In the fall of 2016, the national office of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Washington, D.C., solicited nominations for a competitive, unpaid, and nonresidential writing internship. All SMCM juniors and seniors were invited to express their interest in the position and from the names gathered, the Zeta chapter recommended three students for consideration, Allison Barrett ’18, Mackenzie Nargiz ’18, and Ami Oliver ’18. Ultimately, based on provided writing samples and a resume, Allison Barrett was among those selected by the national office for the internship which started the second week of January and continued through May 2017. During the internship period, she had to prepare a number of publishable articles for Phi Beta Kappa’s The Key Reporter, located at www.keyreporter.org.
In general, articles were to be related to PBK members, PBK events or awards, and assigned topics supporting liberal arts and sciences in higher education. Allison had five pieces published under “Articles” on the site, three of which were directly related to members of the Zeta Chapter at SMCM. The first article titled “Breaking Down Barriers in the Sciences” featured Dr. Elizabeth Nutt-Williams. The second article, “The Liberal Arts Path to a Career in the Sciences,” highlighted Dr. Aileen Bailey. For her final piece “ΦBK Celebrates 20 Years at St. Mary’s College of Maryland,” Allison interviewed the Zeta chapter’s first president, Laraine Glidden, and its current chapter president, Angela Draheim.
A psychology and English double-major, Allison Barrett is involved in creative writing (mostly creative non-fiction and poetry) and neuroscience research. A peer tutor at the Writing and Speaking Center, she is also the rising secretary to our campus’s Psi Chi chapter. In her free time, she is a freelance editor of the creative and technical writing of others and and enjoys reading Victorian literature and Scientific American.