FCS program places nine students in competitive child life internships and practicums

Nov. 1, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Master of Arts in Family and Consumer Science with Child Life Concentration program has placed an unusually high number of students in child life internships and practicums for the spring 2022 semester. “As child life placements are very competitive, placing so many students in one semester is quite unusual. Our students often apply for placement for more than one semester, as this is often necessary to obtain a hospital placement,” explained Karin Rourke, an instructor in the Department of Family and Consumer Science.

Some students received multiple offers and one, Gabriele Stornant, received an internship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is the number one children’s hospital in the country.

Child life specialists attend to patients’ developmental, psychosocial and emotional needs through interventions such as play, education, preparation distraction and emotional support to help them create and embrace positive coping practices while they deal with illness, injury or hospitalization. Child life specialists advocate for the unique and individual needs of patient and families and work alongside physicians, nurses, social workers and other staff members to ensure those needs are met. During internships and practicums student practice these skills in hospital settings.


  • Gabriele Stornant - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Rachel Traxler - DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids
  • Nichole (Nikki) Allen - Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City
  • Madeline Klozik - Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  • Alyssa Spansel - Lutheran Children's Hospital, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • Megan Nicks - Sparrow Hospital, Lansing


  • Karolina Jones - Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago
  • Hannah Rasch - Child Life United Virtual Practicum
  • Jailene Soto - Child Life United Virtual Practicum