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ACU Student Internship Spotlight: Brahlee Chesnut and Emily Mazar

Two English majors at Abilene Christian University are spending their summers in Abilene integrating coursework with practical, hands-on experience through the Language and Literature Internship online course. Brahlee Chesnut, a junior English major from Midland, is interning as an English as a Second Language instructor for the International Rescue Committee in Abilene, and Emily Mazar, junior English major from Austin, is working as an editorial intern for ACU Press.


Chestnut is an ESL intern at the International Rescue Committee this summer.
Chesnut will be an English Second Language intern at the International Rescue Committee this summer.

The Language and Literature Internship online course is taught by Dr. Cole Bennett, director of the Writing Center and professor in the Department of Language and Literature, and entails numerous course readings to prepare students for their internships, as well as discussions related to potential issues faced while interning. Each class meeting is online, and a final paper and portfolio must be submitted at the conclusion of the summer.

“I’m looking forward to completing the reflection work for my internship,” Chesnut said. “I’m very excited to learn from my experience with the IRC.”

IRC Abilene provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture and other immigrants to thrive in America. The non-profit works to rebuild the lives of immigrants and works with local governments to support them in translating their past experiences into assets that are available to their new communities.

As an English major, Chesnut has learned the importance of differing perspectives and allowing others to observe these perspectives.

“This is the most profound aspect of being an English major,” Chesnut said. “The professors in this department are an excellent reason to major in English as well.”


Mazar is working as an editorial intern for ACU Press this summer.
Mazar will be an editorial intern for ACU Press this summer.

ACU Press began 35 years ago when James E. Fulbright (’47) acquired the publishing rights of Biblical Research Press, which had been developed by professor emeritus J.D. Thomas (’43). Today, ACU Press works with the Association for University Presses and supports Christian higher education through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

ACU Press operates its own warehouse and offers substantial discounts to churches and ministry groups. Its books are also widely available – sold at brick-and-mortar stores worldwide and on Amazon, as well as other online vendors.

“I am looking forward to being able to process through my internship in a different way and find a deeper understanding within why I want to pursue publishing,” Mazar said. “I chose to be an English major because I love being able to share and analyze stories with the world and being able to help others do the same.”

Learn more about the Department of Language and Literature.

— Connor Mullins

May 10, 2023

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