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Five BVU students land Washington D.C. internships

Five BVU students participating in semester-long internships in Washington D.C. From left to right: Iran Carlos, Ryan Jensen, Kristen Charette, Olivia Wieseler and Andrew Hoffman

STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) -- Five Buena Vista University students will spend the second semester in the nation’s capital.

The five acquired internships as part of BVU's longstanding partnership with The Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars.

For more than two decades this partnership has given BVU students the opportunity to live, work and learn in Washington D.C.

“The Washington Center program is one of BVU’s signature experiential learning opportunities,” said Dr. Brad Best, Professor of Political Science and Director of General Education. “And since I arrived at BVU in 2002, we’ve never had five students attend The Washington Center in a single semester. During my time at least, this is a record for BVU.”

The five students and their semester-long internships include:

  • Olivia Wieseler, a senior digital media major from St. Helena, Neb., will intern at The Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, working in digital communications.
  • Kristen Charette, a senior political science major from Tipton, will intern in the law office of Todd Baldwin, who heads a criminal defense firm.
  • Iran Carlos, a senior political science major from Belmond, will intern with the Ecological Association of America.
  • Andrew Hoffman, a senior history major from Chanhassen, Minn., accepted a position as a historical research intern, devoting his time to study the history of the 225-year-old DACOR Bacon House, a residence in the heart of Washington, just two blocks from the White House.
  • Ryan Jensen, a senior history education major from Bridgewater, will intern with the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training.

“Going from my hometown of 200 residents to Washington, D.C., will be quite a change,” says Jensen. “This is the type of research and historical work I’d like to go into one day.”

Jensen, who will student teach in the fall semester, is excited to also experience facilities such as The Smithsonian Institution, the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, and more.

“I’ve been telling everyone since my freshman year at BVU I’d spend a semester studying and working in Washington, D.C.,” says Carlos. “I was so excited to learn of my acceptance into the Washington Center program.”

Carlos will put her audio recording knowledge to work for the Ecological Society of America as its staff members organize field trips for college students from around the country.

“BVU students also take a weekly course while they’re in Washington,” says Best, who serves as BVU’s liaison with The Washington Center. “When they complete their internship, they’ll have a portfolio featuring samples of their work, formal evaluations of their work in their internship and in the course they take. The portfolio is very useful when applying for a job or for graduate school.”

Funding assistance for BVU students engaged in The Washington Center programming has been provided, in part, through gifts provided by the Lamberti and Zinn families of Ankeny and Spencer, respectively.

“We are grateful to be able to continue this unique partnership with The Washington Center, which, we believe, represents the gold standard among internship providers in and around Washington, D.C.,” Best said. “The top-tier internship experiences they receive resonates very effectively when it comes to the job market.”

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Dean Welte

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