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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

English major uses her skills at Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Deidre DeGisi ('12), a recent graduate from our English program, put her research and writing skills to good use through an internship at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.  During her time at the foundation, Deidre helped to create the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for people living with paralysis.  "I researched products that were both useful and fun to receive as a gift.  After selecting products, I contacted the companies to receive samples of the products to be tested and reviewed."

Deidre was well-equipped for the proofreading, editing and writing that was required, crediting the English program for her readiness.  "I had to write short descriptions of each of the products in the gift guide to explain their function, price, and why they might make a good gift. I also had the chance to help write a Public Service Announcement pitch, compose e-mails to many of the companies used in the guide, and edit a book of short stories, so being an English major was also very useful when I had to complete these assignments."

In addition to working with the gift guide, Deidre had the opportunity to visit the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where Christopher Reeve and many other men and women receive rehabilitation. Hearing firsthand the accomplishments of those served by the Kessler Institute was Deidre's favorite part of the internship experience.  "Overall, it was great being able to use the skills I acquired as an English major, but above all, I was so happy to work with a foundation with such an inspiring mission; to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis."

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Deidre DeGisi next to Christopher Reeve's wheelchair
Deidre DeGisi next to Christopher Reeve's wheelchair