For some years now SI has hired summer interns—aspiring journalists who apprentice as reporters and photo researchers to learn a little about the magazine business and give the business an early look at them. Often both sides like what they see—seven of our staffers started working here as summer interns.
This summer we have with us Ann-Marie McGowan, chairman of the Amherst Student; Roberto Santiago, who writes for several publications at Oberlin; and David Fields, a photographer from Penn.
McGowan got an early start at being a hard-nosed journalist as coeditor of the East Greenwich (R.I.) High Spectrum; she blasted her peers in an editorial for abusing their school's smoking privileges. "Some girl actually threw a punch at me," she says. More recently she kept her dukes up during a furor that arose from the decision to close Amherst's fraternities last February. Though McGowan was a member of a particularly rowdy frat, and—23-skiddoo—had actually swallowed a goldfish at one point, her editorial board of the Student criticized a sit-in and a hunger strike as puerile folly. "For a while," she says, "I was the least liked person on campus."
Santiago was born in East Harlem, where his parents had moved from Puerto Rico in 1948. In fifth grade he was called Computer Head by a classmate at St. Cecilia's School: The classmate, lightweight boxer Hector Camacho, now has a nickname of his own, and Santiago has a brown belt in karate. In high school Santiago performed stand-up routines at the Comic Strip, a club in Manhattan. Now he's an editor of the Oberlin humor magazine Ga-Zoo, has had two plays produced on campus and edits and publishes another magazine, Fundador, on third-world issues and cultures. This spring, while studying in Bogotà, Colombia, he found time to work as a correspondent for the newsmagazine Presencia Negra, for which he wrote, among other things, an essay on the Sandinistas.
July 22, 1984
As reporters here, McGowan and Santiago check facts and conduct interviews for use by our writers. In the picture department. Fields hands out assignments to photographers, sets up shoots, handles the logistics of getting film to our offices in New York and assists in the editing of pictures. In the summer of '76, when he was 13, Fields spent eight weeks selling lemonade in his hometown of Upper Dublin, Pa. to earn enough money to buy a Nikkormat FT2. He has been taking pictures ever since. While at Penn he has worked part-time for the Associated Press, shooting everything from the aftermath of a mob murder to USFL playoff games. One shot, of Kelvin Bryant scoring a TD in overtime, made the front page of The New York Times Sunday sports section. The only live sports event he has seen since arriving in New York was an impromptu bout between two straphangers on a subway train in Queens: "It was three shoves and a right to the chin," he says. "I wish I'd had my camera."