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Tuscarawas News Detail

Master’s Student Accepts Summa Internship

Posted Nov. 15, 2012

By Megan Grdina

Kent State graduate student Maria Fazio recently accepted an internship with Summa Center for Corporate Health.Fazio will be revamping Summa’s orientation manual for the hospice volunteers.

“Once this task is completed, I will be facilitating the actual training for the summer orientation,” said Fazio. “I will also be working on little projects throughout my time there and will be exposed to other departments to really get a feel of what I want to pursue once I graduate.”

Fazio is from Worcester, Pennsylvania and attended Pennsylvania State University. Her major was communication arts and sciences with a minor in business. Fazio is in her second year of the College of Communication and Information Master’s program at Kent State. Her major is communication studies with an emphasis in health communication and will graduate in May 2013.

Fazio was connected to Summa Health system when she attended the Volunteer/Experiential Learning Fair at Kent State University in September. She will be working in the Hospice and Palliative Care department at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio.

Fazio was offered other internship opportunities but Summa seemed like the right fit. Both her grandparents were hospice patients so she understood the importance of it and the process a family goes through.

“I felt this was the best opportunity for me to gain the most hands on experience,” said Fazio. “My supervisor is willing to take me to other departments so I can gain exposure to those as well to see what options will be available to me once I graduate.”

Fazio decided to go into this field when a professor introduced her to the idea of graduate school. She also completed a breast cancer project when she was an undergraduate in her small group and communication class.

“I was interested in knowing about fear appeal messages and generic messages and how individuals respond to them,” said Fazio. “So, I conducted a breast cancer campaign on campus, ran my research project, sold homemade breast cancer ribbons and gave out informational pamphlets and brochures. All money collected was donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation. So essentially, this project sparked my interest in health communication.”

Earning her undergraduate and master’s degrees in communication studies has allowed Fazio to gain significant knowledge of the field, especially as it relates to health.

“By completing an internship, I felt this would be the best way for me to apply my knowledge base and turn it into practical use,” said Fazio. “I wanted an opportunity where I could use and apply my knowledge to better serve the health industry, and I feel I can do this with my internship at Summa.”