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Tuscarawas News Detail

Personalized System of Instruction Interns Offer Custom Learning Experience and Mentorship

Posted Feb. 7, 2013

Story by Caitlin Boozer

The School of Communication Studies welcomes its new PSI Student Interns for the Spring 2013 semester: Carmen Barbuto, Alisa Frye and Kyle Jones. The PSI (Personalized System of Instruction) Internship provides an opportunity for interns to assist with an Introduction to Human Communication (COMM 15000) course and provide personalized attention to these students’ learning needs while developing their own skills in mentoring and leadership.

McKenzie Pittman, COMM 15000 instructor for the spring 2013 semester, has experienced the course on every level: first as a student, then as an intern and now as the instructor. “The PSI internship gave me the opportunity to interact on a personal level with students, facilitating their individual growth, as well as encouraging group communication. The opportunity was essential in helping to shape my own teaching philosophy. Now, as an instructor of the basic course, I have three PSI interns in a classroom. With a different perspective on the internship, our interns will be invaluable in the classroom,” Pittman said.

Barbuto is a public communication major with a political science minor from Mount Vernon. She chose communication studies for its collegiate reputation, faculty, staff and the friendly environment in Taylor Hall. During her time as a PSI Intern, Barbuto is most looking forward “to getting to know the students in her group because she always valued having someone to look up to,” and says it would be great if ­­­she could be that person for her students. Her plans after the internship include graduation and law school, with her primary interests being in sports/media law and criminal law.

Frye is an organizational communication major with a minor in advertising from Uniontown. She chose communication studies because she felt her enjoyment of public speaking meant the School would be a perfect fit for her. In the internship, Frye is most looking forward to seeing the classroom from a new perspective: as a mentor rather than a student. “I think this will be an experience in itself just being on the other side,” Frye said. Frye’s plans for the future include applying to graduate school, and she hopes to start in the spring.

Jones, a public communication major with a minor in interpersonal communication, is from Youngstown. He chose communication studies after reconsidering his initial decision to be a political science major. In the PSI Internship, Jones says that he “plans to serve as a peer mentor” to the students he will work with throughout the course. After graduation, Jones hopes to become a deputy registrar for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This will bring together his desire to own a business and make use of his public relations skills. Jones also hopes to attend graduate school and obtain a master’s degree in health communication.

For details on applying to the PSI internship for fall 2013, go to