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Miriam Crouse Gains Experience Through Mount Research Internship

Nicole Patterson

“I had plans to spend the summer semester in France with Dr. Roman and I scrambled at the last minute to get an internship to fill the cancellation which was ultimately postponed as well. I also had plans to study in Prague this fall,” said Miriam Crouse, C’22, an international studies and French major with a minor in history. “The beginning of the summer made me feel as though all my doors were closing—but I quickly resolved to go with the flow as much as possible and look at the situation from a broader lens.”

miriam-in-text.jpgShe is thankful the Office of Competitive Fellowships offered her a stipend to support 90 hours as a research assistant in Latin American development working with Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science Amanda Louise Beal Krause, Ph.D.

Crouse says her internship came at an opportune time. Last fall she completed Dr. Krause’s Investigative Politics course and enjoyed the focus on research and common forms of political writing. Like Dr. Krause, who recently returned from a research sabbatical in the spring, she shares an interest in nonprofit work and faith-based organizations.

From June 13 to August 14, Crouse completed her virtual research internship. “My work translated to a virtual format quite well. I was provided all the necessary research materials and was able to work independently to create annotated bibliographies and begin the initial outline of the literature review,” she said.

The literature review, one part of her research, evaluates the current literature in the development field of faith-based organizations in Latin America, Crouse explained. “I like that my research is in a field that interests me and allows me to learn about organizations that are doing important work.” She is especially intrigued by the work of religious organizations, minority religions and loved learning about unique, grassroots approaches to community development.

Lessons from COVID-19 7 Post-Graduation Plans

“The pandemic has provided the world with a wake-up call and an opportunity to take a break and evaluate themselves in relation to others,” Crouse said.

After graduation, she would like to secure a job that allows her to help the most vulnerable—whether through nonprofit work or a government agency. “I would love to work overseas for a time and experience life in a culture that is different from the U.S.,” Crouse shared.

Learning Outcomes

As a self-motivated student, Crouse says this summer internship challenged her time management skills, as she also completed summer courses. “Professionally it provided me with the opportunity to gain research experience and contribute to a future publication—which is a nice complement to my degree coursework.” She’s excited to return to campus and hopes to continue involvement, even in a limited way, with Maryland State Legislature, French club and club soccer.

Nicole Patterson