KIP Student Feature – Diana Reno 

Diana Reno (Pardee’24) is an International Relations major on the Africa and the Middle East and Business and Economics tracks. During her 2023 summer internship she supported the collaboration between Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, the State Department’s Bureau of Global Women’s Issues, and a local nonprofit to secure federal grant funding for the expansion of programming and services and facilitate connections between the nonprofit organization and relevant experts at BU and beyond.  

Q&A with Diana Reno 

 Has the work you have done this summer changed how you think about social justice? 

Through this internship, I learned that the best way to address social justice issues is oftentimes to engage partners who seem at first to have very different agendas, and to encourage sustainable, long-term collaboration between them. This summer I have worked to support the nonprofit’s initiatives with the State Department, the private sector, and researchers and academics at Boston University. Each institution has a unique perspective and skill set to bring to the table, and encouraging them to support each other’s work has been highly effective in promoting our long-term social justice goals. 

How did you find out about this internship, and what advice would you give to students hoping to apply for this funding opportunity in the future? 

I learned about this opportunity as it applied to my prior research work with Professor Brule at the Pardee School of Global Studies. As Professor Brule’s former student, I approached her with interest in supporting her many projects that promoted global gender equality. For future students, I would encourage them to take the initiative and engage with their professors, who are likely conducting independent research. Find a professor whose interests align with yours and approach them with a genuine desire to learn. Professors are often more than willing to encourage students’ interests by helping them build their network both within and outside Boston University.  

How has the Kilachand coursework helped prepare you for the work you are doing during your internship? 

The coursework in HC302 taught me strategies on how to seek out and connect with actors across sectors working to support human rights and the betterment of society. It taught me to think creatively about the potential of non-traditional partnerships and gave me many examples of effective and ineffective problem solving to reference when making a long-term strategy for supporting the organization’s expansion. Our final project taught me about how to structure a proposal for a long-term project, how to incorporate relevant partners effectively, and how to account for budget and logistical limitations while planning.     

Learn more about the Kilachand Internship Program here.