Interns – Then & Now

Mandy Helt

Mandy NOW


Mandy THEN

Mandy Helt , a History/English major interned for the US Capitol Historical Society during the summer of 2001.  She spent much of her time doing research at the Library of Congress.  “It is amazing to me that so many people who live and work in D.C. aren’t natives. They come from all over the U.S. and around the world. There is so much diversity & such an opportunity to learn from so many people.” She NOW works for Wheeling Jesuit University as a Research Analyst for the National Technology Transfer Center for NASA, MSHA & Healthy WV programs.

Valerie Miyares , a Criminal Justice major, spent the summer of 2001 working for the EPA.  Valerie played Volleyball while at West Liberty, so after graduation she returned to her love of athletics and earned a masters in Sports Administration and NOW works as an Athletic Director.





Jessie THEN

Jessie “James” Zatezalo, a Communication/Journalism major is seen in the

Jessie NOW

Jessie NOW

photo to the left, at her desk at USA Today where she interned during the summer of 2002.  She even had a couple of book reviews published during her time there.  After graduation she became the Editor of the West Virginia State Journal, but is NOW freelancing and raising a beautiful daughter!

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Monty THEN

Monty Meadows, a Sports Management major, interned with Clear Channel Communications in the Marketing Department during the summer of 2002.  He tracked articles in the media, compiled media clips of interest to the team, researched potential clients, tracked expenses for the sales team, and edited presentations.  Probably one of the things he will remember most is meeting Lynn Swan on the White House lawn during a Physical fitness kick-off.  Of course the first Lady Laura Bush was there, but I’m guessing his memories will be of meeting one of his sports heroes.   He went to work for the Steelers organization after graduation but is NOW working as a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines out of Baltimore.

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Ashley THEN

Ashley Perkins a Criminal Justice major, interned during the fall of 2002 with the U.S. Marshals Service.  She was mostly involved with processing and issuing badges and credentials for U.S. Marshals and Deputy Marshals.   It pays to be in the right place to make contacts that can benefit you in the future.  It certainly paid dividends for Ashley because she is NOW working as a special agent for the DEA in Los Angeles.  Ashley keeps in touch and always credits her time in Washington, D.C. as being responsible for where she is today.

Jennifer Neff, a Criminal Justice major worked for the U.S. Marshals Service with Ashley Perkins during the fall of 2002 and really enjoyed her internship, but she had a much different outcome.  After graduation in December 2002 she decided that she really wanted to teach English, so she returned to the classroom here and got her secondary teaching degree, she then went on to graduate school.  An internship experience is certainly a time of discovery, even if it is to discover what you don’t want to do for the rest of your life.




Ryan Mancuso a Biology/Graphic Design major worked for the EPA in their marketing department during the summer of 2002.   Since graduation and his internship, he has been working for the past 8 years in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative.  “Even though I strayed a bit from the original plan, I still hold the experience that I gained with my TWC internship in highest
regards,” says Ryan.

Amy Buck,  a Criminal Justice major,  interned with the American Association of University Woman in the Public Policy & Government Relations Department during the summer of 2002 .  She had the opportunity to attend congressional hearings, coalition meetings and learned about the legislative process and public policy issues relating to welfare, hate crimes, education, Social Security and judicial nominations.   Due to the outstanding job she did while interning, she was offered a position with them.  She worked for them for several years but has since returned to the Pittsburgh area to work.


Joe Cantanese


Joe Catanese, a Criminal Justice major, interned with the

The White House

The White House

U.S. Marshals during the summer of 2003.  He is NOW working for the Uniformed Secret Service and was originally stationed at the Whitehouse.  Quite an impressive first job! “My time in D.C. has proven to me that it is up to the individual to make his destiny.  I believe this experience has put me in a position to create my future.”

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Jasmine THEN


Jasmine with Emmy

Jasmine Crighton, a Communications & Broadcasting major interned with XM Satellite Radio during the summer of 2003.  She served as a production assistant for the “60s on 6″ channel.  “It was a surprise everyday going to work, I never knew which performer I would see in the hall or get to watch in the studio.  Washington is a good place to be, especially for a media student.  The political environment gave me the opportunity to learn about how the world works and how the government operates.” After graduation she obtained a fellowship to graduate school at the Univ. of Las Vegas where she earned her masters.  She worked as a News Director at a TV station in Las Vegas, and in May 2009, won an Emmy for her work!  She is now back at WLU as a member of our Communications faculty.

reutheratdesk croppedLora Reuther, a Communications major, landed an internship with Senator Robert C. Byrd’s office during the spring of 2004.  During her time in his office she attended a gathering where former President Bill Clinton addressed the press, and attended an


International Affairs hearing where Secretary of State Colin Powell reported on President Bush’s budget proposal, and was fortunate enough to be able to sit in on some of the 9/11 Commissions Hearings – what an interesting experience she had!   If all that wasn’t enough, she also attended the Democratic Presidential Convention in Boston, MA.  Lora is NOW living in Arlington, VA.



