At the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, there is an internship program that allows students studying social work to learn more about dementia while working with families and persons with the disease.
This program allows students to be able to put their ‘book’ knowledge into practice in a safe environment and under the supervision of a caring and open team.
Jane Eckles, the Clinical Services Director at the Miami Valley Chapter, leads the team who oversees this program. “Students bring so much to the work arena. They are learning new techniques, ideas and research that they bring to the program,” said Jane. “Their work is closely monitored by the chapter staff and by the school program that they are in. All cases and interactions with clients are supervised.”
We currently have three interns; one is working on our 24/7 Helpline and the other two are working with a dementia coaching program developed by the Benjamin Rose Research Institute in Cleveland.
“The ongoing help and support they offer to families is invaluable!” said Jane. “They are able to talk with caregivers on a weekly basis if needed and provide a fresh and energetic approach to issues presented to them.” Read below to learn more about our wonderful interns!
Erin Scott – Cedarville University
I am a senior at Cedarville University, majoring in social work. I am from Michigan but I have enjoyed being in the Dayton area for the past four years. I am excited to be at the Alzheimer’s Association for my senior field placement since I truly have a God-given love for the senior population. I chose to intern with the Alzheimer’s Association because I was interested in learning more about the Association’s advocacy and outreach to the community. I also was looking forward to being challenged as a social work student. Like so many others at the chapter, I have had Alzheimer’s and dementia affect people very dear to me and I appreciate the opportunity to gain more understanding about the treatment and resources available for families who are affected by these diseases. At Cedarville, I play the french horn in symphonic band and mellophone in the pep band and I serve as an officer of two social work student organizations. In my spare time, I love following Michigan State college athletics, volunteering, and reading.
Megan Dungan – Wright State/Miami University
I am currently attending the Wright State/Miami University Masters Social Work Program with a focus on older adults. I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Wright State, as well. I wanted to intern at the Alzheimer’s Association because I wanted to be a part of making a change. The Alzheimer’s Association is the tip of the spear in advancing research and policy as well as supporting local communities. In this setting, we get to help support the cause that effects so many lives and I wanted to join this great team! My favorite thing to do is read. I love a good book and will overlook anything on my to-do list if I’ve been captured by a good read.
Rebecca Fensler – Wright State/Miami University
I am originally from the northwest Ohio area and received my BA from Ohio Northern University in 2005. I moved to Dayton in 2008 after getting my MA from The University of Findlay. I had been working in fundraising and development but decided that I really wanted to work more directly helping individuals and families. After more than eight years working in the non-profit field, I decided to go back to school and work toward a degree in social work. I am excited to be in my final year of my Master’s of Social Work program at Wright State University! In addition to school, I also serve as Program Director for the East Dayton Senior Collaborative, a program that targets low-income and underserved seniors in east Dayton neighborhoods. It was my love for working with seniors and caregivers that led me to this internship with the Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association. I am looking forward to supporting families and caregivers during my time here. My husband and I just bought our first home, which keeps me pretty busy, but in my free time I like to read, go hiking, and hang out with my dog.