news-category: Students

Macie Latham, ‘21, Participates in Internship After Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions

Graphic Design Student Spends First Part of Summer Practicing Her Skills

By Claire Coile, Intern for the Office of Communications and Media Relations

Claire Coile

Like many college students, Macie Latham, a rising senior at Gardner-Webb University, has learned to be flexible this summer. At first, her summer internship was cancelled due to the coronavirus and its repercussions. Then, as stay-at-home restrictions began to be lifted across the state, she was invited to fulfill her internship.

Although she faced a different summer than expected, Latham kept a positive attitude and stayed motivated. She moved back home to Advance, N.C., in mid-March when Gardner-Webb transitioned to online delivery of classes. She found that establishing a routine made accomplishing her daily classwork easier. “I tried to stay on a consistent schedule like I would have at school – emphasis on tried,” she remarked. “I had morning classes at school, so at home I would get up and get my work done before going about the rest of the day.”

A graphic design major in the GWU Department of Communication and New Media, she also stayed busy by practicing her design skills and working on her own projects using information she’s learned in her classes. “Gardner-Webb has given me countless opportunities to gain experience in my career field,” she recounted. “The communication department presents real-life situations in the classroom to help students prepare for their future.”

Both this summer and last summer, Latham interned with Gryphon House, the book publishing branch for Kaplan Early Learning Company, based in Lewisville, N.C. The company sells supplies like tables, chairs, books and teaching materials to early childhood learning centers. Their books for teachers cover a wide variety of topics from teaching methods, how to deal with racial bias, and preparation for the possibility of an active shooter in school.

Last summer, Latham formatted eBooks, so they were compatible with any device before being placed on Amazon or eBay. When she was approved to safely resume her internship this summer, she was assigned a different role. Latham described the changes, “My supervisor has me working with the editor and making design edits from Adobe Acrobat to an InDesign file.”

Latham is also collaborating with the marketing department to create post cards and flyers for books. Gryphon House has taken steps to ensure their employees’ well-being by utilizing Zoom software and wearing facemasks outside of personal workspaces.

Latham is taking every opportunity to soak up knowledge and experience from those around her. She loves seeing the separate teams combine their individual work with other teams to create a cohesive, final project. “My favorite part is getting to sit in on meetings and hear from the other teams,” she commented. “Book publishers can be made up of multiple teams like the editors, design team and marketing team.”

Understandably, she wants to resume spending time with her close-knit community. At GWU, she is a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society, works at the writing center as a receptionist, and volunteers on the media team with campus ministries. “As simple as it sounds,” Latham reflected, “the biggest thing I miss from pre-social distancing is getting to be in the same room with friends and family without worrying about the potential spread of the coronavirus.”

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