by Hodo Abubakar, DLINQ Intern


During this school year, I had the opportunity to intern with DLINQ again, having previously interned during the summer. My previous experience equipped me with the necessary knowledge to answer people’s questions and learn how to assist them, even when I lack the necessary expertise. This past Fall and J-term, I gained valuable technical skills and general knowledge that proved useful in and outside of class. I also collaborated with the Inclusive Design Studio to discuss inclusivity and promote awareness of this topic across various departments.

Among the all-intern events I participated in and helped organize were two TechKitchens. These events allowed us to showcase our work and interact with fellow students. I presented a project on customizing room name plates using Canva, a platform I learned to use during the summer. I used the posters created by other interns as an example and inspiration for the participants. During the second TechKitchen, I presented a project aimed at streamlining the interns’ citation process by merging Zotero and ChatGPT extensions. I enjoyed the Spring Tech Kitchen because I learned about AI and other platforms from my fellow interns. I hope to return the favor and spark interest in others in the future.

TechKitchen poster

***Here is a preview of the TechKitchen Flyer***

Neighborhood poster for HelpDesk, CTLR and DLINQ Interns

Another ongoing group project that I am part of is the Davis Library Neighborhood Project. This project aims to understand the CTLR, DLINQ, and the Helpdesk‘s roles in student services. Working with representatives from the CTLR and the Helpdesk, we gathered information from student employees/interns in each department about their roles and what they think the other departments do. We then compared and contrasted the responses and developed a poster to guide students on the types of assistance available in each department. This project allowed me to collaborate with peers who do similar work and brainstorm ways to improve the student body’s access to the help they need.

Inclusive Design Studio Group/ Events 

I also participated in other group projects, including an event held at the Inclusive Design Studio. This hybrid event brought together different student-led clubs and projects (Fostering Inclusive Recreational Experiences, The Twilight Project, and QPTOC)  to discuss how they practice inclusivity in their communities. Working with Dr. Sarah Lohnes-Watulak and the Inclusive Design interns, we facilitated conversations with these student led-organizations to learn about implementing inclusive practices. I look forward to helping to organize another event in the future.

Personal Project with the Inclusive Design Studio

Furthermore, I have been working on two personal projects, one within the Inclusive Design Studio and the other being my DLINQ Inquiry. I have expanded my previous work in the Inclusive Design Studio and worked on a project called Digital Yogi Tasks that focuses on how Middlebury welcomes international students and makes them feel at home. To achieve this, I interviewed international students of different grades to gauge their sense of belonging at Middlebury. I selected two first-year students and two seniors for more in-depth interviews on balancing an academic and social life. The next step was to develop a digital guide that can be used as short tasks for first-year international students to help navigate campus. I am currently prototyping the cards and gathering feedback from students to refine the content. This project was slow at first, but it became fulfilling once I started noticing patterns in the responses. I am eager to see the final outcome and how it can be used or published.

Instagram square of an Inclusive Design Digital Yogi exercise

Personal Project with DLINQ

Lastly, my DLINQ Inquiry, The Study Buddy, was born out of the Digital Yogi Project, which aims to alleviate academic stress among international students. The Study Buddy provides a platform for students to collaborate and study together productively, creating a group environment where students do not feel isolated or alone. To gather data, I created a Google form with three questions on studying preferences and sent it to my friends. After collecting the data, I needed to interpret it and decided to utilize one of the data analysis tools I learned: RStudio. I created a graph to visualize the data. Currently, I am collaborating with a group of friends to investigate the impact of group studying on academic performance. Although this project is still ongoing, I am determined to present the results in a way that is beneficial to others and aligns with my original goals. Despite encountering unexpected challenges, such as uncertainty about implementation and which tools to use, I remain enthusiastic about this project and plan to continue working on it until the end of the semester.

Closing Remarks 

Overall working as a DLINQ intern was a learning and enjoyable experience because I had the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people that all contributed to the growth of my personal and professional development in various ways and contributed to broadening my perspective on problem-solving. My experience as a DLINQ intern has been fulfilling and illuminating. I am glad I was able to participate and be part of this talented group 🙂

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash