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Students in Knox College's SPARK program enjoy working  on collages during an afternoon work session with art faculty Tim Stedman.


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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Trezher-Njoh Malafa '19

Flint, Michigan

Major in Economics, Minor in Creative Writing

Through his Mellon Fellowship, Njoh obtained two internships: one with Mel Foster Real Estate and another as a Health Equity Research Summer Scholar.

Students in Knox College's SPARK program enjoy working  on collages during an afternoon work session with art faculty Tim Stedman.

What have you done as a Mellon Fellow?

The Mellon Fellowship made it possible for me to apply for several summer internships without worrying about expenses. Fortunately, after many emails and interviews, I was offered two. One with Mel Foster Real Estate in Galesburg, Illinois, and another as a Health Equity Research Summer Scholar for Michigan State University in Flint, Michigan. I am interested in the housing market and how it affects the economy, i.e. selling and buying. Being a Research Summer Scholar is a good fit because it allows me to learn about Public Health while serving my community. I'm doing both!

What have you experienced during your internships?

At Mel Foster Real Estate, I shadow brokers and the broker manager of the office. I watch as they work through listings and closings for houses. The goal is to learn how to become a real estate broker myself through watching how my peers work. I believe the internship is a great way for me to get my foot in the door in the world of real estate brokers, and possibly be an opportunity for me to work as one in the future! At the MSU Health Equity Research Summer Scholars Program, I study public health. This internship is an eight-week program that involves researching cost effectiveness of public health intervention programs. At the end of the program, I'll present my findings through a presentation to other scholars, mentors, and community members. My goal is to demonstrate the benefits and purpose of cost effectiveness with regards to public health. This internship will allow me to engage with the community, and possibly work with future community projects in Flint.

What surprised you about Knox?

The relationship between student and professor was most surprising. In my pursuit for employment, I felt comfortable in asking my professors for recommendations. Whenever I needed additional help with my studies, the professors were always available. It's not uncommon to walk through campus and have a professor greet me by my first name. They also helped me find my internships, my mentor in the Health Equity Research Summer Scholar program, Dr. Rick Sadler, and the head of the program, Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, who both helped in my research on public health.

What's a memorable experience you had with a professor or a particular class?

One experience in particular was in an accounting class. I asked visiting instructor Gomer for extra help after class and it eventually became a regular group session. Another is when visiting instructor Dr. Shabazz invited students to attend off campus events and having fun at an impromptu barbecue with students. My list can go on.

Trezher-Njoh '19, a Mellon Fellow, participated in Track and Field, ABLE, and was a part of the TRIO Achievement Program. In the past he's volunteered for Blessings in a Backpack. He's also been a Resident Assistant and has worked at Gizmo.

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Printed on Wednesday, May 27, 2020