Paid internships to focus on faith

The Butler University Center for Faith and Vocation is happy to announce it will continue its tradition of offering paid internships in faith-based fields for students.

From 2004-10, the CFV was given grant money from the Lilly Endowment fund to sponsor students seeking internships in a religious field, Judy Cebula, CFV director, said.

She said an anonymous Butler alumni suggested continuing the paid internships by obtaining faith-based sources to endow students.

“Butler should give students a chance to work in a nonprofit setting,” Celuba said. “Not just as something on the side, but for a chance to experience a career calling.”

Cebula said their goal is to have four interns each semester to work in different faith fields such as Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism and Hinduism. She stressed, however, that students did not need to have a religious affiliation to receive an internship.

“Certainly we know they will be drawn to affinity to your own faith, but [the positions] will be open to all students,” Cebula said.

She said there are a large number of service organizations funded by religiously affiliated groups that would not only diversify students’ education, but also put them into a real-life situation of making a difference.

“There is a rich tradition of Jewish philanthropy and service not only in Indianapolis, but across the world, and we want Butler students to see that part of the world,” she said.

Cebula said their goal is to be strategic with the funding received for the internships to ensure that students are placed in applicable and educational sites that will increase their college experiences.

“Most importantly, we want to be engaging with the religious groups on campus and see that reflected in our internship sites,” she said.

The internships will be offered in both the fall and spring semesters and students are eligible to receive academic credit.

Cebula said the opportunity for a Catholic faith-based internship is now available to students through finding sources to endow the internships with the help of the Butler Catholic Community and local parishes.

Paula Trzepacz and her husband, Robert Baker, are among the donors in newly founded Fund for Discernment in the Catholic Tradition, which sponsors the CFV in providing paid Catholic-based internships for students.

“I had been involved with Providence Cristo Rey High School and because of the excellent work they do with underprivileged high school students wanting a private school education, I wanted to find a bridge to Butler students in some way,” Trzepacz said.

Trzepacz is a member of Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and works as a Senior Medical Fellow in Neurosciences with Eli Lilly & Company.

Trzepacz said she was drawn to the cause after watching a CFV Butler intern work with the students at Providence. She said she and her husband also endowed a premedical scholarship fund at Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio) and provide support for a new high school in Bassin Bleu, Haiti.

Trzepacz said she believes the intellectual self is not separate from the spiritual being and the intellectual being can either aid in understanding one’s life purpose or be a “barrier” if rationality overrides spiritual beliefs.

“The intellectual self is a divine gift that enables us to develop and function, and to serve others according to the talents we each uniquely have—I believe that distinguishes a vocation from an occupation,” she said. “Our intellectual self is nourished and given meaning and balance by our spiritual self. Humans are at our very best when we focus on helping others in selfless ways. “

Trzepacz said that she and her husband plan to continue donating to the Fund for Discernment in the Catholic Tradition in hopes that more Butler students will have this opportunity to broaden their intellectual and spiritual lives.

“We would like to see people from other faiths endow similar internships through the CFV,” she said. “And wouldn’t it be great if there were so many internship opportunities that an internship experience of integrating intellect, faith and service became part of the cultural fabric at Butler. “

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