George P. Griffis Publishing Internship

Are you a current Oregon State University undergrad or graduate student? OSU Press seeks highly qualified and motivated students to fill our annual internship position. This paid internship provides an outstanding introduction to scholarly book publishing, an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the general operations of a university publishing house, and the opportunity to work with publishing and library professionals. The Griffis intern plays a vital role in the Press’s success and is an indispensable member of the OSU Press publishing team. For information on how to apply, contact Kim Hogeland, acquisitions editor, at

Q&As with past Griffis Publishing Interns

Sienna Rose Kaske

Sienna was the 2020-2021 George P. Griffis Publishing intern and she graduated from Oregon State Unviersity in 2021 with a BA in Ethnic Studies and Writing.

photo of sienna kaske wearing a lavendar and rainbow graduation stole, sarapé graduation stole, orange, gray and orange and blue cords with a black jumpsuit smiling in front of an Oregon State Unviersity black sign

OSU Press: Tell us a little about yourself and why you wanted to be an intern with OSU Press

Kaske: I’m Sienna and I am a recent graduate from the Ethnic Studies and Writing department at OSU. After my junior year, I was looking for a change and wanted to learn something new. I was really in love with my writing program and writing for campus magazines and wanted to do something with that passion. So, when I saw the OSU Press was hiring for the George P. Griffis Publishing Internship I knew I had to apply and I am so grateful I did because I have been able to learn so much about the publishing industry.

OSU Press: What did you learn during your time as an intern?

Kaske: I came into the internship with no knowledge of the publishing industry which made me eager to learn and push my comfort zone. As the internship progressed, I was able to learn about acquisitions, the editing process, different marketing strategies, and what the editorial board process was like. I was able to see how a book comes to life and the journey it goes through from book proposal to book launches.

OSU Press: What was a highlight during your time at OSU Press?

Kaske: I was able to moderate the book preview and book launch for This Is Not For You: An Activist’s Journey of Resistance and Resilience by Richard Brown and Brian Benson. It was amazing to be in community with both authors and help connect the book with their audience. It was definitely surreal to be in a position like that and to have the opportunity to speak with authors and community members on that level.

OSU Press: What do you think you’ll be taking away from the internship as you move onto the next chapter of your life?

Kaske: I have always loved books and especially literature and works from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. I would love to continue working with books and disseminate more works by BIPOC and queer folks. One thing that I didn’t know before working at the press was just how long and meticulous a process it is to actually publish a book and I was able to see how publishing can be classist and restrictive to marginalized voices in many ways. I would love to one day work with people from my community to publish their works or even start an independent press. There is so much to learn in this life and I know that working at the OSU Press has allowed me to seek out different learning opportunities and push myself out of my comfort zone. I will definitely be taking all of the knowledge I learned as well as a deeper love and appreciation for books.

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Zoë Ruiz & Carolyn Supinka

OSU Press: What did you learn through the process of completing an MFA in Creative Writing at OSU?

Valley Library

Ruiz: This was my first ever experience living in a place other than California. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Oakland and growing up, I spent time in Fresno, Visalia, Berkeley, and Salinas. Being away from from California allowed me to see how place has shaped me and the way I write stories. I definitely am a California writer. While I would’ve come to this conclusion if I had never left, I learned it a particular way in an MFA program in Corvallis, Oregon. A way that I can only describe as a sharp contrast.

Supinka: This is hard to answer! I think it will take some time for me to process and reflect on everything that has happened in the past two years to fully understand what I learned from this experience. At this time, I know that I discovered many writers whose work inspires and influences my own writing. I have become more open to possibilities of what my poetry can look like and do. I’ve also learned that I love teaching poetry through my experience as a GTA, and a love of letterpress printing through the new studio that Karen Holmberg has created. I think that I have also learned to trust my own ideas and intuition more, in poetry and everything else.

OSU Press: What did you learn throughout your time as an intern at OSU Press?

