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Fourteen Clarion University students are gaining valuable work experience this summer by participating in the university’s High Priority Occupations Internships Progra

The program, a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASHEE) Economic Development initiative, was established through a line item in this year’s Pennsylvania state budget. Clarion University received $30,000 to fund the High Priority Occupations Internships.

“Our primary goal is to increase the number and percentage of students who complete internships and experiential learning experiences as undergraduates,” said Dr. James Pesek, interim dean of the College of Business Administration. “We also wanted to attract new internship opportunities in businesses or other organizations which focus upon critical employment needs in Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania’s high priority occupations are found in the fields of agriculture and food production, building and construction, business and financial services, education, information and communication services, life sciences, and in other industries.

Specific high priority occupations were identified by consulting the “Pennsylvania Career Guide 2006-07, Occupational Data Bank” and the “Pennsylvania Workforce Development 2007 Regional High Priority Occupations.” High priority occupations must meet three criteria – require higher level skills; provide a family sustaining wage, defined as $26,922 or higher; and are in demand by employers, who anticipate 35-50 job openings over five years.

“Clarion University has supported internships for a long time, encouraging them through academic credit for those who meet the requirements,” said Pesek. “Cost can be a factor in a student’s pursuit of an internship. So, we were very excited to be able to provide a $500 stipend and a tuition waiver for the students participating in this program.”

Internships come from many sources according to Pesek. Some are developed by a faculty member contacting an employer; some are arranged by the student, who gains permission to pursue it through his/her academic department; and many times an employer contacts the university, seeking interns.

“This has been a very worthwhile experience,” said Pesek about Clarion’s participation in the High Priority Occupations Internships Program. “We are optimistic that it will continue to be funded at the state level.”

The High Priority Occupations Internship Program committee was chaired by Pesek and included: Renee Bloom, Allied Health, Clarion University – Venango Campus; Dr. Jon Beal, mathematics; Dr. Jeffrey Eicher, finance; Connie Laughlin, director of Career Services; Dr. Colleen McAleer, speech pathology and audiology; and Dr. Woodrow Yeaney, director of Clarion University’s Small Business Development Center.

Students qualifying for the internships must be juniors or seniors, have a minimum 2.5 quality point average, and have an academic major appropriate to the work assignment. The 14 participating students are:

Kelly Gribschaw with State Farm Insurance. Gribschaw, a senior marketing major, is a daughter of Pat Gribschaw of Glassport and is a graduate of South Allegheny High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Paul Kim, professor of marketing.

Lynne Griffith with Clarion Onized FCE. Griffith, a senior accounting major is a daughter of Barbara Chambers of St. Clairsville, Ohio, and is a graduate of Mount de Chatal Academy. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Thomas Oliver, professor of accountancy.

Nicholas Leonhard with HDS Marketing Inc. Leonhard, a senior marketing major, is a son of Denise Leonhard of Mars and is a graduate of Mars High School. His faculty coordinator is Dr. Paul Kim, professor of marketing.

Elizabeth Presutti with Clarion Hospital. Presutti, a senior marketing major, is a daughter of Anthony and Marcy Presutti of Beaver and is a graduate of Beaver High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Paul Kim, professor of marketing.

Chrystal Thompson with Berteotti Insurance and Financial Services. Thompson, a senior finance major, is a daughter of Paul Brewer of Parker and is a graduate of A-C Valley High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Jeff Eicher, professor of finance.

Danielle Dudzenski with Modern Woodmen of America. Dudzenski, a senior finance major, is a daughter of Michael and Margaret Dudzenski of Latrobe and is a graduate of Greater Latrobe High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Jeff Eicher, professor of finance.

Brianna Kline with Cooksburg Café, Cabins, and Rentals. Kline, a senior management major, is a daughter of Jenny Klline of Lickingville and is a graduate of North Clarion High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Kevin Roth, professor of administrative science.

Brian Perkins with First Investors Corp. Perkins, a senior management major, is a son of Robert Perkins of Irwin and is a graduate of Norwin High School. His faculty coordinator is Dr. Kevin Roth, professor of administrative science.

Nicholas Sheets with Pittsburgh Film Office. Sheets, a senior marketing major, is a son of Linda Sheets of Lower Burrell and is a graduate of Burrell High School. His faculty coordinator is Dr. Paul Kim, professor of marketing.

Kylie Zamperini with Falcon Research and Settlement. Zamperini, a senior accounting major, is a daughter of Betty Zamperini of Seminole and is a graduate of Redbank Valley High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Thomas Oliver, professor of accountancy.

Kassie Leuschel with Phoenix Sintered Metals, Inc. Leuschel, a senior finance major, is a daughter of Stephen Leuschel of St. Marys and is a graduate of Elk County Catholic High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Jeff Eicher, professor of finance.

Wendy Hollendonner with Honesdale National Bank. Hollendonner, a senior marketing major, is a daughter of F. Reed and Arlene Hollendonner of Carbondale and is a graduate of Western Wayne High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Paul Kim, professor of marketing.

Brian Rosano with Bank of N.Y. Mellon. Rosano, a senior real estate major, is a son of Frank Rosano of Aliquippa and is a graduate of Hopewell High School. His faculty coordinator is Dr. Jeff Eicher, professor of finance.

Katherine Gilboy with Allegheny County Economic Development. Gilboy, a senior political science major, is a daughter of Bill and Darlene Gilboy of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School. Her faculty coordinator is Dr. Barry Sweet, professor of political science.

Published
8/20/2008 11:43 AM

High priority occupations internships for Clarion University students