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Summer Internships Bring Fun, Learning Together to OCU Students
This summer, Oklahoma City University Students are traveling the country to find their perfect internship. Students may be in Chicago tapping their hearts out, campaigning for Barack Obama or organizing a major tennis tournament in Cincinnati for the top 50 pro players . Two local mass communications students, Elizabeth Roberts and Rachel Williams, are in Washington, D.C., with internships for the WINS Washington Internships for Native Students. Through the internship they are required to take six credit hours of class at the American University. Williams is working for the National Science Foundations Office of Legislative and Public Affairs and Roberts is working for the U.S. Forest Service as the Public Affairs Specialist. “Interning in D.C. has been one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had to date. I’ve been lucky enough to work in an office where I receive exciting and challenging assignments, go to hearings and functions on Capitol Hill, and network with people from all over the world that will be valuable contacts in the future. It also doesn’t hurt that D.C. is the backdrop for political change that comes with an election year, especially an exciting one like this,” said Williams. Gabrielle Gomez, senior business administration, is an intern at the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a master series in which the top 50 tennis players will compete. “I am excited about the players I will get to meet, the networking possibilities and the possible job chances. It is scary because I have to travel by myself, but overall, I’m excited,” Gomez said. Ashley McGuire, junior mass communications major, is in Pensacola, Fla., interning with the Barack Obama campaign. “At OCU I have established a foundation in my major with my PR classes that has given me a head start out here. The class I feel that has helped the most is my strategic planning class. The best part has been to hear why the different people are here to help Obama,” McGuire said. Travis Lawler, a third year law student, is interning at the law firm of Johnson, Hanan & Vosler learning about medical malpractice law. “My father is a doctor at OU in Family and Preventative Medicine Department, and I find it very rewarding to work on cases involving others in his noble profession,” Lawler said. Before being accepted to the OCU Law School, Lawler attended OCU and graduated with a business degree. “From the moment I stepped foot into the professional environment of downtown Oklahoma City this summer, I have found myself interacting with OCU alumni in all avenues of business. The legacy and reputation of our university is growing every day, and it clearly shows in the conversations I am having with others in the Oklahoma City business and legal environment,” Lawler said. Leia Eubanks is serving as the administrative intern with the Chicago Human Rhythm project, the world’s largest presenter of tap dance. Eubanks works with fundraising and development for upcoming projects like the Rhythm World Festival. “I love experiencing new cities, and this summer, my city is Chicago where I am serving as an intern to the world’s oldest year-long presenter of tap dance. It’s an exciting work environment where I put arts management skills learned at OCU to use on a daily basis. Because of the training I have received in the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management, I have not only developed my passion for performing, but also a passion for creating opportunities for other artists,” Eubanks said. Alaina Stevens got a chance of a lifetime from her internship at the Okarche Chieftain and Piedmont Gazette. Stevens and other media from around the state witnessed history when the Oklahoman Air National Guard allowed them to come along to watch a refueling mission and the final flight for a pair of F16 fighter jets. “It was definitely an experience that was a teaching moment. Tons of media were there which gave me the opportunity to see how other news media work in the field. It was an experience you would want as an intern or a professional. I will never forget this historical moment,” Stevens said. Seven OCU students are in Wichita performing for the Music Theater of Wichita. Katie Postotnik, Kim Faure, Paige Williams, Ian Gibb, Tyler Foy, Todd Walker and Ashton Joseph will perform five shows over the summer. The performers learn the choreography for seven days and then perform the numbers for five days while learning the chorography for the next show. “I am so excited to be working here with such a prestigious company. For the five weeks I’ve been here, I’ve learned three shows each in seven days, made friends with current and past Broadway stars and have a whole list of new friends that will add to my ‘family’ of performers,” Walker said. “Much like OCU, MTWichita is an amazing place to work for networking before and especially after you move to New York City. If it wasn’t for the professional instruction that I’ve acquired from my time at OCU, then I wouldn’t be here today,” said Walker, a senior dance performance major. Ashton Joseph, who was just crowned Miss Black Oklahoma, also is performing at the Music Theater of Wichita. “My experience at Music Theater Wichita this summer has been inspiring, eye-opening, and humbling. Working with such accomplished actors is an honor and I know that I’ve grown both as a person and a professional,” Joseph said. “Winning Miss Black Oklahoma has been the most exciting event that’s ever happened to me. I have plans for when I go back to Oklahoma. I have a meeting and photo shoot with the Lt. Governor, a cervical cancer survivor like me, and together we will work to spread awareness about this disease. I will start lecturing at schools about my platform, Beating the ODDS, creating health awareness for African American youth, and really making a difference in our community. Other OCU students taking part in summer internships are: David Elli Jones: SpecPro-Inc. in Colorado Springs; Jordan Mason: Oklahoma Redhawks Baseball Team; James Richardson: iNSPIRE!, Latino division of Moroch in Dallas; Sonja Decker: Columbia River Bank; Michael Wegraff: Sutter Express Care; Ashley Knuckles: United Way of Central Oklahoma; John Andrew Riesenberg: Dr. Steven Agee’s Economic Research and Policy Institute; Sean Spivey: National Stonewall Democrats, Washington D.C.; Chandra Kroll: The University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center the SURPS Program; Sarah Copley: The University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center the SURE Program; Carl Evans: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church; and Emily Lamirand: Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital at Baptists Medical Center. ###