On Air: A Coveted Internship with Public Radio

Sukey LewisI‘ve gained a lot of skills working as an intern for KQED,” says Sukey Lewis, a senior in the Humanities and Cultural Studies program. “I’ve learned how to research and craft a relevant story, how to produce a show, how to write content for a web site, and how to communicate assertively and confidently with well-known, successful people.” The last, she says, has been the hardest of all for her. “I wasn’t very assertive before starting this internship,” she confesses.

Like all Humanities and Cultural Studies students, Sukey was required to gain experience working in the community by either signing up for an internship or taking a service-learning class. And, like her peers, Sukey has learned just how valuable it is to step off the campus and into the community to gain hands-on experience in her area of interest.

Sukey chose KQED because, she says, “I wanted to see how public radio is being crafted and to test it as a career option.” In a position coveted by many, Sukey works directly with Michael Krasny to help produce Forum, a weekday morning show listened to by people around the world that explores issues of local and international interest. In addition to some clerical work, including contacting prospective guests for interviews, she helps research show content and has been encouraged by Michael to come up with her own ideas for shows.

Sukey is drawing upon what she has learned at Dominican to develop show suggestions, just as the radio program is reinforcing what she has learned in the classroom. The connection between the two is clear to her. In fact, for a proposed show on veterans she contacted a Navy Corpsman medic who completed two tours in Iraq. He had been a guest in her very first Pathways class, Foundations in Adult Learning with Chase Clow, and his presentation on life as a war medic made a lasting impression on Sukey. “Having a guest speaker with an entirely different lived experience exposed me to a new point of view and really opened my eyes. Now that I’m interning at KQED, I am even more aware of how vital it is to understand and appreciate diverse cultural perspectives.”

Sukey will continue to intern at KQED until the end of January. In the mean time, she just completed an outstanding collection of original short stories for her required capstone experience, the Humanities Senior Project. What’s next for Sukey? “Being hired full-time at KQED would be great,” she beams. Barring that, she’ll take some time to travel and enjoy this world she’s been studying in such great depth.

You can see a sample of Sukey’s work at KQED here. She suggested and helped produce a show on the SF Giants; she also wrote the web site description for it. Go team, go! To learn more about the internship program at Dominican, contact Susan Fyles in the Career and Internship Office.