Student interns spend time on farms, in the classroom and on Capitol Hill
August 19, 2010 By Marla Sweitzer
D.C., where she interned for Congressman Ben Chandler. Here, she
poses with fellow Centre Democrats Maddi Stauble ’13, Anna
Wohner ’13, Lev Rooks-Rapport ’12 and Kentucky Attorney
General and U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway at the Kentucky
Young Democrats State Convention.
Danny Walton ’11 completed a summer internship with the
University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm Research
Experience for Undergraduates program. During the internship,
he did field work studying an invasive plant species and its effects
on the ecosystem.
Whether they are traveling, volunteering, making some extra cash or a combination of the three, Centre College students make good use of their time in the summer. This is also the season when students take the opportunity to conduct research or complete internships.
Mary Kathryn Dilisio ’11 of Matthews, N.C., spent her second summer in a row interning at ABC Educational Services, Inc., in Charlotte. “It’s a camp that offers young children with special needs the opportunity to continue their school routine into the summer months,” Dilisio says.
Students there spend a majority of their time indoors in an educational setting, where they work with different teachers in areas such as speech, academics, handwriting and art. Dilisio focused on sensory integration and arts and crafts while interning at the camp.
In addition to working at ABC, Dilisio also interned at Pathways for Learning, Inc., an occupational therapy practice.
“I shadowed different occupational therapists during treatment sessions, and I also learned about different products Pathways has developed to help prepare students to enter into and succeed in the classroom,” Dilisio says.
Dilisio, who plans to attend graduate school for a special education degree, credits the two internships with reinforcing her desire to work with students who have special needs.
“As an education major, experiences like this have provided me with so much knowledge and exposure that I need before managing my own classroom,” she says.
On Capitol Hill
Abby Woehrle ’11 of Peoria, Ariz., interned for Congressman Ben Chandler in Washington, D.C.
Woehrle, who has nurtured her passion for politics while at Centre, wanted to gain a clearer picture of how the government operates. “After being involved in political campaigns, student political groups and the Kentucky Young Democrats, I wanted to see if working on Capitol Hill was a viable possibility for a post-graduate career,” Woehrle says. “The opportunity introduced me to the governmental system in the city where it all takes place—our nation’s capital. The ability to learn more about this system and to network with potential employers was such an invaluable experience, and I look forward to returning to Kentucky with this newfound knowledge.”
Following graduation, Woehrle plans to purse a career in public service in Kentucky. “Interning for Congressman Chandler has allowed me to examine the relationship between Washington politics and our state and see how individuals can influence policy and improve their state,” she says.
“If I’ve learned anything from this internship,” she continues, “it’s the necessity of creating bi-partisan solutions to our nation’s issues and the difficulty of determining the best political decisions.”
Experimental Farm Research
Danny Walton ’11 of Fort Wright, Ky., completed a summer internship with the University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm Research Experience for Undergraduates program.
A double major in biology and music, Walton did field work studying an invasive plant species, Dahurian buckthorn, and its effects on the ecosystem. The Blandy Experimental Farm, which has 700 acres for the study of field ecology, is located near Shenandoah National Park.
“I was able to learn ecological concepts like succession and invasive species in a live ecosystem, then explore them further by designing my own experiment,” Walton says.
When not busy researching, Walton played on the Blandy softball team and hosted several fundraising concerts for the REU program.
The farm became an invaluable community of resources for Walton, as undergraduates, grad students, lab techs, and professors all lived on the farm for the summer. “Graduate students, representing the next step of the path, were especially helpful mentors over the summer,” he says.