Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership Awards Student Interns

Courtney Hawkins, Marshall Miller and Hayley Nye Each Awarded $250

Katie Baker, Staff Writer

Bridgewater VA.- On Feb. 14, the Office of Career Services and the Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership partnered to host the Showker Internship Excellence Awards. This event was held to recognize three Bridgewater College students who have completed exemplary internships. Both credited and uncredited internships are eligible for this award. 

Each student is awarded $250 to do with as they please. The internship facilitator is also awarded with a trophy. 

Sherry Talbott, Director of Career Services, mentioned it was a very competitive selection process and that it was an “extremely hard decision to make.” Talbott is a strong proponent of Bridgewater students completing internships because “they give you a chance to explore.” Through an internship, students are able to make connections, apply their knowledge and develop professionalism. 

This year’s student recipients were seniors Courtney Hawkins, Marshall Miller, and Hayley Nye. Miller graduated in 2018 from Bridgewater, however, Hawkins and Nye are current upperclassmen. The recipients completed the current academic year. 

Hawkins completed her internship with an organization called On Earth Peace. The organization is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. As a part of her internship, Hawkins wrote newsletters and worked with communication. During her internship, Hawkins had the opportunity to visit Palestine. While in Palestine, Hawkins was able to coordinate with her internship. 

The aspect of Hawkins’ experience with her internship that most impacted her was confidence building. She stated that through her internship with On Earth Peace, she was able to understand that “collaboration is really useful when you view yourself as an equal.” 

Miller completed his internship with an organization called Log Cabin Republicans. Log Cabin Republicans is the “nation’s original and largest organization representing LGBT conservatives.” For his internship, Miller left Bridgewater College’s campus to spend time in the nation’s capital. From Miller’s internship experience, he learned to be a strong leader. There were several different aspects of leadership Miller mentioned learning while in D.C., the first is that “every little detail is professional.” Secondly, Miller stated “leading from your personal held values and convictions is the most effective.” 

Nye completed her internship with the Virginia Department of Health, and specifically with the WIC program. WIC stands for women, infants, and children and it is a program that provides nutritional assistance to low-income mothers and their children. During this internship, Nye was able to help in clinics, create presentation boards and flyers as well as policy briefs. 

Through this internship, Nye learned to push her boundaries and to step out of her comfort zone. Nye stated that she “looked fear in the face,” and by doing this she was able to grow as an individual. When confronted with completing tasks that frightened Nye, she did not back down, rather she learned to say “sure I’ll do it.” 

Each of the speakers at the event–from the recipients to their advisors–all spoke highly of the value that internships bring to career and character development. 

From Hawkins’ speech that element of career development was the takeaway, when she stated that “all these skills I was learning I could use in an actual job.” From Nye’s speech, the element of character development was the takeaway, as she recommended to say “yes to doing things that will make you grow.” 

Although the event was held to recognize three students who completed exemplary internships, there was also an element of prompting underclassmen to complete an internship. Professor Bobbi Gentry captured the essence of the value of internships for students when she stated that “internships help students decide what they want to do and what they don’t want to do.” 

There was a variety of individuals present at the event. There were family members of the recipients, staff members at Bridgewater, professors and underclassmen there to learn about the opportunities that internships provide. Rebekah Vaughan, a current freshman, attended the event because she is “very interested in the diverse opportunities provided in the internships.” 

Vaughan has aspirations to work for the FBI after she graduates. While at the event, she was able to make various connections, such as obtaining a business card from an individual with connections in the Washington D.C. police force. For Vaughan, this event was a success because she was able to understand “value of internship and networking.”