Savannah Hartman, Luther College senior, worked for the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging in Waterloo, Iowa, for her summer internship. Specifically, she worked in the Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention program.
The daughter of Jeff and Jen Hartman of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Hartman graduated from Cedar Falls High School. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in social work.
Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging serves 18 counties in northeast Iowa, providing elderly care and support programs. The Elder Abuse Awareness Prevention program helps seniors who have been neglected or abused physically, emotionally or financially.
Tasks in her internship included assisting with client paperwork, attending networking meetings and hosting sessions on financial exploitation presented by Iowa Legal Aid. She also traveled to each of the agency's 18 counties for outreach work.
Hartman gained an appreciation for agencies that serve the aging population and services they provide to individuals wishing to maintain their independence. She also has a newfound passion for elder abuse prevention and awareness. "While elder abuse may not be a well-noticed issue in society, it is very prevalent. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the issue, and to continue to care for our aging neighbors," she said.
Looking into the future, Hartman believes this internship has given her much to look forward to upon graduation in May. It reminded her of why she wishes to work in the social work field; for her it is a vocation that is fulfilling and purpose driven. Interactions with colleagues and her work in the elder abuse unit enabled her to feel secure in pursuing this field. The internship solidified Hartman's desire to be a social worker dealing in the geriatric field, and now she feels even more prepared to go into her community and serve.
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks.
An internship work supervisor also assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.