UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ten Penn State students have been selected as College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society 2017 Internship Award winners. The award, which includes a $1,000 stipend, was established to encourage students to participate in a credit or noncredit educational internship program that relates to their field of study.
"Students are developing new skills, gaining real-world experiences and discovering new career possibilities through their internships," said Naomi Knaub, the college's assistant director of alumni relations. "These are important opportunities that will help position them for success in a competitive job market. The Alumni Society encourages students to pursue these work experiences and is pleased to recognize and support the outstanding internship performance demonstrated by this year's award winners."
Internship Award winners are chosen on the basis of an internship plan, a final report, an employer evaluation and a letter of recommendation from their academic adviser. Following are the 2017 award recipients:
— John Betts, a turfgrass science major from Old Tappan, New Jersey. A graduate of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Betts was the field operations intern for the New York Mets baseball team in Flushing, New York. He assisted with the daily operations and agronomic practices used to manage a high-profile location. Betts was responsible for managing moisture on the infield skin throughout the day, specifically before and after baseball games.
— Aaron Blakney, an environmental resource management major from Erie. A graduate of Harbor Creek High School, Blakney was the environmental health intern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Blakney completed risk assessments on communities that had been classified as Superfund sites to analyze the effect contaminants had on human health. Blakney also worked on a stakeholder analysis of nonprofit environmental groups with similar health goals to the CDC.
— Emma Brenengen, an animal science major from Middletown, Maryland. A graduate of Middletown High School, Brenengen was the technician team intern at Alta Genetics in parts of western New York and Pennsylvania. The internship entailed both selling bull semen and breeding cows. Brenengen was also given the opportunity to work with a mentor who helped her conduct weekly pregnancy checks, give shots and perform analyses using dairy management software.
— Olivia Healey, a community, environment and development major from Columbia, Maryland. A graduate of Atholton High School, Healey was the Maryland Governor’s Summer Internship Program Fellow in Baltimore. She worked on several projects for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, including a large-scale research project to analyze fiscal year grant projects for the Community Legacy fund and a formal report detailing ways to strengthen rural transportation.
— Victoria Herr, an agricultural and extension education major from Lancaster. A graduate of Penn Manor High School, Herr was a conservation education intern at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. She had the chance to work with many different kinds of zoo animals that were used in programs for the general public. On any given day, Herr’s assignments included everything from cleaning and feeding to running educational programs.
— Curtis Hershey, an animal science major from Bethel. A graduate of Tulpehocken High School, Hershey served as the Dairy Nutritional Sales Intern for Archer Daniel Midland in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Hershey completed a number of research-related projects like area market surveys, calf audits and ration balance training. He also had the opportunity to work in the field with nutritionists from Archer Daniel Midland and service dairy herds with his mentor.
— Jessica Hunter, a biological engineering major from Mars. A graduate of Mars Area High School, Hunter was the engineering intern at McCrone Engineering in Annapolis, Maryland. Over the summer, she worked on 23 different projects for the company, which specializes in civil engineering, land surveying and land planning. In the land development office, Hunter dealt with assignments that focused on her areas of interest: soil and water studies and design.
— Sarah Rassler, a veterinary and biomedical sciences major from New Tripoli. A graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School, Rassler was a herdsperson in the Dairy Division of Kreider Farms in Manheim, Pennsylvania. She rotated between the managers of different parts of the farm to get a broad overview of all the work that goes into a large dairy. Her major project included proposals to reduce the somatic cell count of bulk tank milk.
— Tony Rice, an agribusiness management major from Mount Pleasant Mills. A graduate of Midd-West High School, Rice was the government affairs intern for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Rice was exposed to all the facets of the PFB’s work through assignments in conjunction with various departments. His work was aided by his technical writing and research skills as he worked with current legislature for the bureau.
— Gretchen Seigworth, an agribusiness management major from Brookville. A graduate of Brookville High School, Seigworth served as the risk management intern for the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) in Kansas City, Kansas. The DFA helps farmers understand the financial side of their business. With her team, Seigworth helped dairy producers make a profit by forward contracting trades in future markets or by creating swap contracts with dairy product companies.
The Ag Alumni Society Internship Award is the focus of the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Giving Tuesday program, which will take place on Nov. 28 this year. All gifts made through the College’s Giving Tuesday website will directly benefit the internship award fund.