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Internship Sends USD Student to Washington

JoElla Kleinhesselink sitting under the Mercatus Center USD student JoElla Kleinhesselink is interning at the Mercatus Center in Washington through the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Internship program.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota student JoElla Kleinhesselink has been selected for the prestigious Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF) Fiscal Internship program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Washington, D.C.

Through the PGPF Fiscal Internship program, interns work at leading think tanks in Washington to conduct research and analysis on some of the nation’s most pressing fiscal and economic issues.

“I feel quite honored to have been selected, and I am excited to represent USD and demonstrate to everyone that our programs here can compete with some of the top colleges in the nation,” Kleinhesselink said.

Kleinhesselink, a rising junior political science and economics double major and history and mathematics minor and Honors student, will do research for 10 weeks with experts in economics and public policy at the Mercatus Center.

“The Mercatus Center's mission statement is to enhance our understanding of economics and apply it to public policy, which I see as the perfect combination of my two majors,” Kleinhesselink. “I look forward to doing research with some of the most creative minds in the political economy sphere and trying to find my niche and determining what direction I want to take with my life.”

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas — bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-partisan organization dedicated to addressing America’s long-term fiscal challenges to ensure a better economic future.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


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 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News