#UDcommFUN: Communications internship with Habitat for Humanity

Communications Internship: Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County


This is a for-credit only internship. To be eligible, applicants should be enrolled in a Journalism, PR or Communications program at an accredited college or university and in requirement of the completion of a specific number of work hours to receive credit. Applicants should possess sound oral and written communication skills, a solid grasp of the English language, be comfortable working with others in a professional environment and available to work no less than 15 hours/week.


The communications operation of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County operates less like a traditional public relations department and more like a news outlet with multiple products. In fact, the media is close to the bottom of our list of priorities. Our approach to making good on our responsibility to educate and inform relies on the use of the various publications and mediums to conduct our messaging. Our web site, newsletters, social media presence, billboards, radio commercials and newspaper ads have a very wide reach and give us many more opportunities to get the word out about our organization than any newspaper story or television report can. So, we must put the necessary time and effort into making these multimedia materials relevant, attractive and sophisticated. The big events and initiatives that come out of HFHNCC that warrant may warrant media coverage will be discussed and if it is decided that a pitch is needed, we’ll do so.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

• Monitoring the Media – Scanning the web for news and other information on affordable housing issues and news about other Habitat for Humanity affiliates that may be of interest to us.

• Social Media Management – Finding relevant material and links and posting them on social media. Monitoring Habitat International’s website, twitter feed and Facebook page and keeping HFHNCC in their loop.

• Produce Copy for Habitat Happenings – Habitat Happenings is a digital newsletter that goes out every two weeks. It contains brief items on events and that take place within the organization. Each item is usually 2-3 paragraphs with a photo if needed.

• Produce Copy for Quarterly Newsletter – Out quarterly newsletter that will contains detailed reports on major events, initiatives inside and outside the organization that concern us. These items will be somewhat longer and contain quotes and more background information.

• Take Pictures – You’ll be coached on how to shoot photos at various events for publication.

• Write Press Releases – You’ll be coached on how to write news advisories and press releases that we’ll send to the media.

Desired Skills

Knowledge and experience working with the following:

• MS Word

• MS Outlook

• PowerPoint

• Publisher

• InDesign

• Social Media, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube

• Twitter

• YouTube

• WordPress

While those skills are desired, not having experience in some of the above mentioned programs does not disqualify you from consideration.


To apply for the internship: email  resume and a one-page cover letter explaining what Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County does, the impact it has on the community and how you can help communicate its mission to the public to Leon Tucker (Director of Communications) at ltucker@habitatncc.org.



Tell Your Story: Abby Ecker, UD Communication Class of 2012

Abby Ecker currently serves as the Connecting Director at The Journey Church in Newark, Del. Before coming into her role at The Journey, she spent a year and half as the public relations coordinator for ATI Physical Therapy’s East Coast division and developed and implemented the company’s progressive social media strategy. A 2012 graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Mass Communications, Abby served as the president of PRSSA-UD from 2010 through 2012 and led a team to present at the 2011 PRSSA National Conference.
Her work experience includes internships at the Delaware House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, Inside Out Creative Agency, Autism Delaware, American Cancer Society, and the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union. Forever a student of the digital age, Abby actively contributes to a variety of online publications about social media and public relations, and her work has been featured in USA Today College, Pitching Notes, Get Busy Media, the PRSSA National blog, and Start Networking Today. Abby is currently No. 5 on Jeremy Pepper’s “Future PR Pros To Watch” list and was recognized as one of the ”Top 100 Twitter Account Every Job Seeker Needs To Follow” by Youtern.com. In 2011, she received the PRSA National Government and Public Affairs Grant and was named a “Woman of Promise” by UD’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. Abby is currently serving her second term of the PRSA Delaware Board of Directors.

What year did you graduate from the University of Delaware?

May 2012

Where are you currently employed?  

I currently work at The Journey as our Connecting and Church Development Director.

What are some of your every day responsibilities?

