Spencer Atkins, of Munford, worked with Dr. John Glass, associate professor of English, to create an index of Glass’s first book during the spring 2016 semester. Atkins, an English and philosophy double-major, read through “Allen Tate: The Modern Mind and the Discovery of Enduring Love” and discovered that completing an internship taught him more than he expected.
“It helps me academically because the book has a lot of philosophical themes in it. So I learned things not only about Allen Tate, but I learned things that apply to my field of study,” he said. “Secondly, I learned a lot about the process of publication. … It’s a place where mistakes happen, where the editor is concerned or where the author is concerned, and it’s a team effort. So if I were to decide to go into a publishing firm, then I would already have the experience to do that.”
Humanities fields such as English are often seen as areas where internships are scarce, but Atkins reminds his fellow students that faculty members are always working on research and publication and often need assistance. In many cases, all you have to do is ask.
“It’s good to just start engaging professors. Maybe ask your history professor, ‘Do you know anyone that’s writing something?’ and pursue that person … and just see if there’s any assistance they may need,” he said. “It’s just a matter of seeking those people out.”
Atkins plans to graduate in May 2017 and pursue a doctorate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Ultimately, he would like to return to a place like UT Martin and teach college students new ways to see the world.
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