Friday, July 10, 2009
Religion internship placed senior Jamie Schonberg in the community By Amanda Benjamin, student writer
Senior Jamie Schonberg completed the first-ever religion internship at Oakland University during the winter semester to fulfill a requirement for her independent major in religion, something that is also required for a religion minor or concentration.
“The internship piece, I think, is very important to bridge the gap between the program and the community,” said Charles Mabee, director of the religious studies program, who added that there are two religion interns this summer.
“I really enjoyed what I did,” Schonberg said. “This is the first time since I've been studying religion where I’m actually out in the community using religion.”
As part of her internship, Schonberg taught Sunday school for a group of high school students at the First Congregational Church in Rochester and worked at the Detroit West District Peace Center at the Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield.
She gained experience planning meetings and religious pluralism events, working to expose the community to different religions and creating a forum.
As an activity for her Sunday school class, Schonberg had the students make “grateful bags,” where students wrote down what they were grateful for and put it inside paper bags.
Her favorite experiences were at the peace center, where she created a forum about the conflict in the Gaza Strip and wrote an essay about Judaism for the peace center Web site.
“I got to apply what I learned in the classroom to my internship,” she said.
According to Schonberg, spending time with people who used religion in their work was a valuable experience. “I got to work with people who are passionate about teaching religious diversity,” she said.
Schonberg also helped a fellow student out by passing information to Mabee, who had a student interested in an internship working with religion in schools.
“It’s a very valuable learning experience,” Schonberg said. “You can cater it to your specific interests.”
For more information, visit the religious studies Web page.