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Aryka Rice and Adrienne Bocci Join AUK as Graduate Summer Interns

AUK welcomed its ninth pair of graduate interns, Aryka Rice and Adrienne Bocci, who will be working with different AUK administrative offices until July 20th, 2017.

Aryka earned her B.A. in Health Policy Studies with a focus in Human Resources and a minor in Economics from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2014. She is currently enrolled in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at Eastern Michigan University, where she serves as a graduate assistant with the McNair Scholars Program. In this role, she assists with planning programs and events for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented undergraduate students who have demonstrated strong academic potential in their journey in obtaining their Ph.D.

Additionally, Aryka is a graduate intern at the University of Michigan in the Center for Campus Involvement (CCI). Her work there is focused on enhancing the work experience for student staff by coordinating learning and professional development initiatives. As an undergraduate, she became interested in the field of student affairs during her employment in the Office for Student Engagement's Community Involvement and Volunteerism Center (CIViC), which nurtured a passion for student development and engagement.

While at AUK, Aryka has been working in the Office of the Registrar and in the Office of Student Life.

"My time in Kuwait has been truly eye-opening and culturally enriching. I have had the amazing opportunity to engage with students, staff, and faculty to learn more about the AUK community, Kuwait, and the Gulf region. Through my internship placements, I have been challenged to think quickly and critically, in hopes of making a positive contribution, as well as, gaining invaluable skills to be used in my professional career and beyond. The AUK community has made me feel connected, welcomed, and included and I am most grateful. My experience thus far has been awesome and I look forward to what the next few weeks brings," she said.

Adrienne spent five years volunteering, working, and traveling, in the hopes of discovering her calling after she had earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Oregon in 2010. She had volunteered as a tutor for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Portland Community College, served in the United States Peace Corps in Kazakhstan, and held a position as a Mental Health Counselor/Assistant in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two years. During that period, she also backpacked through eight countries in Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America.

Adrienne is currently completing her M.S. in Educational Leadership & Policy with a concentration in Post-Secondary, Adult, & Continuing Education (PACE) at Portland State University (PSU) in Oregon. Her degree will include graduate certificates in Student Affairs in Higher Education and Service-Learning in Higher Education. During her first year as a graduate student, she interned with TRiO College First through Mt. Hood Community College and was an Academic Advising Assistant in PSU's Computer Science Department.

Since September 2016, Adrienne has been serving as PSU's Education Abroad Graduate Assistant. Through this role, she has been working with international faculty-led programs, providing administrative support, and assisting with event planning.

Through all of these experiences, Adrienne has developed an interest in student affairs and working with adult learners. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in international affairs in higher education.

While at AUK, Adrienne will be working in the Counseling Center and with Learning Support Services.

"My experience in Kuwait so far has exceeded my expectations. Everyone at AUK (students, staff, administrators, and even the security guards) has been so friendly. I feel very welcome here. It has also been fascinating to experience what Ramadan is like in Kuwait, and I've really enjoyed exploring Salmiya," she expressed.

The internship program started in 2009, and in 2011 won the NASPA Best Practice Award for International Exchange Programs, it is designed to provide graduate students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain experience within the professional areas of Student Affairs/Student Services. Several past interns have returned to work professionally in the Arabian Gulf region, and almost half have conducted presentations at either the NASPA annual conference or Gulf region conference following their experience. Through these collective experiences interns gain a deeper understanding of higher education administration, are provided multiple placements to gain varying perspectives and experiences, and acquire specific skill sets which will help prepare them for a career in the profession.

Aryka Rice

Adrienne Bocci

(From left), Aryka Rice and Adrienne Bocci

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 19th June 2017

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