Social Change and Development

The Social Change and Development (SCD) internship is a unique program that provides students with an opportunity to work directly with non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those with an international focus. In doing so, students build upon their academic foundation, contribute their intellectual and creative talents to the organization they work with and gain practical experience in the continually expanding realm of voluntary or so-called third-sector organizations.

Academic supervision for the SCD Internship Program is provided by Dr. Jillian M. Duquaine-Watson, senior lecturer and program head in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition to her expertise in social change and development, gender studies and non-profit management, Dr. Jillian also contributes practical knowledge gained from working directly with NGOs and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad.

In recent semesters, internships have included the following activities:

  • Communications: Evaluating an organization’s current communication strategies (including social media) as they pertain to donors and volunteers, comparing those strategies to the communication practices of other, similarly-sized non-profit organizations, and formulating a plan to improve this aspect of an organization.
  • Fundraising: Investigating various sources for charitable contributions types of crowd funding (such as Indie-Go-Go), and then planning and implementing a fund-raising project from start to finish. Projects are typically aimed at supporting ongoing projects as well as implementing new initiatives or programs.
  • Grants: Investigating grants for current and future projects, compiling necessary information, and drafting grant applications.
  • Microcredit Initiative: Examining current literature on microcredit and microfinance, evaluating existing microcredit programs, and creating a “working model” for implementation of microcredit initiatives.
  • Marketing: Developing marketing materials—including print, electronic and video—for special projects, fund-raisers and similar activities.
  • Volunteer Training: Creating a volunteer training manual that is meant to introduce volunteers to an organization’s philosophy, mission and goals and provides training in cultural competence and responsibilities for volunteers traveling to international "field sites."
  • “Green” Technologies and Sustainability Initiatives: Exploring technologies and initiatives (such a biodigesters and aquaponics) and the economic, health and environmental benefits they bring to NGOs and their projects.
  • Culturally Competent Curricular Materials: Research specific cultural context and create curricular materials that both advance education objects and reflect cultural values, beliefs and context.
  • Website Development: Review and evaluation of existing website, comparing it to other non-profits and NGOs with the aim of revising website to increase appeal, ease of use and effective communication.


SCD internships are open to undergraduate or graduate students at UT Dallas

Internships are typically offered for 3 credit hours per semester and you must register for academic credit in order to participate in this program. As an SCD student intern, you would be expected to devote an average of 10 hours per week to your internship responsibilities.

Interns are required to meet with Dr. Jillian every other week for approximately 1 hour (individually); interns are also required to meet with Dr. Jillian and the entire internship team for a 4-hour “team assessment and planning meeting” approximately every 3-4 weeks. Meetings are mandatory for all interns.

As an intern, you must provide weekly written updates about the internship activities and progress via email and are required to conduct a self-evaluation at the conclusion of the internship. You are also required to produce specific documents (reports, grant applications, presentations) or other materials (such as short video segments, curricular materials, marketing materials) that are specific to your internship assignment.

We are looking for creative, dynamic students who can work well independently and in collaboration with other members of the internship team. Internships are awarded on a competitive basis and all internship positions are unpaid.

Application Process

Submit the following to apply:

  • Two-page letter describing your interest in the SCD Internship Program, your experience in non-profit and voluntary organizations and any academic or experiential knowledge you bring to the internship.
  • Official copy of transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended.

Formal letters of recommendation may also be requested.

Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis and the selection process may include an interview with Dr. Jillian.


Dr. Jillian M. Duquaine-Watson
Program Director
[email protected]