by Web on March 5, 2018
An internship in Washington, D.C., took Millsaps College senior Elizabeth Newton out of her comfort zone and opened her eyes to new possibilities.
"I ended up having one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences," said Newton, who worked in the History of Audiovisuals Department at the National Library of Medicine, located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health.
An anonymous $1-million endowed gift made to the College by parents of a 2012 Millsaps graduate provided funding for Newton's real-life opportunity. The gift is earmarked for internships that will assist students majoring in history with acquiring marketable skills.
As part of her internship, Newton worked with old medical film, adding captioning and timing them. "It was insanely interesting about how far and quickly we've advanced with some medicine," she said.
Newton also did research on John Money, a psychologist who helped found the field of sexual identity studies. "I wrote a short essay about what I learned for the National Library of Medicine's blog, Circulating Now, which was really exciting," she said.
Newton, who is majoring in history and philosophy, said she's grown to love learning thanks to classes that are small in size and professors who are engaging and helpful.
"I never thought I'd become so engaged with some of the subjects I've taken here," she said. "When I was in high school I didn't even know philosophy was something people majored in. Even as a freshmen, I would never have imagined that one day I would kick back on my front porch and read Nietzsche to procrastinate from doing something else."
One of of her favorite memories is a philosophy class taught by Dr. Patrick Hopkins that sometimes met outdoors. "We'd have class in the rocking chairs outside of the Writing Center, and our class would end up just being conversations about philosophy, which was cool," she said.
Newton, who is from Pascagoula, said her Millsaps experience has been transformative.
"I don't think I would have received the opportunities I've gotten here anywhere else," she said. "I would not have met the incredible people I've met here, which I wouldn't trade for anything."
She sees life after graduation as full of possibilities. A contributing writer for the Purple & White, Newton would like to become a writer and, at some point, a teacher. She has even considered applying to graduate school in Washington, D.C., a city she fell in love with because of her internship.