For Immediate Release
Sept. 9, 2011
MUW students enjoy summer internship experiences
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- While many Mississippi University for Women students were on campus this summer taking courses toward their degrees, others were off campus gaining real-life work experience through summer internships.
Two political science majors did internships in Washington, D.C. Lesly Griffin, a senior from Greenville, interned with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency where he developed grant applications and discussed important issues for Mississippi such as creating more jobs and tackling the high obesity rate, and Jase Sayre, a senior from Fayette, Ala., worked in the Office of U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt.
In Washington for eight weeks, Sayre attended committee hearings and typed up reports, updated a constituent letter and also helped greet guests and run the front desk.
While in Washington, he attended the Faith and Freedom Conference where he met the Eastern coordinator of Christians United for Israel who encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to attend the yearly summit and a chance to go to Israel.
His successful application resulted in a “trip of a lifetime” to Israel for two weeks. Back on campus for his senior year, he plans to start a chapter of Christians United for Israel at MUW.
“This has been the most amazing summer of my life,” Sayre said. “I never dreamed that an internship through MUW would create so many opportunities for me. This has been a once in a lifetime experience.”
The opportunities continue. Sayre will return to Washington, D.C., in October as one of seven students planning the college events for the Values Voter Conference.
Another senior political science major, Preston Veal from Woodville, worked as a legal/government relations analyst with Ciright Systems, Inc., a cloud computing company in West Conshohocken, Penn. He helped develop computer and phone applications that can be of use for government.
In theatre, Andrew Partin, a sophomore from Tupelo, performed in Tecumseh! The Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe, Ohio, where Lee Crouse, MUW visiting instructor of theatre, has worked for several seasons as both actor and fight choreographer and weapons manager.
Joseph Musgrove, a junior theatre major from Columbus; Dustin Gibson, a senior theatre major from Columbus; Kayla Manzolillo, a senior theatre major from Ethelsville, Ala.; and Alyssa McElfresh, an August graduate from Senatobia, all interned at Lees-McRae Summer Theatre in Banner Elk, N.C.
“David Carter, associate professor of theatre at MUW, has worked at Banner Elk for three summers and has forged a relationship whereby MUW students are always welcome as summer interns,” said William (Peppy) Biddy, chair of the Department of Music and Theatre.
“Participating in a professional internship is the first step for a student to make the transition from college to employment in the profession. During an internship, students are able to apply the skills learned in the classroom to ‘real world’ situations, while learning new skills. Students return from internships with confidence, a fresh perspective on the profession, and their first list of networking opportunities for future employment.”
In addition to working at Banner Elk this summer, Manzolillo also worked at New Stage Theatre in Jackson where MUW has a long relationship because both Biddy and Carter have worked there for nearly a decade.
Many culinary arts students completed internships this summer, including senior culinary arts majors Lisa Foster of Memphis, Tenn., and Jermeka Smith of Greenville who both interned at Camp Kippewa, an overnight girls summer camp in Monmouth, Maine, where the head chef is William Ridgley, a chef at Harvard.
“This internship allowed me to do just what I wanted which was obtain the internship and gain more experience in the food/restaurant industry,” Smith said. “It also provided me with the ideal opportunity to assist in the kitchen and expand my culinary skills. MUW Culinary Arts Institute prepared the way they said they would. They helped me to become a culinary specialist and enhance my culinary skills. The institute provided me with classic cooking techniques, so when I go out in the culinary industry I would be ready to take-on any culinary task.”
Also, Gabrielle Gross, a senior culinary arts major from Kiln worked at La Louisiane Bakery in Harahan, La., and Brittany Roh, a senior culinary arts major from Mobile, Ala., earned experience at the Marriott Grand Hotel Resort in Point Clear, Ala.