This year's Aspen Institute interns from Wofford are, from top left, Asantewaa Boateng of Sumter, S.C.; Alex Hagood of Charleston, S.C.; Jervey Roper of Greenville, S.C.; and Callie Taylor of Columbia, S.C.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Four Wofford College juniors will spend the summer observing world leaders, celebrities, musicians and politicians while interning with the Aspen Institute, an international educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The students will work at the institute’s Aspen, Colo., campus during June, July and August.
They are Asantewaa Boateng of Sumter, S.C.; Alex Hagood of Charleston, S.C.; Jervey Roper of Greenville, S.C.; and Callie Taylor of Columbia, S.C.
Applications for the internships were highly competitive and managed through Wofford’s The Space in The Mungo Center. Acceptance is based on each student’s character and ability to represent Wofford.
This is the eighth year Wofford students have been invited to apply for the internships, Jennifer Dillenger, director of The Space, says. Wofford typically sends two students, she adds, but this year, four were granted the coveted spots. “Working for such a prestigious organization, not to mention the possibility of meeting the distinguished participants, can be a life-changing experience.”
The internships, which are unpaid and do not include room or board, would be impossible for many students to manage financially without the assistance of Mike Brown, Dillenger continues. Brown, a Wofford alumnus, has paid the lodging and travel expenses for Wofford’s Aspen Institute interns every year since the college began sending students to Colorado, she says. “This opportunity literally wouldn’t exist without his support.”
“The Aspen experience exposes our students to some of the brightest minds in the world,” Brown says. “They’re working in close proximity to participants on the world stage. The students get to observe how they act. Visitors and guests at Aspen get to observe Wofford. I hope that when they return, they’ll have greater expectations for their lives.”
The four Wofford students will work alongside peers from Duke University, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, Loyola University and Vanderbilt University.
“All (the Wofford students) are very hard workers and extremely polite,” Becky Ward, a senior development associate for the Aspen Institute, says. “The southern hospitality they bring is just unbelievable out here in the west.”
The Aspen Institute hosts a number of public and private events during its summer season, including the Ideas Festival, a weeklong series of lectures, debates and panel discussions about economics, policy, global affairs and the arts. Participants in the 2012 Ideas Festival included Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Adm. Mike Mullen, musician Moby, Arianna Huffington and Israeli defense Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Boateng, a biology major with a pre-med concentration, will work as an aid to fundraising staff. Her responsibilities will include database entry, donation processing and staffing fundraising events.
Hagood, a finance major, will intern with Ideas Festival staff, providing general administrative support and staffing events, lectures and seminars.
Roper, a biology and Spanish double-major with a pre-med concentration, will assist with event planning and execution for the Society of Fellows event . His responsibilities will include managing speaker travel arrangements, creating symposia readings, and database input.
Taylor, an English major and business economics minor, will work as a conference services intern at the Aspen Meadows Resort. She will gain extensive training and on-the-job experience in conference planning and conference services for the hotel.