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Meet the intern: Kris Roberts

by Malu Marzarotto, Public & University Programs Intern

Tue, Jan 30, 2018

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As we prepared to launch our call for applications for 2018-19 internships at the Wex, current Wex intern Malu Marzarotto reached out to other interns now working here about what it's like to spend a semester or two supporting Wexner Center staff. Each offered personal thoughts and some insider perspective on their unique roles, as well as an image that speaks to their interests or experiences. We'll be sharing their profiles throughout the week. Malu is a third-year undergraduate student at The Ohio State University studying Arts Management in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy. She's also the Marketing Chair for Ohio State’s Student Radio Club, A.R.O.U.S.E (the Amateur Radio Organization for Undergraduate Student Entertainment). 

Kris Roberts
Second-year M.A. student in Arts Policy and Administration at Ohio State
Institutional Advancement Intern at the Wex

Why did you choose this image?
One of my favorite quotes is from James R. Page’s Wild Prairie: “The seemingly limitless spaces, huge skies, dramatic changes in weather, and absence of crowds create a sense of place dominated as much by imagination as by consensual reality: the prairie can be surreal [and subtle]. It does not jump out at you like the Grand Canyon, demanding to have its picture taken. You need patience. You need to give it time.” I identify with these words not only because I grew up in the Great Plains, but also because it seems as if Page is describing me. As Page says, "...prairie is embedded permanently beneath my skin;" I liked this line so much that I took it literally, with a tattoo reading "prairie," not only as an inside joke with the author, but as a serious, physical memory of a place that continues to influence me.

How do you balance your internship at the Wex and your other interests?
I have a tendency to blur boundaries between work and non-work time, so I don't think of my role at the Wex so much as something to be balanced with the rest of my life, but rather as something incorporated into my life. My time at the Wex is a line in my planner (this semester, it's highlighted in purple) alongside my classes, homework, and personal time. Seeing everything together helps me to remember that there are many tasks to complete, and limited time for each.

What do you enjoy most about your role as intern?
I like that my role involves many tasks. I tend to jump from project to project and not get too immersed in any one thing; this helps me feel like I'm coming to everything with fresh eyes, and helps me see the progress from session to session. I also enjoy the quick turnaround and the deadlines of the Wex. I'm very impatient, and the pace of the behind-the-scenes work is quick enough to keep me from getting too antsy waiting around for something to happen. An added bonus of working at the Wex is that I can pop over from my department on campus (Sullivant Hall) very quickly, and the physical proximity of my academic and professional pursuits emphasizes the necessary connection between theory and implementation.

When you were growing up, what did you want to do as an adult?
I had a number of fantasy careers as I was growing up, but the most profound was architecture. I was smitten with a middle school math project in which we designed and constructed a model house, and checked out all of the architecture and design books from the local library. I was dissuaded from this path by a counselor who was concerned about my tenuous grasp on algebra, and eventually was distracted enough by the allure of ceramics that I received my undergraduate degree in fine art. However, my love for buildings remains: creating pots with structural integrity bears many similarities to architecture and engineering, and my fascination with architecture still surfaces through research projects on spatial phenomenology (our experience within an environment) and heritage preservation. And every once in a while, I do a search for Ph.D. programs in design and philosophy, wondering how I can tie together all these things that pique my interest. Perhaps I am still growing up.

Do you have a favorite newspaper or blog?
I have a favorite podcast—that's close, right? I wait anxiously each week for the new episode of Spilled Milk, a food-inspired (I would say more “food-focused” because if you listen, you'll realize that's not quite accurate) podcast hosted by two Seattle- based authors (who both have blogs, per the original prompt), Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster Burton, all about cooking, food, '80s music, and bad puns.