Summer Student Series – Maddy Rodeffer, M.S. in Child Life

Ever wonder what the summer looks like for graduate students? For each program, the summer semester looks a little different, with students taking summer courses, participating in internships, conducting research, among other activities. This summer, we will be inviting current graduate students to share their experiences in their own words. Our first guest blogger is M.S. in Child Life student Maddy Rodeffer.

Maddy Rodeffer

“Hi! My name is Maddy Rodeffer, and I am a College of Charleston graduate, go Cougars! I graduated in 2019 with my undergraduate degree in Psychology. More recently though, I am a second year in the MS in Child Life Program. Wow, saying that I am a second year honestly sounds crazy. It seems like just yesterday that I was taking my first steps into the child life space.

This summer, my cohort and I are taking two online courses, Program Development and Health Communication. Additionally, we are preparing all the essays, resumes, and other requirements for internship applications that are due in September. With the help of our Program Director, Dr. Susan Simonian, we apply to about fifteen hospitals across the US; so, you can assume that we spend our summers working diligently on these applications. [If you see a Child Life student on campus in the fall semester, give us a social distancing thumbs up!] Additionally, we are finishing up our practicum through Zoom calls with Certified Child Life Specialists at MUSC Shawn Jenkin’s Children’s Hospital

Personally though, my summer has been filled with non-profit work. I have been fortunate enough to work for The Lonon Foundation, a non-profit here in Charleston that provides free monthly events to children and adolescents who are affected by a parent or caregiver’s cancer. This summer I have been focused on developing curriculum based on play theory to provide virtual events for the children and teens that we provide this resource to. I have been able to apply my knowledge gained through my child life courses to develop this curriculum in order to serve these children and families.

As for my future, I hope to be working in a children’s hospital as a Certified Child Life Specialist in any unit, really! It’s difficult to have a preference for a specific unit when child life provides such a unique role in them all. However, if I had the choice, I would love to be able to work in a pediatric emergency room in the beginning of my career and experience the typically, fast paced nature of an ER.  However, later in my career I would love to work in a Pediatric ICU or hospice.”

To learn more about the M.S. in Child Life program, visit or email Program Director Dr. Susan Simonian at To learn more about Lonon Foundation, visit

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