Kaitlin Mahr Internship Fund Removes Barriers

In an effort to further support Lawrence University and pay tribute to their daughter, Dr. Todd Mahr ’79 and his wife, Debra Mahr, recently established the Kaitlin Mahr Internship Fund in English. This gift was also made in honor of Dr. Todd Mahr’s 40th class reunion. The Mahr family previously funded the Sanvello app on campus to reduce the stigma of mental health and to increase access to support for Lawrentians.

Although a number of students seek internships each year and find themselves involved in fantastic opportunities, some students are daunted by the cost of traveling and living away from home. This fund seeks to remove those barriers for students, for it will provide a stipend to cover travel and living expenses to at least one student in 2020.

According to Associate Professor of English Timothy Spurgin, it was Professor of English David McGlynn’s idea to set up a fund to support students doing internships in the summer. When Spurgin and McGlynn heard that Dr. Mahr was interested in working with the English department on some sort of project, the fund seemed like the perfect fit.

The Kaitlin Mahr Internship Fund in English is one of many experiential learning funds available to Lawrence students. According to Emily Bowles, the Experiential Funding and Professional Networking Coordinator in the Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement, this experiential learning fund is intended to supplement dream internships and make the dream actually possible by covering any extraneous costs.

This specific fund allows students to seek internships in large and mid-sized publishing houses and other literary endeavors in New York, Minnesota, California and elsewhere. Internships could also take place at smaller independent presses or in new media, journalism, digital marketing and more. 

With the wide scope that this fund allows, Bowles encouraged applicants to be creative and then explain the value and merit behind their intended use of the funding. 

Applications are due on Friday, April 3, and decisions are tentatively scheduled to be released the week of April 20. Preference will be given to students majoring in English.

All applications should include a resume and a proposal statement, which must include a project budget. Bowles recommends being concise, creative and unique in proposal statements and being realistic in the project budget.

Although Bowles is connected with the Mahr family now in her role with funding experiential learning, she actually first knew of Kaitlin Mahr when she was a visiting professor at Lawrence 13 years ago. Kaitlin was a student in Bowles’s feminist literary class during the term that she died.

 As Bowles discussed her time with Kaitlin, she explained, “I knew her personally and the impact she had on campus, so when I saw this internship, I was incredibly excited to be a part of being able to share it.”

Bowles continued, “[Katilin] was, in a lot of ways, everything that is best about a Lawrence student in terms of interdisciplinary.” This funding will provide students an opportunity to channel that interdisciplinary style in their internships as well, as it gives students space to bring in different skills and technologies.

For more information about the Kaitlin Mahr Internship Fund in English, please contact Emily Bowles in the Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement or Professor of English David McGlynn.