CAS Newsletter: Internships

In the College of Arts and Sciences, all programs have embraced the internship experience for majors.  Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections to one’s chosen field. Carefully structured internships offer a unique experience for students and allow multiple advantages to both the student intern and agencies and programs that host interns. In the past year, students in College of Arts and Sciences have completed internships with many agencies and programs including Aberdeen Community Theater, Aberdeen Police Department, Archives in the NSU Beulah-Williams Library, Avera Hospital, The Exponent at NSU, Glacial Lakes Energy, NSU Writing Center, Redfield Energy, and South Dakota Child Protective Services.

Matthew Remmich, a fall 2016 graduate with a major in History, completed the competitive South Dakota Legislative Internship during the legislative session in Pierre in the spring 2017. As his comments suggest, he benefited from the experience in a variety of ways: “I gained a stronger grasp on general legislative process, including the importance of committees. Most importantly, I learned that the concerns many people have for possible corruption in our state legislature are unfounded. I learned that a majority of the legislators are there to do the right thing for the citizens of South Dakota and protect our Constitution. I have gained a stronger respect for our legislative process and those lawmakers who uphold that process.”

Sienna Wessel, a senior majoring in both Biology and Environmental Science, completed a volunteer internship for the Nature Conservancy in summer 2017.  She continues to work for Game, Fish, and Parks Department as a seasonal habitat technician. She, too, found the experience valuable: “This summer, I started out with two volunteer positions and ended up with one paid technician job and one internship, which took me through the prairie of northeastern South Dakota all the way to the Black Hills. Both agencies invited me to come back as an employee next year. Working for two different habitat conservation agencies gave me insight into different methodologies for restoration and land management. I also learned about the unique challenges that each organization faces in regards to funding and public engagement.” [image attached]

David Hales, a History major, completed a Public History internship at Fort Sisseton State Park in northeastern South Dakota. He worked as an archivist and museum guide at the fort which was built in 1864. He was supervised by Melinda Quade, another graduate of NSU’s Public History program who has been working every summer at the Fort since completing her first internship there in 2014.

Zack North, also a History major, completed a Public History internship at the Williams Library at NSU this past summer. North worked with NSU archivist Sarah Jones to catalog and create finding aids for Northern’s extensive Fine Arts collection which chronicles NSU’s theater and music productions back to its founding in 1902.

Alyson Bird, a Biology major, spent the summer as an intern at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. She worked with a variety of sea animals, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles. As an intern, Bird was involved in a variety of activities, both behind the scenes and with the public. One of her favorite activities was to help draw blood from the sea turtles. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Marine Biology after graduation.