As our Connecting Director, I oversee all areas that deal with connecting people to The Journey. One of my main roles is communication and branding; I oversee all of our website and digital content writing, as well as social media strategy, management, and content development. From a leadership perspective, I oversee our small groups ministry, hospitality team, follow-up team, care team, and missions. On a regular day, I am working hard to empower and develop leaders in those key areas.

What is one thing someone would be surprised to know about you?

I absolutely love long-distance running, so they may be surprised to know I didn’t run at all up until about two years ago! I started training for my first half marathon in January 2012 and completed it five months later. In 2013, I took the plunge and finished my first full marathon. It’s definitely a new hobby for me, but I love it!

How did the University of Delaware prepare you for the workforce?

I don’t think I can say enough great things about UD! I absolutely loved my time as a student. I was able to blend a variety of classroom learning, undergraduate research, and real-world internships to graduate well-rounded and ready for the job search. I had a few great professors who took a personal interest in me and really mentored me throughout my years at UD.

From one Blue Hen to another, do you have any advice for current COMM students?

Get real world experience! It’s so important to go into the real world with a resume full of internships and related activities. UD offers great resources through the COMM Department and Career Services, but don’t feel limited. Go out and pursue what you want to do, and you’ll be surprised how many potential employers would love to have you as an intern or volunteer.

What is one piece of advice you received that has helped you get to where you are today?

Professor Bartoo shared so many important tidbits of wisdom with me in my time at UD, but one of the most important things she ever taught me was the difference between being assertive and being aggressive. I’m naturally a more passive person, but I also have a strong interest and love for leadership. Sometimes those two can be at odds with each other, but Professor Bartoo really showed me how to passionately pursue what I want while still being myself.

What is a favorite memory from your college years? 

I have to give just one?! It’s tough, but I think I’d have to go with attending the Joe Biden rally in October 2008. Biden, who was Delaware’s senior Senator at the time, came to UD four days before the presidential election for a rally. While I was walking through security, I had someone from the Secret Service stop me and ask if I would want to stand up on stage with now-Vice President Biden. Um, yes! I love political communication, so being at UD in 2008 was such an exciting time. Between having one former Blue Hen acting as campaign manager for President Obama and another for Sen. McCain, as well as Biden running as VP, Delaware was really the “epicenter” of politics!

What is a favorite memory from a Communications class you took and who was the professor?

Again, it’s hard to choose just one…but it’s pretty hard to beat Professor Dee’s rap from Media Law!

Will you be attending Alumni Weekend 2014? 

I just might! Thankfully I am still local, so I love being able to pop in and out of UD whenever I can.

abby ecker


‘Like’ The Department of Communication on Facebook

Celebrating 40 years as a Department.                                                                        Join the conversation with the hash-tag: #UDCOMM40


Tell Your Story: Jessica Bryk, UD Communication Class of 2011

Everyone loves stories. Learning from others, gaining insight, and sneaking a peak into someone’s life is all a part of the fun in Communication! We learn from others, whether it be through a blog post, a Tweet, a photo, or a face-to-face conversation. We constantly tell our stories and today, Jessica Bryk, UD Communication alumna from the Class of 2011, shares her’s.

Interested in telling your story? Email our Independent Study student, Keri Betters, today: kbetters@udel.edu


Jessica Bryk: BA, Communication 2011 (Minors: Advertising, Journalism)

What year did you graduate from the University of Delaware? December, 2011

Where are you currently employed?  

I am currently working as a freelance copywriter, under contract with a Wilmington, DE-based ad agency called Caspari McCormick.  I started working with them as an intern in February 2011, then began working there full-time after graduation.  In June of 2013, I approached my boss with a proposal that would allow me to move to Rhode Island and continue working for them as a contract copywriter.  Interestingly, the company has a number of clients in the New England area, so this worked out well for everyone.  But, my last day is actually this Friday and I will start work as a Marketing Coordinator at A/Z Corporation (North Stonington, CT) on Monday, March 24.

