation. He is currently a senior at Illinois State University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in May 2013 in History and Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern and South East Asian studies. Tom has focused academically and professionally on International Relations and Political Economy. As the president of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, he is focused on political and economic stability as well as ending war. He has studied in Europe and traveled extensively throughout the continent. Tom hopes to go on to earn a M.A. in Political Science and later a Ph.D. in the field of Political Science.

“My time at Niagara Foundation not only introduced me to the idea of religious pluralism, but also introduced me to new cultures. During my internship experience I was given the opportunity to expand my professional skills as well as a chance to work in the nonprofit sector. I was immersed in intellectualism while at the foundation, and had the opportunity to meet and talk with distinguished scholars and academics. Besides this, I was able to work with extremely dedicated individuals that truly believed in the cause of global fellowship. My time at the foundation was marked by caring and compassionate individuals who I am honored to call friends and be part of their community.” -Tom Willmot


Joseph Ruttenberg
Center for Public and Global Affairs, Spring ’12
M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Political Science, Civic Leadership

Joseph is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Civic Leadership Program. He is currently serving as the External Affairs Officer of the Civic Leadership Program and Graduate Resident Advisor of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. During his undergraduate studies, Joseph majored in Political Science and minored in Sociology. He studied abroad at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom to further his education in Sociology and gain a new perspective of the world from his European peers. Joseph chaired the Deltona Committee, which raised over $27,000 for the American Cancer Society and currently volunteers at the Champaign County Humane Society. After graduating with his Master’s Degree, Joseph plans on working in the security and intelligence field.

“Working at the Niagara Foundation opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking as well as provided an introduction into new cultures and religions. Taking a cultural trip to Turkey with Illinois General Assembly members, lobbyists, and other business professionals is an experience I will never forget. I am glad to have made the friendships that I did during my time at Niagara, and I will bring forth Niagara’s philosophy of global fellowship everywhere I go.” – Joseph Ruttenberg


Eric P. Hunt
INTERFAITH LUNCHEON FORUMS AND INTERCULTURAL TRIPS ‘07
B.A. Aurora University, History and Religious Studies

Eric P. Hunt is currently a middle school teacher of History and Religious Studies in the suburbs of Chicago. He also coaches high school soccer and wrestling. Eric was an early intern for Niagara Foundation before they moved to their beautiful new location on Michigan Avenue. He served as the Interfaith Luncheon Forums Intern as well as the Intercultural Trips Intern from 2007-2008. He was fortunate enough to travel to Turkiye twice in 2007 and 2009. He led numerous community leaders from Illinois on two-week tours of the country, connected those Illinoisans that had similar hobbies, passions and jobs to their Turkish counterparts. He even helped established Aurora, Illinois and Izmir, Turkiye as “sister cities.” In 2008, he became the Wackerlin Fellow in the Religion Department at Aurora University. After spending time traveling and working in the interfaith dialogue world, Eric settled down to join the education world and begin a teaching career. He is still actively involved with the Niagara Foundation and hopes this continues for many years.

“My experience at Niagara was the most profound, enjoyable, educational, and exciting time of my life. This was an absolute life-changing experience.” – Eric P. Hunt