The Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship Program offers multiyear paid
internships for college students of color pursuing careers in media and
technology. Emma Bowen partners with more than 50 employers across the
United States every summer to offer internships in fields ranging from
television news and media relations to engineering, data analytics,
social media, and finance.
“Emma Bowen is about truly creating a career path,” says Senior Vice
President for National Recruitment Sandra Rice. “We’re all about putting
interns in a strong position to build their resumes and succeed
wherever they choose.” Now in its 30th year, Emma Bowen is unique in
that students can benefit from up to four summers of internship work,
beginning as early as the summer after high school. Returning to the
same partner employer every year gives interns a chance to establish
professional relationships and refine their skills as they advance in
Eligible applicants for an Emma Bowen Fellowship must be a U.S.
citizen or permanent resident and meet the following qualifications: be a
student of color (African American, Asian American, Latino, or
Indigenous); be a graduating high school senior or a current college
student; have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0; be
interested in pursuing a career in media or technology; attend or plan
to attend a four-year accredited college or university; and speak and
write English fluently.
Students selected for the program are paid for their internship work
and also have the opportunity to qualify for additional funding to help
pay college expenses. Fellows who complete the program become part of an
exclusive alumni database used by partner company recruiters.
Approximately 80 percent of Emma Bowen fellows are hired for
post-collegiate jobs in media and technology.
Emma Bowen fellow Meredith Ammons is a sophomore at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in media and journalism. In
2018 she completed her first summer as an intern at CBS2 in New York.
Ammons plans to build on her success in upcoming summers as she
continues to work for CBS2 and pursue a career in journalism. Sandra
Rice is Emma Bowen’s senior vice president for national recruitment.
Where do the internships take place and what fields do Emma Bowen interns and alumni pursue? Rice:
We place interns literally all over the country. Our company is housed
by NBCUniversal in New York and CBS in Los Angeles, but we also have
partners from coast to coast, north and south. We have a strong track
record of placements in newsrooms and far beyond. In addition to jobs as
reporters, producers, and directors, we have alumni working in fields
such as engineering, data analytics, cybersecurity, design, public
relations, and finance.
What are some of the highlights of the experience? Ammons:
I have so many highlights from my time in New York! One time, I went to
the federal court ICE hearings for the pizza delivery man deportation
case. Another time, I had the opportunity to interview the mayor of
Freeport, N.Y., about a fire.
Rice: A highlight is our annual summer conference where nearly
200 fellows convene in New York for four days. The event includes talks
by industry leaders, networking conversations with alumni, and a career
fair with top employers that like to hire from our talent base.
How can this experience help to shape an intern’s career path? Ammons:
My internship experience not only cemented my path in the field of
journalism but also helped me expand my horizons. Being an Emma Bowen
fellow has truly changed my life. It has given me the opportunity to get
a head start over my peers in my field of choice.
What do you think distinguishes Emma Bowen fellowships from other internship opportunities? Rice:
We not only show people what’s possible; we help them break through the
cement ceiling — and that’s what it is for people of color in media and
technology. Our fellows build professional relationships they often
keep for life. And we’re always there for them — we never let go.
Eastern Oklahoma State College is a leader in teaching aquaponics, a
sustainable agriculture method of growing all-natural produce and fish
using a recirculating water system. The school has partnered with
award-winning company Symbiotic Aquaponic to install an extensive
aquaponic system that serves both as a living laboratory and as the home
of the Agri-Business Incubator Program.
Aquaponic farming is a rapidly growing market. Over the past seven
years, Eastern and Symbiotic Aquaponic have built nearly 100 aquaponic
systems across nine states with partners in Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and
Wisconsin. They frequently partner with Native American tribes to design
and deliver STEM courses in local schools and establish agricultural
systems and food distribution channels among tribal members.
Eastern’s Agri-Business Incubator Program offers training for people
interested in a career focused on aquaponics. The first-of-its-kind
certificate course in Oklahoma is open to the public and includes
instruction on the processes and procedures required to earn
certification as an organic producer from the Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Participants complete a curriculum that integrates classroom
coursework and discussion with hands-on greenhouse training. Both 90-day
and one-day certificate courses are offered throughout the year.
Symbiotic Aquaponic President and CEO Kaben Smallwood grew up
helping on his grandparents’ farm in southeast Oklahoma. Along with his
brother Shelby, Kaben founded Symbiotic Aquaponic seven years ago and
oversees its farm operations. A trained economist, he is a proud member
of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Can you give us a snapshot of how aquaponic farming works?
It’s about establishing very efficient growing systems. Aquaponic
agriculture produces plants without the use of soil. Wastewater from the
fish provides all the nutrients plants need, and in turn the plants
help clean the water and make it a healthy environment for the fish.
It’s a mutually beneficial ecosystem, which is where the name
“symbiotic” comes from.
What are some of the advantages of aquaponic farming? Because
it’s a closed, recirculating system, aquaponic farming is highly
efficient and uses more than 90 percent less water than traditional
farming. Also, when farmers are able to earn organic certification, it’s
a great differentiator for them in the marketplace. A primary economic
benefit is that farmers are able to improve the price of what they
produce and get a much better financial return on their crops.
Tell us about the incubator program. Our incubator program has
been running for about two years through the Continuing Education
program at Eastern Oklahoma State College. The purpose is to train folks
to either run their own aquaponic farm or assist in providing related
services in the industry. It’s education driven so that someone with
even zero experience with aquaponics can learn everything they would
need to start an aquaponic business.
What kinds of opportunities have your graduates pursued?
Changing market opportunities have prompted people to look more
seriously at sustainable technologies. One thing that happened in
Oklahoma recently that changed the equation was the legalization of
industrial hemp and CBD [cannabidiol, a non-pyschoactive
phytocannabinoid derived from cannabis]. Legalization has further
improved the economic prospects for aquaponic systems. We have seen
recent graduates become successful aquaponic commercial farmers — with
areas of focus including USDA-certified organic CBD production and fresh
produce sales to farmers markets and restaurants. It’s a very promising
field, and we’re excited to see people learn to farm in a way that
significantly helps them as professionals and helps their families and