William Donald Schaefer Internship Program
for Government Service Award
Established in 2003 to benefit students who participate in public policy internships and desire to pursue careers in government service.
It has been over 165 years since three County representatives rode to the House of Delegates in Annapolis to present their plans for a school that would one day become known as St. Mary's College of Maryland.
It has only been a few years since Anya Katrinic '07 made the same journey -- as a William Donald Schaefer Scholar. The internship program, created in 2004 by former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, is designed to encourage students to pursue future careers in public service by granting them a hands-on, undergraduate experience in public policy.
"I assumed I would be assigned menial tasks, but that was not the case at all," said Anya. "I helped to prepare trip itineraries, an organizational newsletter, and a tax publications survey. I also shadowed the Deputy Press Secretary from the Governor's Press Office."
The internship is one of several coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy to provide students with the learning opportunities that will help them in their life after St. Mary's.
Drawing together the sectors of campus, classroom, and community, the Center sponsors education about the roots of democracy in colonial Maryland and its link to contemporary issues. Established in 2003 as a collaboration between Historic St. Mary's City and St. Mary's College of Maryland, the Center offers a visiting scholars program and lecture series; international study opportunities for students from St. Mary's and from abroad; internship programs in the State of Maryland government; specially designed course offerings; voter registration; and publication of white papers.
All of the Center's programs are designed to enrich the St. Mary's community and to help St. Mary's students study more closely the development of democracy in both the United States and other countries.
As students we are encouraged to give back to the community," said Elizabeth Luginbill, a 2006 cum laude grad. "Each of my volunteering activities gave me real-world experience and perspective that can be lacking in lives of so many young people. I learned a lot from everything I did."
That sense of care and community is something St. Mary's prides itself on. Many students choose St. Mary's for its academic reputation, yet, once here, learn that college isn't only about attending classes and maintaining good grades. It's also about people and finding your part in the local and global community.
Beth, a Leonardtown, Maryland resident, seized many opportunities where she could help in the local community: mentoring middle school students at Spring Ridge Middle School, volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Three Oaks Men's Shelter; and serving as a Spanish language translator for the St. Mary's County Health Department.
Her interest in working with the children of the community led her to apply for and receive the William Donald Schaefer Internship Program for Government Service. The award offered the chance to have a hands-on experience in local government. In the summer of 2004, Beth worked on juvenile justice issues as an intern in the office of St. Mary's County Circuit Court Judge Marvin Kaminetz.
Created by Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, the internships are designed to encourage students to pursue future careers in public service. The program is administered by the Center for the Study of Democracy and made possible through the generosity of Schaefer, his staff, and the Dorothy and Henry Rosenberg Foundation.
While at St. Mary's, Beth discovered she also had a "passion for Spanish." She changed to a double major of history and Spanish, spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Alcala in Madrid, Spain, and designed an SMP (St. Mary's Project) to focus on political autobiography during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).
Christine Adams, professor of history at St. Mary's, mentored Beth through the senior year SMP and praised her for having an "intensely creative mind."
"For her primary sources, she found a number of autobiographies written by politically engaged women during the conflict, several of which she read in the original Spanish," explained Chris. "Her final paper provided a nicely nuanced consideration of what feminism meant in the context of 1930s Spain, and the multiple ways in which women can be politically active."
Since graduation, Beth has worked at Greenwell State Park as an assistant camp director for the inclusive educational and recreational programs. She is currently working in the St. Mary's County public schools and is studying for a master's degree in teaching at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Beth plans to become a middle school Spanish teacher and "pass on my passion for the language to a younger generation."