FABBS is delighted to welcome two spring interns with interest in the psychological and brain sciences – Bitania Admasu from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Gillian Henneberry from Hendrix College. FABBS offers undergraduate internship opportunities where students can gain experience in the fields of science communication and advocacy in the nation’s capital. We invited Bitania and Gillian to discuss what they hope to get out of the experience and their projects during their time at FABBS.
Please introduce yourself and what you’re currently studying in college.
Bitania: Hello, my name is Bitania Admasu and I am currently studying Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Gillian: Hi! My name is Gillian (she/her; pronounced “Jillian” or “Jill”) Henneberry, and I have joined the FABBS team for the spring of 2023. I got my B.A. in psychology this winter from Hendrix College in Conway, AR, and am in the process of exploring graduate study paths.
What interested you about FABBS and how might this align with your professional plans?
Bitania: Since I plan to receive my Masters in Epidemiology after I graduate, I want to be able to learn as much as I can about the world of research and what it entails. From the short time that I have been here already, I have learned that science advocacy and communications are vital parts in advancing science and research. I believe that working here will strengthen my knowledge on how the U.S. research system functions, and why public policy and politics can heavily influence the work that researchers and scientists do.
Jill: FABBS is my dream internship! It combines my love of “wearing many hats” with my interest in science advocacy on the federal level. My particular interest is in mental health and social justice. Through FABBS, I am learning about the structure and duties of federal agencies, how federal and non-federal organizations communicate, and about just how much care these organizations put into bettering the lives of individuals and families in society.
What do you plan on working on during your time with FABBS?
Bitania: Some of the things that I plan on working on during my time at FABBS include writing newsletters and attending coalition meetings. My main research project includes helping FABBS write a report assessing the National Science Foundation’s funding of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics directorate, and advocating for increased funding in this field.
Jill: Currently, I have been designing infographics and document layouts, writing and editing newsletter articles, and attending coalition meetings. Long term, I am also curating and organizating open science resources that will be available for anyone to search on the FABBS website.
What are your plans post-graduation?
Bitania: I want to get my Master’s in Epidemiology after I graduate!
Jill: While I have not yet decided on a graduate program, I love learning about all things social psychology, sociology, and communications. I hope to discover a career that combines my advocacy and communications interests during my time with FABBS.