Ruiz: While I’ve edited academic book  manuscripts, I have never worked at an academic press before. By working at OSU Press for a year, I learned about how a small, academic press functions. I still think there is so much to learn about OSU Press and that I just scratched the surface.

Supinka: I learned that I enjoy working at a university press! Sharing the work of our authors has been very meaningful to me. I enjoy the process of helping a book come together and sharing it with readers out in the world. The experience was a great introduction to publishing, but I agree with Zoë, I feel like there is so much more left to learn.

OSU Press: What was your favorite aspect of working with the Press? What was your most memorable moment working with the Press?

Ruiz: I really enjoyed working with a great team at OSU Press. I can’t imagine this internship without Carolyn and wouldn’t want to! It was fun to collaborate with her on a variety of projects. I also enjoyed Marty’s expertise about OSU Press, academic presses, and marketing books as well as her guidance and sense of humor. During my second year of graduate school, I really felt that the OSU Press office was a safe haven. I’m grateful to have met and worked alongside such talented women in publishing.

Supinka: I have to agree with Zoë again, it was definitely the people! Collaborating with Zoë on projects at the Press was a wonderful experience, as was working with Micki on proofreading projects and Marty on marketing.

One memorable moment took place at the OSU Press booth at AWP 2019 in Portland, when Marty and I invited passerby to spin a giant game wheel. We had decorated the wheel with glittery purple carousel horses, and we asked a different literary trivia question to guests depending on what color the wheel landed on. The glittery horses referenced the copies of Oaks Park Pentimento we would give out to folks who had the right answers (and the ones who didn’t: everyone got a prize!).

OSU Press: How did the internship inform your academic experience during graduate school? Do you think it influenced future career choices?

Ruiz: The internship broadened my graduate school experience. The internship allowed me to learn not just about writing within the School of Writing Literature and Film but to learn more about publishing at a university press. As for the second part of your question, I think every position shapes and influences future career moves. At the moment, how this particular internship has done so is a mystery, which is kind of fun.

Supinka: For me, the internship was an introduction to publishing. I learned that publishing at a university press is a field in which I can draw on my skills as a writer as well as an arts manager, and I am interested in pursuing more opportunities to work in marketing or editing at a university press in the future.

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Victoria Genovese

OSU Press: Why did you choose to pursue a master's in English?

Genovese: I have always loved literature and been fascinated by the written word. It's amazing to me how much can be communicated through text on a page, and I love the opportunity an English degree offers to analyze how ideas, cultural perspectives, and language on the page are so intregally linked throughout the history of the written word.

OSU Press: Why did you choose to go to OSU?

Genovese: OSU has an incredible, well-funded program with wonderful faculty, an excellent and supportive environment, and amazing teaching opportunities.

OSU Press: Why did you want to intern with the Press?

Genovese: I was interested in learning more about University Publishing. I used to work at a small publishing company and really enjoyed it, so I thought the OSU Press would be a good  opportunity to continue gaining experience in that arena.

OSU Press: What was your favorite aspect of working for the Press?

Genovese: The incredible and supportive coworkers! And all of the awesome authors I had the opportunity to work with and highlight, and the amazing books I was able to help promote. I honestly believe the work the Press is doing is having an important impact on the world, and I was very glad to be a part of it!

OSU Press: What are you doing now?

Genovese: Currently I am finishing up my last year of my masters and looking for employment. So for the time being, I will be a stay-at-home mom and continue working to grow my freelance communications business.

OSU Press: How did you internship with the Press influence your career choices and/or your choice to continue your education?

Genovese: The OSU Press internship has been a great networking opportunity, and has provided me with unique job experience. I have become more confindent in my professional persona and expanded my knowledge in the interworkings of University Presses. I have really enjoyed working for the press and would love to continue working for University Presses in the future!

OSU Press: What was your most memorable moment with the Press?

Genovese: I really enjoyed the opportunity to help man the booth at Wordstock and meet avid readers and wonderful authors. I also really appreciated being included in a Board Meeting - it was a valuable learning experience and wonderful to meet new people who are as invested in producing top-quality scholarship for academic and public audiences alike. I'm also really looking forward to the AAUP Conference in San Francisco coming up this weekend!

