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Milligan student to spend summer studying journalism in Turkey

Şazıye Gourley-Özhayta in Italy

Şazıye Gourley-Özhayta in Italy

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (May 13, 2014) — Now that final exams are finished, a different kind of work begins for many Milligan College students who use their summer vacation for internship opportunities.

This summer, one student will have the chance to explore her interests in digital media, while revisiting a country in which she spent part of her childhood. Şazıye Gourley-Özhayta, a senior from Sidney, Illinois, will spend her summer in Istanbul, Turkey, working for The Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia).

“This opportunity is a huge blessing from the Lord,” said Gourley-Özhayta, who is majoring in communications, with a concentration in digital media. “I became anxious when another internship fell through, but God opened this door for me and I am so thankful.”

ieiMedia offers journalism study-abroad courses and internship programs that help prepare students for the complex demands of 21st century global journalism. The programs combine training in a range of media skills — photography, video journalism, international reporting and writing for digital media — with hands-on practice reporting on a foreign culture.

During her internship, Gourley-Özhayta will spend time in the classroom learning foreign reporting, multimedia journalism, videography, photojournalism and the Turkish language. She will apply her classroom knowledge by spending the afternoons reporting and writing, along with shooting pictures and videos for her assigned publications.

In addition to her internship responsibilities, Gourley-Özhayta plans to reconnect with her family in Incirlik, Turkey. She will document her travels through photography.

“I am eager to see what God has in store for me,” said Gourley-Özhayta.

Milligan students like Gourley-Özhayta secure internships locally and abroad, often with the assistance of the college’s Center for Calling and Career. The center offers a variety of resources to undergraduate and graduate students, including tips on networking, graduate school, writing résumés and interview skills.

“At Milligan, students are encouraged to pursue internships that will offer them a chance to learn and discover different elements within their field of interest,” said Beth Anderson, director of calling and career exploration. “Throughout their internship term, students strengthen their working skills, build their résumés, increase their marketability and expand their network to gain professional references. In addition, students often have the opportunity to be hired full-time at the organization at the end of their term.”

Last summer, many Milligan students used their talents and passions in a variety of internships. Looking back, each sees how the experience prepared them for their chosen fields.

Sierra Gay, a senior from Elizabethton, Tennessee, spent six weeks in Hong Kong as an English teacher for grades 7 through 9. As an education major, Gay wanted to experience a classroom setting outside of her comfort zone.

In addition to teaching in a classroom, Gay introduced the idea of one-on-one tutoring and teaching to her students. Within a few weeks, the students’ comprehension of the English language grew from two or three basic phrases to the ability to hold a conversation.

“This was my first ever field experience,” Gay said. “God showed me exactly where he wanted me and what my calling is in life.”

Carson Torbert, a May 10 Milligan graduate, spent his summer working for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Throughout the summer, he worked with over 80 kids to teach them useful skills like starting fires, camping in the rain, and proper exercising, as well as building a closer relationship with Christ.

Torbert, a native of Brentwood, Tennessee, majored in human performance and exercise science at Milligan and plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy. He used this internship as an opportunity to show kids at an early age the importance of health and exercise. Each morning, he taught a fitness skill to the boys that included running, swimming, stretching and pushups.

“This internship really helped me solidify my calling,” Torbert said. “I now know that I want to work with kids of all ages who have to go through physical therapy because I know I can help them both physically and spiritually.”

Brittany Shaffer, a senior from Knoxville, Tennessee, worked for Proximo Marketing Strategies LLC, located in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Shaffer, a business major with a concentration in marketing, was put in charge of the social media and blogging department for Proximo, where she created and implemented social media marketing strategies. In addition, she helped with web design, networking, event planning, customer acquisition and search engine optimization.

“I literally had my dream job working with digital media and marketing,” said Shaffer. “I learned that I really do have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in my chosen career, while still having room to learn more.”

Angela Highfield, a Bible major who graduated May 10, worked with Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is no stranger to the mission field; she grew up in Olkoroi, Kenya, where her family served as missionaries.

In Thailand, Highfield had various roles. She taught English, helped build a greenhouse, visited children’s homes, and encouraged Christians in the churches and cell groups. She hopes to work with children in an orphanage or children’s home after graduation.

“Last summer I realized that my calling is truly to be a light to the nations and to work with children,” Highfield said.

To learn more about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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