Note from Alice: Meet Our Summer Intern Council!
We are thrilled to announce that our inaugural Summer Intern Council has kicked off! We know that many talented students are ready to make a difference in the world, and we are excited that our intern program is now underway, providing challenging, engaging work and lessons for this geographically diverse crew that will have a substantial impact on our organization. They bring a wide range of perspectives and expertise to the table, and we know our programs—and ultimately our mission—will benefit a great deal from their input and involvement. It was fabulous getting to know them and hearing their stories.
We received almost 100 qualified applications, creating quite a difficult decision-making process, but we are pleased to have selected seven enthusiastic and accomplished students to comprise the Intern Council. These students will spend eight weeks assisting Beyond Celiac with market research and designing and implementing a national volunteer network while working directly with and learning from each department of our organization. Working remotely and representing their region, these highly motivated interns will work both independently and collaboratively on projects designed to drive our organization forward.
I am thrilled to introduce you to this year’s council members:
Emily Brown from Rochester, NY
Psychology major, global public health minor at Arcadia University
Emily is passionate about accelerating research and has already led focus groups related to psychology, marking and web research. Her goals for the program are to find ways to actively target young people with celiac disease and focus on translational science.
Ross Cogan from Cherry Hill, NJ
Business management major at the University of Maryland
Ross was diagnosed with celiac disease eight years ago and believes that “staying quiet won’t get you anywhere.” As the VP of the University of Maryland Sports Business Society, he manages their social media accounts and their newsletter and hopes to use his experience in digital engagement to help other young people have a stronger voice in the celiac disease community.
Valerie Kraft from Carmel, IN
Medicine, health and society; women’s and gender studies; and psychology major at Vanderbilt University
Valerie is a triple major as well as an active member of the Beyond Celiac Patient Advisory Council. She wanted to join our intern program to continue to work even more closely with the Beyond Celiac team. Her goals include championing celiac disease community comradery while focusing on a cure through direct engagement.
Emma Leger from Grand Junction, CO
Cellular biology major and chemistry minor from Colorado Mesa University
Emma was diagnosed with celiac disease at 15 months old, living almost her entire life gluten-free. Course work in anatomy, chemistry and microbiology has given her a strong foundation in scientific research that she’s eager to build upon. Her goals include learning from and assisting the Science Team, providing increased emotional support for the community and further engaging young people with celiac disease in activism.
Aidan Melinson from Glenside, PA
English major, communications and interreligious studies minor at Elon University
Growing up with family members diagnosed with celiac disease, Aidan’s goal with the council is to help increase awareness around the seriousness of celiac disease. He is a member of his university’s Liberal Arts Forum where he works to bring the arts to campus. Aidan hopes to employ the communications, management and engagement skills learned through the Forum to his work at Beyond Celiac.
Ramona Naseri from Irvine, CA
Biomedical engineering major, English and chemistry minor at Duke University
A rising junior with a variety of interests, Ramona helped resurrect the Society of Women Engineers at Duke while also becoming a sportswriter for the university’s paper. As a Biomedical Engineering student, she is interested in developing technologies to help our healthcare field grow research and data analysis.
Benjamin Zahorec from North Lorain, OH
Digital media production major and marketing minor at Kent State University
A rising senior at Kent State, Ben is also a tour guide at the Kent visitor center. He enjoys talking to the next generation about the history and culture of the area. Diagnosed last spring with celiac disease, Ben hopes to use his experience with engagement, research, marketing and communications to help further the Beyond Celiac mission.
These remarkable students will work with and gain experience from our entire team while playing an important public relations role as well as provide our staff with a fresh perspective on the organization’s programs and services.
Their insights and perspectives have the potential to bring about real change, and we can’t wait to work with them on moving forward with our mission on finding treatments and a cure for this serious autoimmune disease.
Together (apart) for a cure,