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We recognized six individuals and organizations that dedicated their energy and expertise to successful internships in 2013 during the 8th Annual IMPACT Awards luncheon, sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College. These are the first three stories; we will post the other three in an upcoming blog.

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Pam Plain Intern of the Year (College/University)

Pam Plain led an international public health initiative as a summer intern with Komen Tissue Bank (KTB) at the IU Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.

KTB began to collect breast tissue from women all over the world, and started in Kenya, Africa, where the prevalence of a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer is common.  Plain made arrangements for facilities and transportation of medical and surgical supplies and volunteer materials from the United States to Kenya.

“This involved tens of thousands of dollars, superb communication skills and organizational skills, and an understanding of different cultures,” declares Jessica Henderson, assistant professor of health sciences at Indiana University. “This was an extraordinary accomplishment; I have never seen a responsibility of this magnitude given to an intern.”  Following her internship, Plain was asked to serve as the volunteer coordinator for the Kenya project.

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Sarah Mihich Intern of the Year (College/University)

In small nonprofits operating on bare-bones staff, interns often play a critical role in overall effectiveness. Sarah Mihich immersed herself in all aspects of the Art Spaces office in Terre Haute during her internship, and her leadership quickly became an asset.

“Part of being a good leader is setting a good example for those around you, and Sarah set a high standard for other interns,” explains Mary Kramer, executive director of Art Spaces. “She was able to take charge in situations when it was important that we be able to rely on her to work without assistance or oversight.”

Mihich processed gifts and thank-you letters, communicated with board members, attended committee and board meetings, and was involved in event planning. She was also in charge of the 2013 Year of the River e-blast newslinks, and she maintained two web sites and three Facebook pages.  She researched all of the Wal-Marts in the Wabash Valley and wrote customized proposals to each on behalf of Art Spaces. Kramer calls these grants “longshots;” however, Mihich successfully procured a generous donation for a sculpture project.

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Hannah Cole Intern of the Year (Non-traditional)

Enthusiasm. Dedication. Leadership. All of these words describe Hannah Cole’s successful internship with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in 2013.

Cole launched the Riley Connections blog. She collaborated with eHealth to assure a timely launch, making sure all invested individuals were included in the communications.

“The time and energy she put into the project are proven in the final product,” notes Lora Gates, statewide marketing manager for IU Health. “She continues to suggest relevant ideas for improvement.”

Cole was key in working with eHealth and clinical leadership to update web content for services provided to patients and families. She also organized and staffed events, no matter if the event was on a weekday, weekend or evening.

“She was committed to being where she was needed, when she was needed, never once letting down the team she worked with side-by-side,” Gates recalls. “Her enthusiasm and work ethic for all of the areas in which I have seen her work are commendable.”

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