With generous support from the Herman Family, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies runs an undergraduate student internship program. The Herman Family Internship Initiative provides financial support for students who hold summer internships focusing on Gender and Health or Social Class and Inequality Studies. Many worthwhile internships offer limited salary or are unpaid, which restricts students’ ability to accept them. This initiative is designed to provide the support needed to make internships open to students from all backgrounds, without undue hardship.
Student applicants are responsible for finding relevant internships, which can be located anywhere. You may also want to consult resources at: LSA Opportunity Hub, UM Career Center, Safehouse Center of Ann Arbor; Ozone House; Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit; Detroit Justice Center; Birth Detroit; Birth Center Equity; Michigan Fertility Alliance;
Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate major or minor degree students in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
- Applicants must maintain undergraduate degree-student status at the University of Michigan during the period of the internship. Graduating seniors may not apply for a scholarship to participate in an internship following graduation.
- Former recipients of the Herman Scholarship can apply a second year for funding but it must not be consecutive with their previous funding year. (For example, if a student has received funding for an internship of Summer 2022, they can reapply for funding for Summer 2024)
Recipients must participate in an eligible internship. The internship must meet the following criteria:
Internship must be focused on activities that contribute to the partnering organization’s commitment to addressing gender, racial, and social inequities, wealth and social class disparities, and/or issues of gender and health.
Internship must be with a reputable government, for-profit, or nonprofit organization.
Both unpaid and paid internships are eligible.
The length of the internship must be at least 6 weeks.
Students must devote at least 75% of their time (normal work hours) during the internship period to the internship position.
Internship may be for academic credit or not for credit.
Independent research and volunteer activities are not eligible.
- Scholarship may only be used to cover expenses associated with the internship, such as airfare, housing, commuting, and food. The award may not exceed the actual expensses associated with the internship..
- Recipients will be selected by committee on the basis of proposal merit.
International students may be subject to income tax withholding on the scholarship amount. Please consult the International Center if you have any questions.
Recipients may be asked to give presentations about their internship experience.
Please submit the following items to the online application link below.
Application form: Complete the online application form.
Statement of Purpose (500 to 1,000 words): Please write a concise and coherent essay of no more than 1,000 words which address the following questions:
Why do you want to participate in the proposed internship?
How will this experience contribute toward your overall academic and career goals?
How will the proposed internship address Gender and Health or Social Class and Inequality Studies?
Budget: Please create a budget listing your financial needs and other potential sources of income. Here is a sample budget.
Résumé: Please provide a current résumé. If you are not sure how to put a résumé together, please consult the UM Career Center for assistance.
Names of Two Recommenders: Please ask two people who know you well and can speak to your academic interests and abilities. They will be sent a brief survey to comment on your strengths and abilities. (They will not be asked to complete a recommendation letter.)
Current UM Official Transcript: Please check the appropriate box on the Application Form to grant permission to the review committee to access your academic record on Wolverine Access.
Internship Information: Letter of Acceptance for the internship (if available), or proof of application submission (such as confirmation of application receipt).
Monday, April 3rd at 11:59pm for internships taking place during the spring-summer term (May 1 to August 31) of the same year.
Late applications will not be accepted.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Awards will be announced in late April.
ArchCity Defenders in St. Louis, Missouri
ArchCity Defenders works to combat the “criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color” through holistic legal advocacy. As an undergraduate intern in the civil litigation department, Grey had the opportunity to review and organize evidence for lawsuits, observe depositions, provide legal representation for incarcerated women, and several other impactful tasks. The most interesting aspect of Grey’s internship was the concept, “movement lawyering-the idea that lawyers should look to the communities they serve for leadership.” Grey left the internship with experience on how the law and holistic legal advocacy, “can be used to address issues of gender, racial, and economic inequities.”
Mariel Vander Schuur
Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates in Holland, MI
In her hometown of Holland, Michigan, Mariel Vander Schuur worked as a legal intern/legal specialist for Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, a non-profit immigration organization that serves to “bring stability to West Michigan families and communities through legal services, advocacy, and education.” Mariel applied to this organization specifically, because of her personal connection to those who have been helped by LIA, and her passion for immigrant rights and justice as a first-generation American. Splitting her time between LIA’s main office and their New Americans Legal Clinic, she worked on many tasks at the main office including research, filing cases, and translating documents. She describes this experience, “There were many days that I would go to the clinic and sit in my car before my shift or in the bathroom during our breaks and just think about the enormity of what I was doing and the pressure that I felt that I was under. Working at the clinic was both the most challenging and most rewarding part of my time at LIA”
Birth Detroit in Detroit, MI
Amelia Joss interned at Birth Detroit, “a local nonprofit that aims to provide safe, quality, and loving midwifery-led care to the people of Detroit.” As a development intern, much of Amelia’s work was focused on raising funds for Birth Detroit’s new freestanding birth center opening in 2023. This position allowed Amelia to strengthen her skills in communication and writing, and provide her with a new specific skill set in grant writing. She shares her experience with the work environment, “I’ve really appreciated the variety of viewpoints and experiences held by the Birth Detroit team. It’s awesome to see a team of people with backgrounds in public health, business, clinical experience, and marketing all come together under one organization.” Due to the success of her internship, Amelia is extending her position into the fall.
New Beginnings Birth Advocacy and Doula Services in Ann Arbor, MI
Madeline Saft worked for New Beginnings Birth Advocacy and Doula Services, an organization that serves Southeastern Michigan, “prioritizing: survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, Afghanistan refugees, and low-income families.” The focus of Madeline’s work was to create birth plans for her clients. There was often a language barrier and a translator was used to ease communication. During her experience, she was able to work alongside a doula who is an Afghanistan refugee herself. Madeline describes this amazing opportunity, “I am currently in the process of helping her achieve her DONA doula certification so she can continue providing great work and care to her clients.” Madeline’s interest in non-profit organizations was strengthened and solidified this summer, and she is excited to continue her work with New Beginnings over the fall semester.
AmeriCorps Summer VISTA at Washtenaw Community Action Network, Arrowwood Hills Cooperative in Ann Arbor, MI
Thea Bultman “primarily taught nutrition lessons, but occasionally led mindfulness/social emotional learning (SEL) lessons, and helped out with other activities throughout the day.” for the AmeriCorps Summer VISTA at Washtenaw Community Action Network, Arrowwood Hills Cooperative. This summer camp program included rising first through fifth graders. She describes a typical day, “Kids have nutrition, mindfulness, art and design, as well as a daily discovery of either math, science, or language arts.” Thea taught many fun, impactful lessons such as making traditional recipes from indigenous communities and brainstorming ways to show gratitude towards the local community. This summer confirmed to Thea that social work is the path for her. She was so grateful to give back to Ann Arbor, while impacting the wonderful children and families with whom she worked.