ISP deadline fast approaching, spots still open

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With the deadline for ISP Description Forms, Dec. 5, closing in fast, there is still a mass of students who are left wondering what they can do for their ISP. Some students cannot come up with an idea, or have, but think that it might not be accepted by their prospective sponsors. Some students are new to the system and have no idea what to come up with because they have no experience with the matter. Thankfully for those students, there are still plenty of opportunities.

For those students that have not come up with an idea of their own, or for some reason do not want to propose an idea, group ISPs might be the way to go. Luckily, there are still plenty of ISPs that still have spaces left.

If you are interested in a writing ISP, there are still a few spots left in Allie Maass’s “Analytical Writing Group”. Throughout the ISP, the participants will be choosing writing from their own areas of interest, and use small daily writing assignments to guide the composition of a final 10-12 page essay. Students are required to either be at least a third year, or to have completed a college-level writing course in the past. You can reach Maass by emailing her at

While contacted many times about her ISP, no one has actually brought Sandra Gilchrist ISP forms to sign, leaving her “Animal Care and Betterment” group ISP wide open for participation. The participants in this group ISP will begin by becoming certified in pet first aid, which will be used throughout the ISP in assisting several support organizations. Each participant must compile at least ten volunteer hours at a Sarasota animal support organization and keep a reflection journal to complete this ISP. Gilchrist can be contacted at

With plenty of spots left, Uzi Baram and Brendan Goff’s “Heritage Interpretation of the Campus Historic Mansions” group ISP is available to join. In this group ISP, students will engage in archival research pertaining to College Hall and Cook Hall and their respective landscapes, and create heritage interpretations for the general public. It is recommended to have a background in anthropology and/or history, and they can be contacted at either or

In addition to these wonderful group ISPs, several others still have room available for students to capitalize upon. These include: Tyrone Ryba’s “Analysis of Biological Datasets Using R,” Theresa Burress’s “Become a Wikipedian,” Aijun Zhu’s “Chinese Idioms,” Carrie Beneš’s “The History of the Page: Calligraphy, Typography, and Graphic Design,” Susan Marks’s “Life After Death in Ancient Judaism,” Gabrielle Vail’s “Reusing Textiles: Cultural, Historical, and Sustainable Approaches,” Jono Miller’s “Native Plant Restoration Area” and Sherry Yu’s “Stock Trading” group ISPs. For more information regarding the details of the ISPs and how to contact them, the ISP Handbook found through MyNCF. All of the ISPs mentioned had spots available as of Nov. 17.

There are even a few internships that are up for grabs that could be utilized as a student’s ISP. If a student were interested in SCOPE, being a part of the AVID program at Southeast High School, the Humane Society of Manatee County, or Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc., those students should look at Andrea Kneis’s latest forum post regarding these internships.

“[Referring to a past ISP of his] I just kind of followed my interest in radio, even though no one teaches radio classes, or radio communication at New College,” thesis student and General Studies AOC James “Grayton” Cloos said. Cloos set out to create a radio broadcast similar to that of This American Life, travelling across Florida and North Carolina to report on and conduct interviews regarding several stories, including the murder and rape of a 15-year-old girl.

“I would start and try to find something to do that you are genuinely interested in,” Cloos said when asked what advice might be useful for those without an ISP yet. “During the month of ISP you have so much free time that you really want to be doing something that you have the personal drive to complete out of set class structures.”

Among other pieces of advice Cloos had to offer, he emphasized that the academic value for a student’s ISP must be readily apparent and acceptable to sponsors. When asked if there were certain sponsors that he would recommend, Cloos noted that the forum is a great place to ask what professors might sponsor the ISP that a student may be looking into.

“Pay close attention to the options and the ISP guidelines, like how the professors have listed what topics they are interested in, and what topics out of their own field they’d be willing to work with,” third-year Catalyst editor Bianca Benedí said. “You want a sponsor who will care about you.”

While the deadline is coming up quickly, and action is going to have to be swift in order to either come up with an idea and finalize it, or get into a group ISP or internship, there is no reason to fret. Plenty of opportunities are still available, and students should capitalize upon them.

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