NSPARC contributions facilitate internship opportunities for MSU honors students

Mississippi State senior Sean McCarthy (back row, third from left) is pictured with a group of current and former MSU students at “Mississippi on the Mall,” a June event annually hosted by the Washington, D.C.-based Mississippi State Society. With financial support from the university’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center and Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, McCarthy is pursuing an organizational and development internship this summer with a D.C.-based nonprofit. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Sean McCarthy)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Financial support from Mississippi State’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center is enabling students in the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College to pursue competitive internships in the liberal arts and sciences across the nation.

Honors students who receive an NSPARC Fellowship can compete for prestigious internships that may be unpaid or low paying and still plan to support themselves while gaining valuable experience. Internship support requires a formal application and review by the honors college.

“At the university, our obligation is not so much to teach what to think or what to learn but rather to teach how to use what we learn and what we know to solve complex issues. NSPARC is all about equipping students with the skills and knowledge that will prepare them to address such issues in the world,” said NSPARC Executive Director Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi.

“I am very proud that the Shackouls Honors College recognizes the value of this form of teaching, provides the vehicle to channel students toward opportunities to make a difference, and instills in students a sense of responsibility to be problem solvers for the world,” Parisi added.

With help from an NSPARC Fellowship, MSU senior Sean E. McCarthy of Union Grove, Wisconsin, is pursuing an organizational and development internship this summer with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

A senior political science and communication/journalism double-major, McCarthy said his primary responsibilities include, among others, drafting proposals to be sent to foundations and donors and conducting policy research.

Outside of his internship duties, McCarthy is enjoying opportunities to network with other MSU interns in the D.C. area, attend receptions on Capitol Hill and tour the Smithsonian’s world-class museums.

McCarthy appreciates the “gracious assistance” he has received from NSPARC and the Shackouls Honors College, without which he said the “incredible opportunity” to intern this summer would not be possible.

“D.C. is an expensive city, and I extend my appreciation to NSPARC and the Shackouls Honors College for helping me afford my housing for the summer,” he said. “This summer has certainly been exciting.”

McCarthy also encourages fellow Honors College students to consider pursuing a summer internship or study abroad opportunity and to speak with the Honors College staff about financial assistance that may be available.

“There are ample opportunities, and the Honors College is more than happy to assist students in making their dream a reality,” he said.

Per NSPARC Fellowship requirements, McCarthy will write a summative report of his internship experience upon return to MSU.

Seth Oppenheimer, professor of mathematics who also serves as the honors college’s director of undergraduate research, said pursuit of internships gives students like McCarthy “a broad range of venues in which to use the full panoply of their academic skills and education in a highly applied area.

“Our expectation is that these internships will broaden our students’ worldview and experience beyond the educational, exposing them to different types of locations outside of Mississippi and giving them invaluable life experiences and a more cosmopolitan perspective,” Oppenheimer added.

For more information on MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, visit www.honors.msstate.edu; National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, www.nsparc.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 12:28 pm