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USD political science students net state national and global internships

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Several students from the University of South Dakota Department of Political Science are receiving credit and gaining valuable career experience through part-time and full-time internships at the state and federal government levels.

The students are working in various government internships – not just in South Dakota but throughout the world, including Lima, Peru and Washington, D.C. Several students are also working closer to home with internships in state offices at Pierre and Sioux Falls.

Jennifer Gieselman, a political science major from Sioux City, Iowa, is presently interning for the Department of State at the United States Embassy in Lima, Peru, fulfilling a United States Department of State internship. Gieselman is working in the Consular Section, specifically in the American Citizen Services area where Americans traveling abroad seek assistance in the event a passport is lost or stolen, renew a passport, become incarcerated, have a birth or death abroad, or receive Social Security. Her government internship in Peru is 10 weeks.

“One of the projects I am working on now is helping citizens abroad learn how they can vote in the primaries and upcoming general election,” said Gieselman, who also interned for Iowa Congressman Steve King two summers ago. “The Consular Section also processes visas, so I have been learning a lot about what it takes to qualify for a visa to the U.S. It is a complicated system, but I enjoy seeing how happy people are when they receive their visa.”

Additional internships involving USD students this semester include Gina Mairose of Kimball, S.D., Senate Republicans, South Dakota Legislature in Pierre; Deven Scott of Aberdeen, S.D., Office of the Governor, State of South Dakota, Pierre; Hanna McElroy of Sioux City, Iowa, Senate Republicans, South Dakota Legislature in Pierre; Madison Warder of Sioux City, Iowa, Senate Republicans, South Dakota Legislature in Pierre; Rebecca Reiter of Florence, S.D., House Republicans, South Dakota Legislature in Pierre; Cody Horton of Mitchell, S.D., United States Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Sioux Falls office; Alyssa Hanisch of Sioux Falls, S.D., United States Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Washington, D.C. office; and Dennis J. Smith of Mitchell, United States Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Sioux Falls office.

For more information about these internships or for additional information about the Department of Political Science at USD, please contact (605) 677-5242 or email You can also visit the department's website at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News