Students for a Better World: The Beyond the Classroom Blog

Stories, Resources, & More from the Beyond the Classroom (BTC) Program at University of Maryland

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Design for Change

by Juantrice Alvarado, Beyond the Classroom Student

I am a senior Studio Art and Communications double major at UMD. This fall semester, I interned with a design agency based in D.C., KTD Creative. Before I started, I was anxious about pursuing a career in design. I had been interested in graphic design since high school, where I studied interactive media production and learned Adobe Creative Suite programs. However, I didn’t think becoming a graphic designer would earn stable income and I didn’t think I was good enough compared to all the other graphic designers in the world. I thought BTC’s internship course, UNIV326: Internship and Experiential Learning Seminar, would be the perfect opportunity to try and rule out my fears.

KTD Creative’s mission is to “create branding, interactive and print communications for arts organizations, corporations, associations, museums, small businesses, federal government agencies, universities, non-profits and more.” The types of services provided


Juantrice Alvarado at her internship with KTD Creative.

by KTD Creative are “responsive mobile and web design, web development, information architecture, fundraising, eNewsletters, event branding, search engine marketing, social media marketing, print design and more.” KTD Creative works with many nonprofit organizations, who support important issues in order to match the organization’s missions with their advertised visuals. The most recent client is the Wind Energy Foundation. I felt very proud to work on the organization’s graphics with my supervisor, Kate, because clean energy is a global issue I am passionate about. I hope to continue using my design skills for civic engagement purposes. I think design is crucial to civic engagement and social change, because an organization with outdated or unrelated visuals won’t get as much support as the organizations that do.

During my internship, I was responsible for maintaining and/or creating client logo designs, print layouts, social media campaigns, and website designs. I worked directly with Kate Tallent, the Principal, Creative Director and Designer. I used my knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs (InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator) in order to accomplish daily tasks assigned by my supervisor. Every day was a new goal or a completely new problem to solve. The lack of monotony during this internship is one of the key reasons I decided to pursue a career in the design industry. After building trust with my supervisor she gave me more responsibility and creative freedom. I was able to successfully design business cards for clients. I also created and managed social media content from home. As a senior, it was difficult to manage at home responsibilities with schoolwork, but this discipline helped me to learn time management.

My accomplishments at KTD Creative include building my skills in communication, leadership, social media, content management systems (Drupal and WordPress) and Adobe Creative Suite programs. Overall this internship experience boosted my confidence and my skills in design. It also helped me to realize that a higher income would come with years of experience. Honestly, I’d prefer choosing a job that I love over one that I hate just because of money.


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VolunTeams: An Innovative Approach to Volunteering

Jewish Volunteer Connection

By Jennifer Rottenberg, BTC Student

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) in Baltimore, MD. JVC is a part of The Associated, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect people throughout the Baltimore community. Specifically, at JVC they strive to engage volunteers to meet vital community needs. During my internship with JVC, I was able to contribute to this goal through involvement with VolunTeam, JVC’s innovative approach to increasing volunteerism throughout the community. Continue reading

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Beyond the Classroom Students Lead UMD Safe SHELLter Campus Safety Project


By Sydney Perlotto, BTC Student

This past Thursday, students in UNIV389L: Civic Leadership for Community Engagement held a Film and Focus Group event as part of our UMD Safe SHELLter campus safety project. We invited students to come to a screening of Living for 32, a powerful documentary about the personal story of Colin Goddard, a Virginia Tech massacre survivor. Throughout the film, Colin describes his path to reconciliation, having made it his life mission to stop what happened at Virginia Tech from ever happening again. Living for 32 portrays the emotional reality of the Virginia Tech shootings, and our class chose to show it because it raises important questions about safety on college campuses. Continue reading

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Horses that Heal: The Work of Maryland Therapeutic Riding

Horses for Hope

By Kylie Waterman, BTC Student 

This summer I had the opportunity to work at Maryland Therapeutic Riding  (MTR) in Crownsville in order to fulfill my Beyond the Classroom internship. It is a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with developmental problems, as well as emotional or physical challenges. The organization serves people of all ages using a range of therapies from everyday riding lessons to hippotherapy, which utilizes the soothing and strengthening motion of the horse in coordination with more traditional forms of therapy like physical, occupational and speech therapy. Continue reading

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AIDS Walk Washington Raises Civic Awareness

Beyond the Classroom students Jeremy Hsiao, Tariq Jah and Cynthia Ezedike at the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Washington!

Beyond the Classroom students Jeremy Hsiao, Tariq Jah and Cynthia Ezedike at the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Washington

By Jeremy Hsiao, BTC Student

On the brisk morning of October 26th, 2013, over 12,000 people converged on Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual AIDS Walk Washington to raise awareness about a disease that has devastated this world, this nation, and this city. HIV/AIDS may seem like a disease limited to developing nations, but the truth is Washington, D.C. has one of the highest rates in the United States.  The disparity for minorities is even greater as the HIV/AIDS rate in the African-American community is higher than other communities. According to the Mayor’s annual report, in 2011, 2.4 percent of the Washington, D.C. population is living with HIV or AIDS with 718 new cases. Continue reading

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Alumna Profile: Katie Cardona

by Dr. Caitlin Haugen, BTC Assistant Director

Alumna Katie Cardona.

What advice would alumna Katie Cardona offer current students after reflecting on her experience in Beyond the Classroom?

“Take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you. Even if it is not something you are initially interested in, you can benefit from any activity that BTC presents to you. Many skills and ideas transfer between career fields, even if they are not staring you in the face.”

When the senior Hearing and Speech Sciences  major from Delaware, joined Beyond the Classroom in the Spring Semester of her sophomore year, she did just that.  Despite being quite busy with the Yellow Ribbon Fund and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, she was an active member of the community and regularly attended a variety of events .  Two favorites included a civic learning trip to the Newseum and a presentation by Paul K. Chappell, a veteran turned peace activist. Continue reading