June 4, 2018 | Katherine Adams
Everything Houston resident Alexis Alexander does is about education. So, it’s only fitting that the spring 2018 University of Houston-Clear Lake graduate would take her Master of Science in Multicultural Studies in Education and go where there are lots of books – more than anywhere else in the world. There are over 32 million books in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and on June 1, Alexander will become one of the rare few college graduates to be awarded a coveted internship in the Library’s Educational Outreach Division.
“(Associate Professor of Multicultural Education) Lisa Jones sponsored my application for the internship, which is focused on making sure teachers have access to the library’s primary resources,” Alexander said. “I applied to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, which places interns throughout the U.S. in corporate and government internships.”
Jones said she had asked Alexander to apply for the internship. “I think she might be the first UH-Clear Lake graduate to receive an internship at the Library of Congress. She’s done such an excellent job on everything,” she said.
Alexander said the teachers she’ll be serving came from across the country who taught a diverse population. “Everything I learned at UHCL helped me speak to that diversity in the interview process,” she said. “I know it’s the Library of Congress, but I think the combination of experience I had writing my graduate thesis and my work experience make me feel confident about what I am walking into.”
With the help of Associate Professor of Multicultural Education Michele Kahn, Alexander completed the research for her thesis, which focused on how the college experiences of Indian and Indian-American women intersected. “Alexis is very self-disciplined and I think her thesis research has helped her in the long term with this internship,” Kahn said.
Bernadina Gonzalez-Streeter, Alexander’s senior academic adviser, said that she’s not surprised at her success. “I came in to help her at the beginning and at the end of her studies here,” she said. “She’s a shining star. She’s on top of it. She’s going to be a very successful alumna.”
Although Alexander is married, is the mother of a toddler, and had a full-time job at San Jacinto Community College as a shared education planner, she said she would have taken this internship without pay. “I am going to be paid, but it wouldn’t have mattered,” she said. “I couldn’t pass this opportunity.”
She added that she completed all her graduate studies online. “There is such a strong support system here, even for online students. I thought the classes were hard, but so engaging.” she said. “I could have drifted away because it’s online, but the professors stayed with me. They all gave me their cell numbers and I’ve never found that kind of accessibility elsewhere. I had a great experience at UHCL.”
For the 10 weeks of her internship, Alexander said she’ll be putting forth her best effort. “I’m going to give it everything and I believe that with my master’s degree from UHCL in hand and this internship on my resume, doors will open.” For more information about UHCL’s Master of Science in Multicultural Studies in Education program, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/multicultural-studies-in-education-ms.