Thursday June 17, 2010

State Department Intern

A University of Dayton student has been selected for a prestigious internship this fall with the U.S. State Department.

David Parkes, a senior international studies and French major, will spend the fall semester in Washington, D.C., with the Bureau of International Information Programs, which acts as the principal international strategic communications service for the U.S. foreign affairs community.

"This internship opportunity takes a person who is able to see the whole picture. Having worked here with students going abroad, knowing how to prepare programs and people culturally and academically, Parkes has had that 360-degree experience," said Tina Manco, partnership and exchange coordinator for the University's Center for International Programs. "Having him there will definitely raise the profile of the University of Dayton, and it will inspire and motivate students to see someone in their program who has this opportunity."

Parkes is a student employee at the Center for International Programs, where he spent the past academic year focusing on education abroad, stemming from his own exchange experience in Angers, France.

"My past exchange in France provided a first-hand look at the European business environment and European Union institutions and an outside-the-classroom examination of contemporary social, economic, and political issues," Parkes said. "More importantly, my time overseas highlighted the necessity of cross-communication skills, cultural adaptability, and teamwork - elements essential to carrying out the State Department's mission of diplomacy."

As an intern, Parkes said his responsibilities will include providing research to public diplomacy officials, facilitating interaction between foreign audiences and opinion leaders and producing electronic journals or online magazines covering an array of issues.

"With the bureau's access to U.S. officials at the State Department and White House, I hope to take advantage of events and press conferences featuring foreign policy speakers, Washington-based think tanks, and nongovernmental organizations," he said.

Parkes expects the internship to further his interest and experience in international relations. He hopes to pursue a career in civil or foreign service following his graduation in 2011.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or