Fall internships highlighted at student showcase

As part of the Centre Commitment, every Centre College student is guaranteed an internship or mentored research opportunity. This fall, 45 students held internship positions in various locations locally and abroad. Several interns recently presented their work on Dec. 4 at the Fall Internship Showcase held at the College’s Norton Center for the Arts.

“I’m always impressed to see what great opportunities our students are able to participate in with our internship program, and employers always report that our students do exceptional jobs for them,” said Mindy Wilson, associate director of the Center for Career & Professional Development. “These experiences are vital to the post-graduate success of our students and help them relate what they are learning in the classroom to the world of work.”

This year, 31 students participated in internships in the U.S. and 14 abroad, taking advantage of the Centre-in-Washington and Centre-in-China program. A number of students also interned in Bhutan and France.

“Our fall numbers continue to increase due to our strong commitment to internship opportunities through our study abroad and study away programs,” Wilson added. “It was the first time we had interns in Bhutan and France—we piloted internships in both locations this term. It was fun to see how these internships evolved, and we are excited to continue those experiences in the future.”

Environmental studies major and Spanish minor Bailey Vernon ’20 (Old Hickory, Tennessee) interned at an engineering firm, Haworth Meyer and Boleyn Professional Engineers, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

“Being exposed to a ‘9-5’ private firm, I grew in confidence with my interpersonal skills and comfortability in a workplace environment,” Vernon said. “Making relationships is essential to my future career success, and I am thankful for any exposure to that.”

Vernon said she is grateful for the marketability the internship provided, and she would like to continue in this field after Centre.

“It was a challenging but rewarding experience being within a strongly male-dominated field as engineering,” she added. “I feel proud to have been able to confidently express ideas, contribute to projects and be a part of helping STEM fields grow in female presence.”

Politics major Noah Hull ’20 (Decatur, Georgia) interned with the Department of Public Advocacy’s Danville office this semester, where he shadowed attorneys in court and jail visits, as well as helped prepare for court dates.

“I learned a lot about the procedural side of Kentucky’s criminal justice system, as well as the importance of negotiation and relationships with the prosecutors in getting a desired outcome for a defendant,” Hull said. “I also got to see how attorneys examine evidence, write questions and prepare arguments for hearings. This is definitely something I would be interested in doing in the future.”

Behavioral neuroscience major and psychology and genders studies minor Izzy Neel ’21 (Springfield, Kentucky) spent this semester interning with the University of Kentucky Center for Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR).

“At a time when more than 2 million Americans live with an opioid-use disorder, I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to work for an institution conducting such impactful work,” Neel said.

Through her internship, Neel was able to learn in-depth about the impact of substance-use disorders and potential methods of treatment.

“A majority of my time was spent observing and eventually conducting experimental sessions where one of these drugs was administered to a patient, and they were then instructed to complete a variety of cognitive, psychomotor and other performance tasks,” she explained. “I also coded the data collected from trials to be used for statistical analysis. Another aspect of my internship was collecting resources for substance use treatment centers, Narcotics Anonymous meetings and Methadone-Assisted Treatment centers throughout Kentucky to compile a comprehensive list of the different types of help available for those suffering from substance-use disorders.”

After Centre, Neel plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and study the role of dopamine and estrogen in the sex differences prevalent in various substance-use disorders and eating disorders. She also hopes to one day become a professor and share her passion for neuroscience with students.

by Kerry Steinhofer
December 6, 2019