EUP student attends Harrisburg Internship Semester

Contributing Photo
13 students were selected for the THIS program, in Harrisburg, including EU student Anna Berch-Norton.
Anna attends Harrisburg internship

By Karlee Dies
News Editor/Spectator

EU’s very own Anna Berch-Norton is rubbing elbows with important figures in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Harrisburg.

She is working with the Department as part of a 15-week internship sponsored by the Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

Berch-Norton is a junior political science major and communications minor at the Boro.

She is one of 13 students participating in The Harrisburg Internship Semester program, which is also known as THIS.

The program is designed to provide students the opportunity to work in all areas of the Pennsylvania state government, while earning a full semester’s worth of credits totaling a 15 credit internship in Harrisburg. The students also are required to attend a weekly class that features guest speakers and prepare a research paper, as well.

THIS invites a limited selection from each of the 14 State System universities to participate.

“It’s going really well so far. My sponsor, Rebecca Oyler, director of the office of policy and planning (within DCNR) has been really awesome. I get to work on all sorts of cool projects, including some that are research and, or writing intensive and [I get to] go to some interesting committee meetings,” Berch-Norton said.

The Harrisburg Internship Semester program started in 1989 and has had over 600 students from the State System universities participate in the interactive program.

The focus of the program is to allow each student to “gain a valuable insight into the workings of state government at the policy-making level,” as stated in the press release.

Previous students have had the opportunity to work with a number of state agencies, in the offices of the governor, the speaker of the House of Representative and the attorney general.

Berch-Norton has already begun to enjoy the perks of working with prominent figures in the government. She stated she was fortunate enough to have met Governor Wolf on the second day of her orientation.

“I expect to gain a much better understanding about how government works and how policy is created and also learn about conservation and all the environmental issues related to parks, forestry and natural resources. THIS is such a cool program, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to be a part of it,” Berch-Norton said.

The THIS program features students from Edinboro and other universities including Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.

The program is based at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.

Karlee Dies is the news editor for the Spectator. She can be reached by