Josh Suprenant, a Communications major, spent the summer of 2004 interning at Strauss Radio Strategies.  Josh was in his element in D.C. and loved his experience.  “This was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.” He is now living in Arlington, VA and is working for Williams Lea in D.C.

Mike, a Criminal Justice major, interned with the Department of Homeland Security, in the Office of Domestic Preparedness during the summer of 2004.  After graduation Mike accepted a position with the US Air Marshall and traveled all over the world.  He is now working as a special agent for the Department of Homeland Security in Los Angeles.  Mike is quoted as saying:


“My internship with The Washington Center (TWC) had a profound impact on my educational and professional careers.  The experience of living and working in our nation’s capital taught me lessons that I continue to use on a daily basis.  Personally, spending the summer in Washington D.C. opened my eyes to the rest of the world.  I was exposed to all kinds of new information and ideas while attending TWC lectures and classes presented by some of the biggest names in American business, education and government.  And professionally, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today had I not participated in TWC internship program.  I interned with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where I am currently employed as a Special Agent.  It is a challenging and exciting career that has taken me all over the world, and it started with my TWC internship.  Anyone looking to expand their horizons and get a head start on their careers should very seriously consider an internship with TWC.”





Sarah THEN

Sara Groux, a Communications major, spent the summer of

Sarah NOW

2004 working for the Peace Corps.  No, she didn’t travel to some far-off land, but stayed in D.C. and worked in the Domestic Programs, Returned Volunteer Services department.  She was responsible for editing the bi-monthly Hotline newsletter ads, copy-editing and proofing Hotline and other materials, assisting with layouts and updating web contents.  “This opportunity is truly something I will never forget.” At last contact, Sarah was working for Williams Lea in Wheeling, WV.

colucci and andy web

Andy & Jim THEN

Andy Kovach, and Jim Colucci, both Business Administration majors, spent

Andy NOW

Andy NOW

the summer of 2005 working together for the Shaw Group, a Fortune 500 an international company that builds nuclear power plants.  Andy is NOW working for Habeggar Corporation (a leading distributor of Bryant HVAC equipment) in Columbus, OH and intends to pursue his MBA in the near future.
Jim is NOW living and working in Virginia Beach, VA.

Jessie Lim web

Jessie THEN

Jessie Lim, an Accounting major was a nontraditional student who spent the summer of 2005 working for Merrill Lynch.  Jessie, originally from Malaysia, had worked as a mutual fund agent in southeast Asia.  She brought a unique set of experiences with her to Merrill Lynch and they proved to be very valuable assets to her as well as a learning experience for her supervisor.  She worked directly under the Senior Associate in the Global Private Client section and even had occasions to speak a few of the languages she is fluent in such as, Malay, Mandarin, Indonesian, Hokkien, & Cantonese as well as English.  After her graduation in 2006 she returned to Washington, D.C. to work for a public accounting firm auditing government agencies.  Her Merrill Lynch experience helped her get this job, but after a year or so she accepted a position with a Pittsburgh based company and is NOW working for RSM McGladrey, the 5th largest public accounting firm in the U.S. and is able to work from home with occasional out-of-state trips.





Adam Stickles, a Communications major spent the summer of 2005 working for Double R Productions, a company that produces television programming and public service announcements, news releases and media training.  What a great training ground for Adam, and I guess it paid off because  he is NOW working for a local TV station.

Anastasia Belashova web

Anastasia THEN

Anastasia Belashova, an Accounting major worked for Merrill Lynch in the summer of 2005.  Anastasia came to West Liberty from Kyrgystan and was eager to learn about international accountancy and finance, and certainly did that during her internship.   As a result of the work she did there, she was able to obtain a job at Ernst & Young working in Charleston, WV and then transferred to New York City to continue her career with Ernst & Young.

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Jessica THEN

Jessica Griffith '10

Jessica NOW

Jessica Griffith, a Criminal Justice major spent the Summer of 2005 working with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), our first student to land an internship there.  She worked with DEA Enforcement Group 44 along side special agents learning investigative techniques including confidential source interviews, undercover operations (drug buys & busts), and search warrant procedures.  I’m sure she will always remember her experience with the DEA and the time she spend in D.C.  After graduation she attended graduate school, and she is now working for the WV State Police.

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Luke Myers, a Business Administration/Banking, Finance major and May 2007 graduate took advantage of the Post-Graduate program and interned with the GIC Group, an Agribusiness Consulting and Investment Advisory Firm.  He obtained the “real-world” experience that he needed and the opportunity to make contacts and go on interviews during his time in D.C.  It paid off when he accepted a position with VideoNext Network Solutions, Inc., a security software company that handles mostly government contracts in Chantilly, VA.  His boss, Brent Bettino just happens to be a WLU grad from Weirton, WV.  Luke left VideoNext in early 2009 to return to Weirton and work in finance/billing for a local trucking company.  “Thankfully, I had an opportunity presented to me by the former CEO of VideoNext to come back to the DC area working for his newly founded start-up security integration company out of Herndon, VA.  I’ve been working here since Oct 2010.  Right now I’m the senior accountant and enjoy it at Delax Fairfax ISS.  This opportunity can be traced back to my internship because of the connections that were made.”



