Peter Reist, a senior government and political affairs major and history minor at Millersville University, is working for the Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) as part of a 15-week internship sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
Reist, of Lancaster, is one of 15 students participating in The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) program, which provides an opportunity for PASSHE students to work in all areas of state government while receiving one semester’s worth of credits.
Despite being at his internship for only a couple of weeks, Reist has already traveled to Capitol Hill several times to observe policy makers discuss legislation. Reist is also conducting electronic and paperwork searches for information that points toward missing individuals that are not responding to their parole officers or are missing in action.
“There is a sense that this experience is as real as it gets because the decisions that are made in the office affect people’s lives. No matter how dedicated a student is or how good the professor, you simply cannot learn these lessons in the classroom,” explained Reist.
Throughout THIS program, Reist will be completing an individualized research project as part of the program’s requirements. He will be focusing on the recent ruling of the Miller v. Alabama case, which states that juveniles cannot be automatically given a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole after committing first degree murder.
Reist is expected to spend 40-hours each week at the PBPP, in addition to attending a three-hour seminar one night out of the week and additional homework. “That said, I would not trade this for anything. I love my time here and it is both exciting and rewarding,” shared Reist.
For students interested in participating in THIS program, contact Dr. Richard Glenn, Millersville University’s campus coordinator, at 717-872-3550 or Richard.Glenn@millersville.edu. Additional information is available on PASSHE’s THIS program website.