What is the Will to Do?

What is the Will to Do?

For anyone who has questioned just what Southeast means when referring to the “will to do,” these students have great answers. They have showcased what they’re learning by working, interning and putting their passions to the test. From NASA to Disney, from the United States capital to the United Kingdom, they have garnered experiences to augment their education and boost their resumes.

A good resume will be key for Wesley Cox, a senior from Ferguson, Missouri, who plans to run for public office and someday aspires to be president of the United States. Cox, a political science and communications studies double major, got a taste of his legislative future this summer as an intern in a U.S. Senator’s office in Washington, D.C.

Southeast senior Colten Peterson of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, spent his summer at NASA’s Student Airborne Research Program. During the eight-week program, Peterson got hands-on experience and opportunities with NASA’s Earth Science System. Peterson, a double major in physics and engineering physics, mechanical applications, flew onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft, a highly specialized research aircraft.

A quintet of Southeast students received forensics training with some highly sought-after internships. Junior Lucy Freitag of St. Louis, Missouri, worked in the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop E Cape Girardeau Crime Laboratory. Freitag, a forensic chemistry and American Chemical Society certified chemistry major is the fourth Southeast student to work with the Highway Patrol and only the second undergraduate to hold this appointment. Graduate students Ana Alicea-Rodriguez and Melyssa Aviles advanced their studies in forensic science with internships in Scotland at the Glasgow Caledonian University’s Forensic Summer Programme. They joined 20 interns from across the U.S. and around the world, comparing U.S. crime scene investigation technologies with those used in the United Kingdom, including fingerprinting, fiber analysis, drug analysis and microscopy techniques. Abbey Stier of Sherman, Illinois, and Alix Bosler of Pacific, Missouri, are Southeast’s first forensic chemistry graduates to intern with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) North Central Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. They were the only two DEA interns this summer, giving them access to experienced forensic chemists to improve their skills.

Junior Brianna Voelker of Waterloo, Illinois, got a taste of the horticulture industry in a unique place as she began a seven-month internship at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot Center. Voelker is working in “The Land,” billed by Disney as a place for visitors to whet their appetite for sustainable high-tech horticulture. “The Land” focuses on human interaction with the land, encompasses six acres and is the largest pavilion in Future World, one of Epcot’s themed areas.

Impressive, right? And, this is just a sampling; Southeast students are doing so much, we can’t squeeze it all in: summer conservatories, the New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Wells Fargo Advisors Student Leadership Institute, the nation’s leading maritime museum, language immersion in Peru, counseling in the Rockies, and marketing for Maritz.


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