RSU Students Selected for Washington Center Internship Program

Rogers State University is continuing its participation in the Washington Center, a nationally-recognized internship program that places students with private, public and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.

Four RSU students were selected to participate in the internship program this year, including Jill Street, history and political science major from Foyil; Jennifer Collins, justice administration major from Nowata; Brett Trzcinski, justice administration major from Muskogee and Jeremy Ray Gooldy,  justice administration major from Tulsa.

Street recently returned from Washington D.C., after spending the spring semester as an intern for the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies.

According to the Center’s web site, its mission is to enhance security in the Near East and South Asia by building sustained mutually beneficial relationships; fostering regional cooperation on security issues; and promoting effective communications and strategic capacity through free and candid interaction in an academic environment.

Street said her internship gave her the opportunity to interact with civilian and military officials from abroad and she learned a great deal about foreign policy and relations.

“The Washington Center Internship was an invaluable experience,” she said. Street said she knows that the professional relationships she built during her internship will be useful when she begins looking for a job or applying to graduate school after her graduation in May 2009.

Collins and Trzcinski will spend the summer semester in the nation’s Capitol and Gooldy will spend the fall semester at the Washington Center.

The Washington Center is an independent, nonprofit organization providing internship programs and academic seminars to college students. The organization arranges 2,000 to 3,000 internship placements annually.

This is RSU’s fifth year to place students in the program. Each student will earn college credit for successfully completing the program. The students participated in a competitive selection process to be part of the program.

Dr. Carolyn Taylor, RSU assistant professor in the Department of History and Political Sciences, is the university’s faculty liaison for the program.

“The program allows students to have real-life experiences to augment their classroom learning,” Dr. Taylor said. “The experience students gain during the internship has life-long value.”

The traditional components of The Washington Center’s general internship program include a four- or four-and-a-half-day per week internship, academic coursework, a Congressional Breakfast Series, a Presidential Lecture Series, embassy visit program, small group discussions, professional workshops, internship portfolio development, housing and student life services.

The Washington Center places students in a variety of public, private and non-profit environments. The program provides internships for students from a variety of academic disciplines, not just political science students, Taylor said.

In affiliating with The Washington Center, RSU joins an elite group of public colleges and universities including the University of Oklahoma, University of Washington, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois, and University of Massachusetts.