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New Internship Program
To Benefit Students In Biological Sciences

A new internship program at Sam Houston State University has been implemented to provide opportunities for students interested in medically related careers, field ecology, and biotechnology.

"The new internship program is a unique opportunity for students interested in careers in the biological sciences," said Mary Plishker, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Being involved in real world applications of what they are learning in the classroom will give the interns a new perspective on related course work and valuable insight into career choices," she said. "The Department of Biological Sciences is to be congratulated for its efforts in establishing this new internship program."

"We plan to place approximately 15 students this summer," said Everett D. Wilson, chairman of biology.

The internships are open to qualified students who have completed their sophomore year.

"Sam Houston State University students have many good possibilities because of the strong medical and biotechnology industries in the greater Houston area," Wilson said.

"We see the biotechnology industry expanding rapidly in the next decade. Our students can have academic backgrounds and summer experiences that will enhance their career opportunities," he said. "This new program is part of a shift in biology to be less classical and more progressive, as medicine and high-tech biology become as important as computer technology."

The program is already off to a good start with requests from the area.

"We have three requests from M.D. Anderson in Houston which we haven't filled," said Wilson. A number of other Houston area entities have also expressed interest in Sam Houston State University interns.

The biology internship program will be similar to the environmental science internship program that James R. DeShaw has coordinated since 1988. According to Wilson, that program has assisted over 150 students, with many of them entering employment and careers closely aligned to their summer internship experiences.

In the environmental science internship program, qualified students prepare files and attend orientations as required by the University Career Services Center before interacting directly with prospective intern sponsors through interviews on campus. Once a student has completed the internship, the student is required to submit a detailed report on the experience and to present information that can be used to evaluate the professional level of involvement.

"The biology faculty are excited about helping both undergraduate and graduate students develop academically and professionally, and we feel that participating in internships will provide a tremendous advantage for them," said Wilson.

The experience provides an advantage for employers as well, according to Charles Western, director of University Career Services at SHSU.

"More employers in this region and nationwide are seeking interns," said Western. "They see, as we in higher education have observed for many years, the value of this unique learning experience for both employer and intern. Interns learn more about their majors and possible career paths while employers have time to observe potential employees."

Students or employers who are interested in participating in the biology internship program should contact Wilson at SHSU's Department of Biological Sciences, phone (936) 294-1540.

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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
May 2, 2000
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