As Mark Lane wrapped up his internship with Voice of America, a multimedia news source based in Washington D.C., he wanted to leave behind some wisdom for whoever comes next.
“I left a note for the next intern who sits at that desk. It said, ‘work hard every day and don’t waste this awesome opportunity,'” said Lane.
It is advice Lane said he would repeat to any student at Rogers State University who hoped to have a fulfilling college experience, just like his. Lane was awarded a bachelor of fine arts in communications at RSU’s 99th Commencement on Saturday, May 7.
Lane, a Fort Smith, Ark., native and survivor of Burkitt’s lymphoma, impressed professors beginning early in his college career and never slowed down.
“Mark has been more than the ideal student,” said Juliet Evusa, RSU associate professor of communications. “Not only has he excelled academically, he has been involved in several extracurricular activities. He is also well-liked by the faculty and students alike.”
Lane’s internship at Voice of America, which was part of the Washington Center Internship Program, provided him with the chance to utilize the technical production skills he learned at RSU while covering content of deep personal interest.
The Washington Center is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides internship programs and academic seminars to college students. The organization arranges 2,000 to 3,000 internship placements annually.
“I came to RSU for the tools I would need to pursue a career in broadcasting. Now I’m working in the nation’s capital and earning the respect of my peers and supervisors. I would say RSU prepared me quite nicely,” said Lane.
Along with his duties working with the “VOA 60” web broadcast – a daily 60-second briefing of world news – Lane maintained a blog for the Washington Center, a blog for the RSU website, and continued hosting “Free Association,” his show on the RSU radio station KRSC-FM 91.3.
“Doing ‘Free Association’ from D.C. gave me the opportunity to interview highly topical guests,” he said. “I was able to interview Dr. John Grayzel, a Middle East expert from the University of Maryland, about the uprisings in Egypt; Irene Hirano Inouye, president of the U.S.-Japan Council, after the earthquake and tsunami; and Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren about issues pressing to his constituents.”
Lane’s display of enthusiasm and ambition during his internship confirms what RSU faculty already knew.
“Mark has many talents and I have no doubt he will be very successful,” said Dr. Carolyn Taylor, RSU assistant professor and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator. “The Washington Center Internship helped launch his career onto the world stage.”
Lane will spend time with family in Fort Smith after participating in commencement. He has not chosen the next step in his career path but admits being drawn back east by the wealth of action inside the Beltway.
Whether he ends up in the capital or closer to home to begin his career, he’ll remember the advice he left in a desk in D.C.
“It’s been quite fun, though there is still so much I’d like to do,” he said. “I’m going to scheme and dream a way to return because I think it would be a disservice to everyone who helped put me in this position if I didn’t continue or if my work regresses.”