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Lindsay Schwehr

OSU Press: Why did you choose to study English?

Schwehr: Growing up I spent all of my free time locked (voluntarily) in my room reading. I wrote and illustrated my own stories, and I now love to write creative short stories. I find English to be an extremely insightful area of study and it gives so many opportunities to the public and to the self.

OSU Press: Why did you want to intern with the Press?

Schwehr: This may be obvious, but I love the written word. It can convey so much and be interpreted in infinitely different ways. While I do hope to write my own book someday, I knew that wasn’t all it took to be successful as an author. It was important to me that I learned the trade behind the distribution and general process of putting a book on the market, the actual marketing of said book and so much more. It was my dream job in so many different ways.

OSU Press: What was your favorite aspect of working for the Press?

Schwehr: Having the opportunity to work with the authors has been an excellent experience for me (and it has definitely helped me with my people skills). I remember the very first email I sent out to an author about a blog post. I had been so nervous about contacting this person: whether or not they would take me seriously, if I was being clear and concise, was I being professional enough or was I too rigid? Looking back at those initial emails, I have learned so much about the people whose names were printed on the covers of these books, whose words filled page after page from cover to cover. Their stories were fascinating, and it really enabled me to take a look around at others and wonder what kind of message or information they may hope to spread one day. What inspired them? What drove them to do what they’ve done with their lives? Where would they go?

OSU Press: What are you doing now?

Schwehr: Currently I am finishing up my last year of my undergraduate studies, while working on the first year of my masters here at OSU through the Accelerated Masters Program in English.

OSU Press: How did you internship with the Press influence your career choices and/or your choice to continue your education?

Schwehr: Working with the Press has been especially enlightening to my own goals, and while I’ve begun playing with the idea of another possible career field, my choice to continue my education here at OSU is something I may not have done had I not been an intern here at the Press. I’ve really grown socially through this job, and I knew that I was not ready to leave Corvallis yet, as I had finally broken out of my shell and begun to use some of the skills I had developed through this job in my personal life. It made me realize how much more there was I still wanted to learn here, from both the University and those who I’ve met along the way.

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Liz Pilcher

OSU Press's 2015-2016 Griffis Publishing intern, Liz Pilcher, graduated from Oregon State University in 2016 with a degree in Digital Communication Arts.

OSU Press: Why did you choose to study Digital Communication Arts (DCA)?

Pilcher: I chose DCA because I love art, photography, videography and wanted to improve my media skills in those areas.

OSU Press: Why did you decide to go to Oregon State University?

Pilcher: OSU provided a unique media program that included areas of study that the other universities I looked at didn't offer in their media majors.

OSU Press: Why did you want to intern with the Press?

Pilcher: I've always had a love for books and I wanted to learn more about book publishing while being able to provide my media skills to the Press.

OSU Press: What was your favorite aspect of working for the Press?

Pilcher: I really enjoyed working with the authors, especially when they were being featured in the blog and I could learn more about them as individuals and hear about their book's publishing process from the author's perspective.

OSU Press: What are you doing now?

Pilcher: I am a first year graduate student at Portland State University studying Book Publishing, working for Ooligan Press within the publishing program, and working as an intern for Overcup Press.

OSU Press: How did you internship with the Press influence your career choices and/or your choice to continue your education?

Pilcher: I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue my studies after graduating from OSU until I had my internship with the Press. The Griffis internship allowed me to learn more about publishing and inspired me to apply for graduate school to pursue a career in publishing.

OSU Press: What was your most memorable moment with the Press?

Pilcher: My most memorable moment was my last day of work. I was finishing up some final projects with that bittersweet feeling of being so grateful for my experiences at the Press while realizing how much I would miss working there. I was able to try so many new things, worked with wonderful people, and had such a great overall experience that I was sad for it to end and say goodbye. I couldn't have asked for a better internship while at OSU.


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