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Berry Institute of Politics Scholarship Recipients Reflect on Spring 2023 Internships

Berry IOP scholarships support five student interns

Every year, the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics (Berry IOP) awards scholarships to students pursuing internships in politics and public service. Internships provide students the opportunity to gain first-hand experiences, develop skills, and explore their career interests. However, internships in these fields are often unpaid or underpaid which makes it challenging for students to pursue them. Inspired by Senator Berry’s legacy, these scholarships create entry points and break down barriers for all students interested in pursuing careers in politics and public service.

For the spring of 2023, the Berry IOP awarded the following five students with a Public Service Internship Scholarship of $2,500. As their internship came to an end, they took some time to reflect on the impact of the experience and the scholarship.


Christine Belitsky

Major: History and Political Science 

Internship: Constituent Services Intern with the District Office of Congressman Moulton

Responsibilities: Processing and responding to constituent mail, processing urgent passport applications for constituents, assisting in processing applications, interviewing, and hiring other interns, attending and taking notes on various briefings and hearings. 

“This internship has allowed me to explore constituent work and see if it is something I would like as a career. I learned how to interact with constituents, how to deal with difficult phone calls and conversations, how to interview and hire people, and many more skills. I gained connections in the office with people in the Salem area who will help me in securing a job after graduation.”


Kasey Blume

Major: Master of Social Work 

Internship: Case Manager for the Somerville Police Departments’ Community, Outreach, Help, and Recovery Unit (COHR)

Responsibilities: Follow-up responses to 911 calls and police interactions, as well as take community or individual referrals for residents who might need mental or behavioral health support.

“I am excited to take this new sense of advocacy and responsibility for police reform into the future, and incorporate aspects of it into my practice as a clinical professional. Whether I stay in social work and policing, or move into macro community work, I know that the skills and experiences from the last year will be invaluable.”


Nisha Noor

Major: Master of Social Work

Internship: Social Work Intern at the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts

Responsibilities: Engaging in legislative advocacy, including meeting with legislators, attending legislative launch events, and participating in various coalition meetings. 

“I want to work in a macro setting doing policy work in the future. I have gained valuable experience and developed legislative advocacy, communication, interpersonal and lobbying skills. I got opportunities to attend coalition meetings for different legislations where I was able to form new connections and network. Overall, it was an extremely satisfying experience.”


Laura Swindell

Major: Geography

Internship: Research Assistant for Public Accountability Initiative (PAI)

Responsibilities: Compile extensive literature on modeling the revolving door and quantifying worker flows. Investigate fossil fuel interests and its impact on our political systems.

“In my career, I hope to be involved in environmental sustainability. This internship has complimented my previous experience in sustainability topics, such as the Sustainability Council at SSU. It has improved my research skills, and it enables me to connect with the PAI in the future.” 


Jennifer Uchendu

Major: Healthcare Studies 

Internship: Staff Mentor at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem 

Responsibilities: My responsibilities include serving as a staff mentor, running my own programs for the students, and participating in staff improvement/training development.

“This internship was the best opportunity for me to continue working with nonprofits while also allowing me the chance to assist the younger generation and promote and enhance their academic successes. I gained more skills in being able to facilitate learning activities as well as building mentorship bonds with other staff leaders.”


These scholarships are made possible, in part, through our generous donors. If you are interested in making a donation to support future public service internships, you can make a gift.

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