Lauren NOW


Lauren THEN

Lauren Weppler, a Communications/Broadcast Journalism major interned during the summer of 2007 at the PBS show “To The Contrary,” a show owned and operated by women.  “I have found a new “gusto”for the career I intend to pursue. Due to this internship, I am more focused and ready for the career ahead of me.” Lauren is now working for WTAP-TV in Parkersburg, WV.

Paul Simon croppedPaul Simon, a Criminal Justice major spent the Fall of 2007 working for the U.S. Marshal’s Service.  After completing a 17-week federal training program, he is now working for the U.S. Park Police in Washington, D.C.  Good luck with your career  Paul!





Pete Fernbaugh, a Communications major, interned during the summer of 2006 for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon!    Pete worked in the Pentagon Building Management Office, the hub of all building operations and facilities within The Pentagon.  He was able to attend a variety of meetings and  the Pentagon Memorial groundbreaking ceremony and even got a chance to meet Secretary Rumsfeld.  Pete wrote many articles for The Trumpet while at West Liberty and was able to put his writing skills to work rewriting policies and procedures for the Pentagon.  “My summer at The Washington Center was one of the most rewarding times of my life. Every step along the way was profitable and contributed greatly to deepending my college and post-college experience.  Working at The Pentagon was both awe-inspiring and enlightening.  One thing was certain, for me this summer, it was the right place at the right time.” Pete is currently a freelance writer and is heavily involved in the local Tri-State theatrical community.  He also served as co-director/co-producer of Burgettstown School District’s Spring musical for the past two years.  For the past-three years, he has worked for Bradford School, a two-year business, technology, and health-care college as a professional presenter/recruiter.

Jennifer Cessna, an Accounting major, received a full-scholarship from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.   She worked in the Resource Management Staff of the Treasury CIO Office.  She was responsible for assisting senior level program analysts with their work projects, running financial reports which are critical to the organization, inputting requisitions into their PRISM program, and establishing policies and procedures for new work groups.  Her hard work and dedication to her assignments did not go unnoticed, since she was offered a second paid internship for the summer of 2011.  During her second internship she worked in Florence, Kentucky, for a branch of the IRS.   As a result of her internships, she has already -months in advance – received and accepted a job offer from an accounting firm in Charleston for when she graduates in May!


Michael Hewitt, a Criminal Justice, interned with the Maryland Office of the Public Defenders.  This internship introduced Mike to an area of Criminal Justice that he never thought would interest him.  He discovered that a career as a Lawyer would enable him to help other people which was very appealing to him.  This summer internship gave him a new sense of  direction and enabled him to estalish a set of goals for achieving them.  Upon graduation from West Liberty University, Mike plans to enter Law School.  “It was the unexpected aspects of this experience that truly made this trip something to remember.  I have experienced what it is like to work in my newly chosen profession, I have set goals for myself, and I believe I would not have come to these decisions without this experience.  It was the best use of my summer, I have made friends in D.C. and I have experienced the “real world.”


Willie Voegelin, a Cultural Geography major, spent his summer working for Washington Parks & People, an organization that has been working to revitalize the D.C. park system.  Willie was responsible for developing and leading an environmental education program in the park, assisting in leading other youth programs such as camping trips & bike safety.  “This summer was tremendous experience for me.  I had the opportunity to see and experience a way of life that was very different from my home.   There are people from literally every corner of the world in D.C. and for the first time I was the minority.  I now understand how it feels to be an outsider, and I believe I am more accepting of diversity and understand that the world has room for many ways of life.  My overall experience in Washington has been more educational than any other semester of college yet.”


Nicole Williamson, was a Criminal Justice major who interned with Global Centurion, an organization the deals with human trafficking, sex slavery, child labor and many other related topics.   During her civic engagement project she got involved with a group that lobbied to have a law passed by going to Capitol Hill to obtain needed signatures.  This law, 5137 the Girl’s Protection Act will make it a federal crime to send minor girls abroad to be mutilated in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  “I learned alot about my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace and within myself.  I have met some of the most interesting people and have seen things I never thought I would.  This journey has given me a new look on life, and I feel confident in a way I never have before.  I now have a foot in the door to what will be an exciting and wonderful career path.” Nicole graduated in December 2010 and hopes to pursue a career with the Department of Homeland Security.

During the summer of 2011, Erin Mellott interned in Washington, D.C. at N Street Village which is a “community of empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women.”  Erin is a junior and majoring in Social Work.  At the N Street Village she was able to work as a program assistant helping maintain a place for low-income women to access basic services.