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For the past three years, MSU St. Andrews has hosted an eight-week STEM internship for Great Lakes Bay Region high school students entering their senior year. In 2018, Creative 360 was invited to help add the “A” (for Arts) making STEAM by adding a writing internship to the program. Creative 360’s marketing director, Deborah Cull leads the program.

Cull was able to develop a program that responded to the school’s needs and offers experience in a variety of writing styles, including creative fiction, creative nonfiction, business writing, journalism, writing for presentation, persuasive essay and technical reporting. The program was launched and the region’s high school students were urged to apply.

“We limited the program to seven students in the first year,” explained Lori Hudson, Director, Research Facilitation and Dissemination at MSU. “This year we upped that number to 11 and invited two of last year’s students to return.”

A published author, Hudson proposed the idea of adding the writing internship. “Once I got approval to proceed, I began a search for a good program and a qualified mentor. We found both of these things at Creative 360,” she explained.

Mentor Deborah Cull says leading the internship is a highlight of her summer. “Writing is my passion,” she said. “Helping others improve their writing skills is another. Wrap that into a third passion of working with young people and it’s a dream job for me.”

“Creative 360 is pleased to be a part of this important opportunity for students in the region,” said Creative 360 Executive Director Carol Rumba. “This collaboration with MSU helps make it possible to position the arts and creativity as an important element in education.”

The writing interns are from a variety of high school experiences including Bullock Creek, Calvary Baptist, H.H. Dow, Midland Christian, and Seton Home Study. Two are off to college in the fall and will attend Central Michigan and Michigan Technological University.

Like last year, the Interns will publish a book with a compilation of their best writing. Last year’s book, This Book Rocks, is available through the MSU University Press (ISBN #978-0-9967252-9-3). This year’s book, Less is More (ISBN #978-1-947134-02-7) will be the subject of a book talk at the MSU Extension office on Wednesday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m., the first of a two-night open house where all the intern projects will be showcased in poster sessions.

About Creative 360
Creative 360 is a not-for-profit community arts and wellness organization founded in 1994. Its mission is to create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities. The organization’s core values of inclusiveness, creativity, respect and community drive the culture at Creative 360. Activities at Creative 360 are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Midland Area Community Foundation and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.

About MSU St. Andrews
MSU St. Andrews serves the greater Midland community by providing educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) for all ages. MSU researchers and staff offer novel, nationally preeminent National Science Foundation (NSF) supported curricula and extra-curricular activities for students, as well as workshops to help teachers gain additional skills in STEAM subjects.

These activities support Michigan State University’s general mission of research, teaching, and service-outreach, and specifically advance MSU’s efforts to promote economic vitality in the region and the state.

Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.

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