Senior samples environmental policy development on internship
While senior Kerri Morrison (pictured above, second from the left) was test driving a career in environmental policy this summer, she mapped a new direction for her double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science.
One of 20 Maryland students selected for the Governor’s Summer Internship Program, Morrison found the experience with the Maryland Department of the Environment invaluable on every level, although she says it was a challenge to balance a full-time job with preparing a major policy paper to present to Md. Gov. Martin O’Malley.
“Through my classes at McDaniel, I found that I'd like to approach environmental issues from a policy standpoint; that's where I think I can best make a difference and contribute towards environmental protection,” says the Honors student from Glen Burnie, Md.
Before the internship, Morrison wasn’t sure exactly how she would apply her majors. She began her studies at McDaniel as a Biology major, then switched to Environmental Policy and Science when she realized she was more interested in environmental issues than other fields of biology. During her junior year she added a Political Science major after taking some political science classes.
“I've learned about the specifics of legislation and environmental policy, as well as how to manage multiple tasks, set my own deadlines, and work collaboratively with others,” she says. “Finally, I’ve affirmed that this is the field I want to work in. I think that’s one of the most valuable aspects of any internship – deciding if you actually enjoy working in the area you’ve been studying.”
(Kerri Morrison pictured above second from right)
Morrison presented, with three other interns, a required policy paper the group worked on throughout the 10-week internship. Gov. O’Malley, his senior policy staff and several departmental secretaries listened while Morrison outlined the group’s recommendations to protect surface owners who do not own the mineral rights underneath their land from damages from oil and natural gas production.
Morrison will begin applying to graduate schools in the fall and is looking forward to being the service coordinator for the Honors Program along with her work with McDaniel’s Environmental Action Club, Advocacy Team and Alpha Lambda Delta first-year honors society. She’ll also no doubt find time for the photography hobby she adopted after taking a digital photography class last semester.
But first, before she begins her senior year, the SCUBA certified diver is trading keyboard for flippers – and taking a couple of well earned dives beneath the deep blue sea.