FSU Named 2016 Public Institution of the Year by Academic Internship Program

Frostburg State University has been named the 2016 Public Institution of the Year by The Washington Center (TWC), America’s largest academic internship program. The independent, nonprofit organization serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and around the world by providing accepted students with experiential learning opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic internship credit.

Each year, TWC selects partnering universities for Academic Affairs Awards. FSU’s campus liaison for the program, Director of Student Development Amy Shimko, and Assistant Vice President of Students Affairs Dr. Jeffrey Graham accepted the award at TWC’s Academic Affairs Awards Luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 in Washington, D.C. FSU students and TWC alum Dejaih Johnson and Emily Michael accompanied Shimko and Graham. In addition, Shimko has also been invited to join TWC’s Liaison Advisory Board, which offers advice and feedback about its programs and initiatives.

During the summer of 2016, nine FSU students completed internships through the program, living and learning in the NoMA neighborhood in the heart of Washington, D.C. Student participants come from a variety of majors including Political Science, English, Legal Studies and Exercise and Sports Science. The students held nearly full-time internships in professional work settings, working eight hours a day, four days a week. In addition, students in the program were enrolled in one regular evening course.

Auxiliary TWC programming allowed students to develop skills and make contacts through catered “professional tracks” and explore issues of social concerns with guest speakers. Integrated into the program are five community service hours, completed at the students’ discretion throughout the Washington metropolitan area, as well as a weekly LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, and Development) colloquium. Upon graduating from the program, students leave the internship with a portfolio integrating the academic and experiential components of their summer.

FSU Senior April Kinyua, a double major in Political Science and International Politics with a Spanish minor, stated of her summer, “The Washington Center’s one-of-a-kind programming geared toward propelling students’ personal growth was one of the most exceptional parts of my summer. The career workshops they facilitated allowed me to get input from professionals in the workforce and from graduate admissions counselors. One of the workshops I participated in was ‘How to Negotiate Your Salary.’ This allowed me to recognize how my skills should be reflected in my compensation, as well as what I should ask for and work towards.”

James Kirk, a junior dual-majoring in Political Science and Economics, said, “This summer at The Washington Center was an incredible opportunity for me to expand on my professional skills, network with accomplished leaders in my field of study, and experience one of the country’s most vibrant cities.”

Each FSU student who participated in TWC received a generous Maryland scholarship which covered the entire programming fee and half of TWC’s available, in-city apartment-style housing. Students who are residents of the state of Maryland and enrolled in a four-year Maryland university are eligible for the financial award. Students can participate in the program over the summer or during an academic semester.

For more information on The Washington Center, visit their website, http://twc.edu, or email Amy Shimko at alshimko@frostburg.edu. There will also be an informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lane University Center for students interested in future Washington, D.C. internships through TWC.

Featured image: (TBL/Nick DeMichele)

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