This Intern Shines


Brianna Tavares has been interning with Karen Rathbun since the beginning of 2020. Things look a lot different in the world as her time as an intern comes to an end. COVID-19 did not stop Karen from celebrating Brianna's last day, the great work she has done at CCA, and her upcoming graduation. This May, Brianna  graduates from RIC with a Bachelor of Science in Community & Public Health Promotion.  

In many cases (especially in the middle of a pandemic) internships just sort of...end. The fact that the two had a proper moment to close this chapter, masks and all, says much about both Brianna and Karen. 

Karen writes: "She was a wonderful intern, respected by all, and a good fit with CCA's mission."During her time at CCA, Brianna was open to change and worked gracefully through obstacles such as COVID-19. 

Although her concentration was Community & Public Health Education, Health & Aging, and Women's Health, Brianna's CCA experiences and warm reception by staff and programs pointed her in a slightly different direction for her final project.

Brianna's final project focused on identifying the needs of CCA staff who described themselves as experiencing burnout or compassion fatigue related to their job responsibilities. Brianna's objectives included intensive research, and a collection of primary data on staff experiences of burnout through the use of an online survey and focus groups. Brianna worked closely with CCA's HR Director, Lori Ziegler Halt, for the development of the staff survey, which unfortunately was postponed due to COVID-19. After completing her research Brianna was to present her findings and recommendations to CCA leadership. 

Although it was sad to say good-bye, the day was filled with hope for the future and some good news. After Brianna made her final presentation, she was informed by her RIC Internship Supervisor, Dr. Soumyadeep Mukherjee, that the Department of Health and Physical Education nominated her the Department's Senior Award. We are so happy for Brianna and wanted to thank her once more for being an integral part of the CCA team.The world awaits! 


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