An NYU Internship Contract From the Spring 2006


Part Two: The Internship
A. Job Description: Describe in as much detail as possible your role and responsibilities in the internship.  Identify your duties, any projects that you will undertake, teams you will work with, products or services you will provide, clients/patrons you will serve, etc.
The Icarus Project is an alternative mental health support collective which is dedicated to creating a safe space for facilitating open discussion about madness and related issues.  The primary objective of this internship is to create a chapter of the Icarus collective on the NYU campus.  We hope to provide students with both an alternative and a complement to the existing Wellness Center, in providing an open space where students can share life experiences with peers outside of the setting of mainstream psychiatry.  My main role will be to serve as a bridge between the NYU community and the Icarus collective.  Under the supervision of Sascha DuBrul (co-founder of the Icarus Project) and Madigan Shive (member of the Icarus collective), we hope to initiate a peer education/support/outreach program for NYU students.  As part of this, we will be conducting research on, and working with, existing peer education programs (i.e., LGBT and related institutions).  We will be working with a variety of people on different related projects, including publicity and coordinating on-campus events.  We will also be testing material from an upcoming Icarus manual on creating peer support networks.  In addition to the work we will be doing on the NYU campus, we will also be working with Fountain House (an affiliate of the Icarus Project), organizing the collective and working at events.

B. Supervision: Describe the supervision you will be provided at the internship site.  What instruction, assistance, guidance, and consultation will you receive?  From whom?  Will you have regularly scheduled supervisory sessions?
Sascha DuBrul and Madigan Shive will be co-supervising the internship on the worksite.  Sascha will be the main supervisor for on-campus aspects of the internship—Madigan will be the supervisor on-site at Fountain House.   Under their guidance, we will be learning how to work in a collective.  Among the most important skills we will be learning are how to facilitate open dialogues—aspects of which include active listening and peer education and support.  In addition, we will be learning how to organize large events, such as workshops and seminars.  We will have frequent meetings with both Sascha and Madigan.

Gallatin professor and faculty advisor Brad Lewis will be the academic supervisor of the internship.  He will be providing readings and will assist us in synthesizing the psychiatric theory with the practical application of skills learned on-site.  We will have weekly meetings to assess our individual progress throughout the internship.

C. Evaluation
: How, when, and by whom will your work performance be evaluated?  By what criteria?
Evaluation will be provided by Sascha DuBrul, Madigan Shive, and Brad Lewis.

Part Three: Learning Objectives and Activities
A. Learning objectives: Describe in as much detail as possible what you hope to learn through the internship.  Be specific: are you talking about developing skills, expanding your knowledge, testing theories, exploring career interests, discovering your strengths and weaknesses, or some other goals?  How are these objectives related to your area of concentration?
The main focus of my concentration is psychology—this internship provides me with the hands-on experience of working in an alternative support setting.  I intend to go into the field of psychology in the future, and feel that this internship will teach me important skills that will be directly translatable into my professional life.  Among these skills are communication and active listening, outreach, education and support, and facilitating open discussions.  In addition, I will be learning how to organize large events and how to create publicity for said events.  On a purely personal level, I hope to learn how to deal with my own mental illness, and translate my past experiences in a way that will help others who are going through similar periods in their own lives.  I also hope to educate the community in general about issues related to madness.

B. Learning activities and strategies: Describe in detail the specific processes by which you will achieve these goals.  On-the-job: How will your internship activities enable you to meet your learning objectives?  Include projects, research, report writing, conversations, etc., which you will do while working, relating them to what you intend to learn.

Off-the-job: How will you supplement the work experience with reading, research, and consultation?
On the job I will be involved in a number of projects, including organizing Icarus events on-campus (workshops, seminars, etc), and working at Fountain House.  My internship activities are centered around learning such skills as organizing the collective and facilitating open discussions.  During the internship I will be keeping a journal detailing the specific projects I have worked on and the skills I learned through doing them.  In addition, I will be having ongoing conversations with not only Sascha and Madigan, but also various members of the Icarus collective, and of Fountain House.  

Off the job, Brad Lewis will be providing us with readings.  Included in a tentative list are both publications put out by the Icarus Project and more mainstream psychiatric/psychological writings.  We will have regularly scheduled consultations with Brad throughout the internship.
C. Evaluation: How will you determine whether you have met your learning goals?  How will you evaluate your progress toward these objectives?  Who will do the evaluations?  When? How will your final grade be determined?
I feel I will have met my goals if I am able to speak freely and knowledgably about various issues related to the field of mental health, especially in relation to alternative methods and peer support, and if I have gained confidence with these topics.  The journal will be instrumental in assessing this progress.  Another measure of success will be if I grow more comfortable with my own mental illness, and am able to speak to peers about my own experiences.