TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Four University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences students and recent alumni are working as Television Academy Foundation Interns.
Each year, the Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program provides approximately 50 students from across the nation with hands-on experience in the entertainment industry, mentorships and opportunities for accelerated career development in more than 30 categories.
“I think our students stand out because we’ve pushed them to tell their story,” said Dr. Rachel Raimist, associate professor of journalism and creative media. “The ones who have been selected have all written very personal essays, explaining what has made them the way they are and how that will influence the kind of stories they want to tell as a filmmaker, storyteller, director or writer.”
The University of Alabama has placed a total of 12 interns through the Television Academy Foundation’s internship program and has three faculty members in the College of Communication and Information Sciences who have completed the Foundation’s Faculty Seminar.
“C&IS has a great program, but we are not a film school,” said Raimist. “For our students to be competing against the top film schools in the country, getting positions in some of the most sought after categories, is quite incredible.”
The four from UA — three students and one alumnus — are engaged in paid, in-depth internships with professional television production companies in Los Angeles. The list of placements is as follows:
- Abigail Armstrong, of Tuscaloosa, senior, in the category of TV Directing, for One Day at a Time, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Big Bang Theory
- Kathleen Bodle, of Tuscaloosa, a May 2017 graduate, in the category of Movies for TV, for Stan and Deliver Films
- Drake McDonald, of Tuscaloosa, senior, in the category of Children’s Programming and Development, for Disney Jr.
- Shanrica Evans, of Decatur, Georgia, in the category of Episodic Series, for Shondaland. Evans is a UA alumna who is pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Southern California.
The Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program received 1,630 applications from students in 386 schools across 45 states. The internship category of TV Directing, awarded to Armstrong, is especially competitive, due to its popularity among applicants and the limited number of internship placement opportunities.
“Feedback I’ve gotten on [UA Television Academy Interns] from their hosting companies is that they are very prepared and come ready to do the job,” said Nancy Robinson, director of the education program, Television Academy Foundation. “And they come here without a sense of entitlement, which is nice.”
The Television Academy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.