During the 2013-2014 school year, West Liberty University student Abbey Boram completed an internship in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Marshals Service in the U.S. Department of Justice while also earning 12 credit hours.
“I really enjoyed working there and learned so much. The whole experience stands out. It was an eye opener to me because the setting was so different from here at home,” Boram said. “Washington is so diverse. I learned a lot. The U.S. Marshal headquarters is an amazing place.”
Boram said she wanted a criminal justice experience beyond the Upper Ohio Valley.
“I looked into the internship with West Liberty because I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience the criminal justice field out of the area,” she said. “I was especially excited to be interning in our nation’s capital.”
Boram lived in the NoMa area, a neighborhood located just north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station and named for its location — North of Massachusetts Avenue.
“Returning to WLU following her internship, she was able to apply a lot of what she learned in D.C. to her classes, including a detailed research project in her research methods course,” said Keith Bell, assistant professor of criminal justice. “She is an excellent student who holds down a full time job while performing well in the classroom.”
Her internship duties included clerical work in the Office of Court Security, Research and Evaluation Branch that dealt with courthouses throughout the United States and the safety of the judicial systems, while also conducting research into explosives trace detection technology and identifying manufacturers in the industry. She also researched and reported on additive manufacturing as well as the Real ID Act and its implications for security screening and entry into federal court facilities and took a class on forensic psychology.
“It was everything I hoped it would be. I met other students from other regions and we learned and shared with each other as we performed our duties,” Boram said. “I encourage every student to look into this internship opportunity.”
A resident of Wheeling, Boram will return to the WLU campus in the fall to complete her bachelor of science in criminal justice degree. She hopes to return to the nation’s capital in the future for work.
Her internship was arranged by WLU’s Beverly Burke, senior administrative assistant to the provost. Burke is the campus liaison to the Washington Center and has arranged internships for approximately 70 students since West Liberty first became affiliated with the Washington Center in 1997. She also serves on the National Liaison Advisory Board to the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Programs, which gives her the opportunity to stay abreast of new initiatives and programming as they become available to students.
Students in Washington right now include rising seniors Justin Byers of Bunker Hill, interning with the Department of Justice and Tyler McGary of Flushing, Ohio, interning with the Department of the Interior. Byers is a criminal justice major and McGary is a finance and accounting major. Both began their internships on May 28.
“The Washington internships give West Liberty criminal justice students the opportunity to learn from students all over the country as well as organizations on the state and federal level,” Bell said. “For many students, this is the first opportunity to live in a major city and the life and work experience that each takes away is rewarding. Students who have taken advantage of the Washington internship have greatly expanded their employment opportunities in the criminal justice field through extensive work experience and countless professional references.”