Students spend break exploring extracurricular activities

Even though regular classes ended for summer, plenty of learning experiences are available during these break months.

Several students have come forward to tell their summer stories, each with different but equally enriching adventures.


Senior Audrieauna Beatty spent her summer months interning at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Beatty is in the process of obtaining a geographical information science degree. She said the program taught her not only information pertaining to her major, but also knowledge in different STEM fields.

“I haven’t been a GIS major for that long,” Beatty said. “I wanted an internship that would give me some exposure to what I could be doing with my degree.”

Beatty said the summer internship gave her a better idea of how to proceed after she graduates from UNA.

“The benefits of having an internship are that it helps build your resume,” she said. “It can help you decide what to do with your degree.”

She said the connections made at an internship can be important later on when searching for a job.

“I recommend students get an internship because most jobs require some experience in the field that you’re pursuing,” Beatty said. “Stay in contact with the people you meet in (an) internship. Those people may be able to help you in the future.”

Educational Road Trip:

UNA students Allen Childers, Haley Craig and Dylan Rose spent 10 days this summer in near-constant motion.

The three students are a research team for the UNA psychology department. They traveled to 24 cities in 10 days as part of a religious imagery project.

“(We) were driving some of the country’s interstates to take pictures of the religious billboards we saw, just to get an idea of what types are out there, what groups use them and major themes,” Rose said.

The team stopped in major cities such as Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, Sacramento, California and Los Angeles. Rose said this was the most fun, extensive road trip he had participated in.

“Personally, I learned that we live in a beautiful and amazing nation,” Rose said.

Rose said organization and analysis of the data from the trip will happen soon, and she is very thankful for the trip.

“Everyone should make it a point to visit out west,” he said. “Twelve hours a day of riding in a car aren’t too bad when you’re having fun.”

Study Abroad:

Many students had the opportunity  to study abroad this summer in Salamanca, Spain, and also visited Madrid during their monthlong international adventure.

Senior Alex Gould said being immersed in Spanish culture helped him tremendously with his major.

“We had class from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. every day,” he said. “Then, we had an open discussion when all we did was speak Spanish.”

Gould also said living in a Spanish-speaking country was overwhelming but rewarding.

“Sometimes we would look at (the Spaniards), confused, and they would know to speak in more basic Spanish so we could understand,” he said. “Now that I’m back in the country, I can’t look at something without thinking of the Spanish equivalent in my head.”

Gould said he recommends study abroad to other students because it offers things that one cannot learn in a classroom.

Senior Dustin Phillips said he values partaking in educational activities rather than just vacationing in the summer.

“When you’re on vacation, a lot of times you do what you want to do, and when you do something extracurricular, sometimes you’re getting out of your box,” he said.

Although next summer is almost a year away, students can take notes from the adventures of these individuals and use it to plan for the future.