Senior Journalism Major Melissa Kizer develops design, photography skills at IU Themester

As a senior, Melissa Kizer has a lot going on. For many students, searching for a job and being a full-time student is more than enough. Melissa is doing all that in addition to starting a new job through Recreational Sports at IU, working as a lab assistant for a graphic design course, and being the Photography and Design intern for the College of Arts and Science’s Themester.

Themester combines courses, lectures, exhibits, films showing, and other events to engage students and the community in a collective learning experience about a timely issue.

“Themester breathes a lot of energy onto the campus. The range and variety of courses, talks, performances, and for that explore different aspects of the given theme enact a real interdisciplinary exploration that enriches the life of the campus,” said Vivian Halloran, Associate Professor, Departments of English and American Studies.

Melissa created social media posts, postcards and posters during her Themester internship. Before events, she produced posters that would help advertise them. During events it was her responsibility to photograph the event, edit them, then post them on the Themester’s social media accounts.

Beyond this initial part of her internship, she was also given the opportunity to further develop her design skills when given the opportunity to create postcards that hundreds of people would see for two of the First Thursday events of the semester.

Because this was her second internship experience, Melissa said it allowed her to become “more confident about my media skills, and I knew I was in the correct industry.”

The recommendation that she would give to fellow students is to put yourself out there when applying for positions, even if you don’t necessarily meet all of the requirements (which she didn’t.)

“Take a chance,” Melissa said. “Force yourself to apply.”

Of course, Melissa did apply and it ended in a great experience. Once Melissa graduates in May 2020, she plans on going into multimedia journalism right away.

“I love going between reporting, designing, photography, and social media,” she said.

Are you interested in interning at Themester? Summer 2020 positions are available now. Reach out to Academic Initiatives Director, Tracy Bee, at with any questions.

Melissa Kizer was a 2019 internship scholarship recipient. If you’re interested in a summer 2020 scholarship, apply before March 14.

By Ethan Fairbanks
Ethan Fairbanks Peer Coach Ethan Fairbanks