October 6, 2015



(From left) Justin Hutchison, Amanda Pavlak, Erika Butler, Caitlin Bale, Meghan Cummings, Levi Soto, Liz Perry, and Linda Plair

Welcome back to the POP QUIZ! This is a regular, yet totally unexpected, feature where we ask students, parents, staff, our friends, and partners to answer a few questions about what they are learning, reading, and thinking about. Today we have compiled some answers from the newest members of our CIS family: our 2015/2016 interns! We have eight fabulous students from Western Michigan University. Two are working on their master’s and six are working towards their bachelor’s degree in the School of Social Work. Here they are, in no particular order (drum roll, please): Meghan Cummings, Levi Soto, Caitlin Bale, Linda Plair, Erika Butler, Justin Hutchison, Amanda Pavlak, and Elizabeth Perry.

Alright, interns: pencils out, eyes on your own paper. Good luck.

What is something interesting you’ve recently learned?

  • How to use the busing system in Arusha (Tanzania)
  • “Group Think” and how we don’t want to encourage it, and instead encourage individuality within a group process.
  • I learned that it is better to wait to get your Masters so you have experience and questions.
  • How to process donations for CIS Kids’ Closet.
  • I’ve recently become a bartender and learned a bunch of different beverage combinations.
  • Disney World has more than one park and I’ll be going during winter break to all of them.
  • How to grill.

What are you currently reading?

  • Social Work Research Methods (Grinnel).
  • The third book in the divergent series.
  • This paper.
  • Emails.
  • I have been reading a book about the kidnappings in Ohio. (Can’t think of what it’s called.)
  • Breaking out of the Box (Social work material).
  • I’m currently reading “Don’t Stress the Small Stuff,” a book that has a couple hundred stress-free quotes to increase a healthy life.
  • The Good Girl.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • Awesome
  • Social worker
  • School social worker and marriage and family counselor
  • I want to work with kids, to help them become positive members in society
  • Policy maker
  • Social worker in the schools or day care
  • Work in the education system as a counselor in SW Michigan
  • School social worker and world traveler

What is your favorite word right now?

  • Poa (Swahili for calm)
  • Whimsical
  • Diversity
  • Faith
  • Fabulous
  • Love
  • Absolutely
  • Smooth

Will you share with us something that has been on your mind lately?

  • School.
  • The students I met in Arusha, and their lives in contrast with mine.
  • How I want to help make a difference with my CIS site and get the best experience I can get.
  • Master’s program and graduation.
  • Racial disparity in education.
  • Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grad school and where I want to go.
  • Nervous about my future—I have faith.
  • Being overwhelmed with the beginning of the semester and starting my internship.

Behind every successful student is a caring adult. Who has been your caring adult?

  • My grandma. She was just always there to listen with no judgement. She was honest and helpful.
  • My middle school counselor, Dr. Sly. Helped me through the “tough” years, fostered my growth, inspired my career.
  • My mom. She has always been there to support me in whatever I do and helpful whenever I need an extra hand.
  • My dad is my caring adult. My dad took my sisters and I in after my parents divorced and he raised us three by himself. I will always be grateful for the love he has given and continues to give.
  • My mom. My mom has taught me what it takes to meet your goals. Also, she has always been there for me, pushing me forward and making sure I’m always staying positive.
  • My caring adult was my mother. She loved her family and helped many others along the way.
  • My caring adult is my mother. She has been 150% supportive of her third child being the first and only to leave home and go to college. She has influenced and helped me in any way she can 100% of the time.
  • My mother always supported me and showed and taught me how to be a better person, work hard, care about others, love others, but first love yourself, a person of God.