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May 8, 2013

RSU Junior Selected for Washington Center Internship Program

Dr. Carolyn Taylor and Holly Bates
Dr. Carolyn Taylor and Holly Bates

Holly Bates, a Rogers State University junior, has been selected for a summer internship through the Washington Center, a nationally-recognized internship program that places students with private, public and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.

A graduate from Vinita High School, Bates has been placed for an internship with the Office of Emergency Management in the U.S. Department of the Interior in order to gain additional experience in emergency management policy making. 

The Washington Center is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides internship programs and academic seminars to college students. The organization arranges 2,000 to 3,000 internship placements annually. Bates, who is majoring in liberal arts, will earn college credit for successfully completing the internship program.

At RSU, Bates is president-elect of both the Honors Program and the President's Leadership Class and a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. She also serves as a student worker in the RSU Writing Lab.

Outside the classroom, she has been a member of the Verdigris Valley Search and Rescue and is certified as a SARTECH II and canine handler.

Bates first took an interest in search and rescue following the May 2011 tornadoes that struck Joplin, Mo. Following that natural disaster, she saw need for the responders and was prompted to become more involved in disaster relief and recovery.

She has been training dogs since she was six and decided to combine her two interests by training her family border collie, Lizzie, in search and rescue. Now both Bates and Lizzie are certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR).

"This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am honored to be representing RSU while gaining first-hand insight into the federal emergency management issues," she said.

Washington Center internships are comprised of internship placement, an academic course and the Leadership Forum. All students are enrolled in a particular program according to their area of interest. Each program focuses learning on concepts closely related to students' intended professional fields. Activities and special programming, such as panels or tours of embassies or businesses, are tailored to the program's core learning objectives and areas of study.

"The Washington Center Program provides students with an invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience and begin developing a broad professional network," said Dr. Carolyn Taylor, RSU professor and RSU Strategic Initiatives Coordinator. "Holly is among the most mature and special young women that I have taught. She is selfless and has a very strong interest in helping others."

For more information on the program, visit www.rsu.edu/washington-center or contact Taylor at ctaylor@rsu.edu.