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Preaching Goes Viral internships (first six weeks). Summer 2020 interns - unpaid.

Preaching Goes Viral:

Religious Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Overview: The Preaching Goes Viral (PGV) initiative was started by students in 3 classes at Miami University of Ohio, with Dr. Hillel Gray, to track and analyze the ongoing religious responses to the coronavirus pandemic. With empathy and suspended judgement, the PGV staff and students have collected over 3,200 sermons, prayers, updates to rituals and worship practices, livestreams, and more, for a public archive of the diverse responses to this COVID-19 crisis. Our initiative is a rapidly growing effort to track COVID-related religious activities as they unfold during the current crisis.

Summer 2020 interns will assist in continuing the work started by Miami University students and the PGV staff. These internships will provide opportunities for professional development, data management, strategic communication, social media management, writing, and individual supervision. Seeking 3-10 students for these roles, some of which will have regional responsibilities.

Note: This internship opportunity is currently listed as unpaid. Student interns may be given a small stipend, depending on available funding and the number of interns.

Timing: The period of these internships is flexible. A second six weeks would presumably run until August 8th or beyond, depending on conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic. Renewable internships may be feasible upon mutual agreement.

To learn more, and to submit a sermon or other data, see: Preaching Goes Viral: Religious Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Projects/Tasks: Projects will be divided by each intern’s skillset and area of interest. Individual responsibilities may include the following.

  • Strategic communication and outreach. Interns will contact religious institutions, congregants, and clergy for submission of materials, participation with the PGV effort, and copyright permissions. Communications will be screened or monitored by others on the PGV team. Interns may take charge of a geographic region or a religious sector. Writing: PGV Interns will be responsible for writing or collecting written content for a biweekly PGV newsletter. Writing may be screened and edited by another member of the PGV team prior to reaching publication. Exhibits: PGV interns may design and prepare digital exhibits of themes to demonstrate the depth and diversity of the data collection.

  • Social media outreach. Social media accounts will be maintained professionally by PGV interns. They will be responsible for monitoring Facebook and Twitter for activity that needs to be processed and replied to (either through responses in comments/posts, or by adding a linked source to the database, etc.).

  • Web scraping, data management, and categorization (coding). Interns will have the opportunity to develop skills related to qualitative data analysis (QDA), data management, digital archiving, web scraping, and more as the database grows and the PGV team determines where to host the archive. (Tutorials can be provided to interns for web scraping and database management if needed.) PGV Interns would categorize (code) sermons and other religious responses to the pandemic and/or select excerpts from the coded sermons to feature in outreach efforts. 

  • Course preparation. In preparation for the fall semester, PGV Interns will support Dr. Gray in creating assignments and managing the Canvas site. This will include developing training materials, reviewing previous assignments, collaborating on new assignments with PGV staff, and incorporating feedback from Spring 2020 students.

  • Manage volunteers and, potentially, other student interns. Help recruit and train volunteers. Volunteers would assist with efforts to search and submit data, categorize (code) archived religious materials, and conduct quality control reviews of existing metadata.

  • PGV Interns will attend virtual meetings with PGV staff and Dr. Gray, and possibly partnership institutions, on such matters as outreach, digital exhibits, and brainstorming new or expanded partnerships. Interns may be asked to take meeting minutes and send them out to participants following the meetings. 
  • Additional projects and tasks may be added as the internship draws nearer and as the PGV archive evolves over the summer.

Hours: PGV Interns will each contribute 15-25 hours of work per week. Interns are expected to track their hours and accomplishments. These are unpaid internship positions, see note above.

How to apply: Apply through Handshake. (Miami Univ students may email Dr. Hillel Gray). All applicants please express your interest in the position and describe relevant skills & experiences, preferably by May 20th, 2020.

For information about unpaid internships under the The Fair Labor Standards Act, see: Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act