What are some of your every day responsibilities?

In my current position, I write, edit and proofread advertising copy for a variety of media.  One day I might be writing a technical brochure for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the next I’ll be on a beach in Rhode Island helping to creative direct a commercial shoot for the Block Island Express Ferry.  Since Caspari McCormick is a small agency (6 full-time employees), I work very closely with the creative director.  Another big part of my job is proofreading proposals for prospective clients.

In my new job at A/Z Corporation, I will be working with the in-house marketing team, which will be a bit different.  The position will be more focused on editing proposals, with occasional event planning for trade shows and potentially writing copy for a new website.

What is one thing someone would be surprised to know about you?

As far as my career goes, people might be surprised to hear that I actually enjoy the more technical aspects, like proofreading and formatting. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, and while I do enjoy brainstorming and developing new ideas, it can get exhausting!  It’s hard to sit down and be expected to be funny or witty or insightful day after day.  Being able to bust out my red pen and look for typos – where there’s a definite right and wrong answer – is a nice break for me.

How did the University of Delaware prepare you for the workforce?

Probably the most influential part of my UD career was PRSSA.  I served as the Professional Development Director during my junior year – a position that put me in contact with alumni and local professionals.  I learned to plan large-scale networking events and that it’s completely okay (and encouraged!) to ask those who are successful in your field for advice. I also improved my professional writing skills in my ad/PR classes, learning to write news releases and proposals.

From one Blue Hen to another, do you have any advice for current COMM students?

Get involved in clubs outside of class!  Whether it’s PRSSA or the Blue Hen Marketing Club, some of the most marketable skills you will gain will come from actually getting hands-on.  And don’t just show up to the meetings – consider running for the executive board, or even see if you can do marketing or PR for your sorority or another club you’re interested in.

Check out Jessica’s portfolio: http://www.behance.net/jbryk

tell your story


‘Like’ The Department of Communication on Facebook

Celebrating 40 years as a Department.                                                                        Join the conversation with the hash-tag: #UDCOMM40

COMM Department Round-Up!

1. UD congratulates Professor Lydia Timmins and her students! The crew taking her Broadcast News Documentary” course last year produced a documentary that is nominated for a local Emmy award! The 17member  class independently completed the entire project over the course of one semester: shooting, editing, and scripting  the entire thing . Check out their work, “Grandma Never Texted”


2. Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed Professor Dannagal Young  on July 18. Professor  Columbia Journalism Review, “Lighten up: How satire will make American politics relevant again.” Hear what she had to say! – http://www.wpr.org/shows/satire-and-democracy

3. Did you know that Professor Lindsay Hoffman writes for the Huffington Post? Dr. Hoffman’s scholarly research  focuses on media effects, political satire, and citizen use of internet technology to become more informed in their communities. Check out her latest article on the crisis in Syria here:


4.  Prof. Scott Caplan uses hashtags in his classes and his students love it! It’s the “intergration” of social media and communication theory at it’s finest. Follow him @UdelCaplan


5. Prof. John Courtright has received the prestigious honor of being named editor of Human Communication Research. Prof. Courtright will begin his three year term in the journal’s (I inserted an apostrophe here -I’ve noticed an apostrophe habit that you should focus on) 39th volume.The International Communication Association publishes the journal; with over 3,500 members reading, it ranks as one of the top 10 journals in the field of human communication.


Supreme Court and UD Communication Dept. Unite

The Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor’s visit generated one of the largest turn-outs in years as a speaker at UD! Justice Sotomayor shared her early life experiences from her memoir, My Beloved World. The First Year Common Reader program picks a book to engages students in the intellectual life of the UD community.

You can read the full story on her visit  here

Check out the COMM department representing front and center!

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks Thursday at the Bob Carpenter Center. With her on stage are N’Kosi Oates(COMM’ 14) and Shylah Duchicela.