2022 Summer Internship: Ariel Shultz ’24
July 11, 2022
Name: Ariel Shultz
Class Year: 2024
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Data Science
Hometown: Summit, NJ
Internship Organization: LITS
Job Title: Digital Technology Intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College, PA
Hello! My name is Ariel Shultz, I am a rising junior at Bryn Mawr College. A little bit about me, I am a part of Bryn Mawr’s Soccer team and some of my interests include the outdoors, cooking, drawing, music, data analytics, coding, and working out.
What being a maker means to me
Early on when I began working in Bryn Mawr’s Makerspace, we read an article entitled “Why I am not a maker,” where we discussed what it means to be a “maker,” the characteristics of a “maker,” and who is/should be labeled as a “maker.” After some reflection on the article, I didn’t necessarily characterize myself specifically as a “maker” because I view all people as makers. That’s why I was drawn to the Digital Technology Internship. All people are makers and all people, regardless of disability, should have equal access to resources and materials to be able to contribute to and be a valued member of Bryn Mawr’s community. Getting to work on various projects to make Bryn Mawr’s Makerspace, website, and resources more accessible offers me a unique opportunity to strengthen Bryn Mawr’s community to further make it an inclusive environment, where everyone can be makers in their own right.
My favorite workshop
So far in the internship, one workshop I attended that really resonated with me was the Inclusive Design Thinking workshop, which helped me restructure my brainstorming process. We were asked to design the “ideal” wallet and at first, I designed what would be my ideal wallet. What this workshop made me realize was that when it came to design thinking, rather than only considering myself, I need to expand my brainstorming process to be more inclusive to many different people. After being asked to design a wallet for the person sitting next to me, I took the time to thoroughly interview my partner and ask questions that put myself in their shoes. Setting my initial ideas aside and being open and aware of my partner’s needs was a valuable lesson I took from this experience. In order to make things more inclusive, it requires being open to new perspectives and valuing the opinions and experiences of all people regardless of disabilities, ethnicities, and cultures.
What excites me about this internship
As our team discusses the goals, tasks, and responsibilities we look to accomplish by the end of the summer, there are a few projects I’ve started working on that are exciting! One of the big projects we were asked to do was create an accessibility database that provides users with various types of apps tailored to accessibility, mental health, studying, design, and many others. I really enjoy coding and learning new programming languages so in order to create this database, the other interns and I have started researching and learning how relational databases work. We spent some time learning SQL to get a better understanding of how the backend of a database works. We spent some designing the structure of the database and after communicating with Bryn Mawr’s technical specialists, we have begun building the database using a few web applications and software, including MS Excel, Airtable, and Pory. We are in the process of making the database user friendly so that people can search for specific information and search by categories. In the coming weeks, as we work with Drupal software to build Bryn Mawr’s Access Services webpage, we will upload this database for individuals to start using it. I am so excited to be learning new skills and continue to tackle this project with my team. Another thing I’m also thrilled to be learn about is web design, wire framing, and web development in order to work on the Bryn Mawr website’s accessibility page and Makerspace page. We’ve spent a lot of time training in order to redesign those current webpages to be more accessible, along with creating new web pages with additional accessibility resources and materials. On top of learning the inner workings of Drupal 9, we’ve also had some exposure to programming languages, such as HTML and CSS, which we’ve been using to structure and design the Makerspace website through Word Press. I look forward to further tackling all sorts of challenges throughout the internship and I hope that the work I do this summer makes a difference at Bryn Mawr!