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2014 William A. Demmer Scholars on the steps of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on June 11, where they met with Supreme Court clerks and took a tour of the building. Not pictured: Ryan LeMier and Eva Vrana.
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EAST LANSING, MI -- A select group of students from Michigan State University (MSU) and other universities are studying the intricacies of federal policymaking while working full time in Washington, D.C.

Students in the William A. Demmer Scholars Program are paid interns at federal agencies or nongovernmental organizations that focus on natural resources. Students also take a senior-level class in natural resources policy that meets one night a week and all day Saturday. The program is led by Mark Rey, executive in residence in the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

"Through these internships, the students get real-world experience, see classroom principles applied in practice and make valuable career contacts for educational and employment opportunities in the future," Rey said. "The course reviews and analyzes how each branch of federal government, as well as nongovernmental groups -- including the media -- affect the development and implementation of federal government policy in the natural resources area."

In the program's sixth year, 28 students are interning at a number of high-profile agencies and groups, including Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service. Since the program's inception, 137 Demmer Scholar interns have participated. To date, 25 have found employment in government and nongovernment natural resources positions in the Washington, D.C. area after participation.

The 2014 William A. Demmer Scholars and their universities and hometowns include:

Michigan State University: Chelsi Burger (Park Ridge, Illinois), Aniela Butler (Draper, Utah), David Carlisle (Jenison, Michigan), Michael Cornelius (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Talesha Dokes (North Little Rock, Arkansas), Kayla Fournier (DeWitt, Michigan), Alexander Grieve (Alden, Michigan), Ellen Holste (Humboldt, Iowa), Gedaliah Krasner (Oak Park, Michigan), Ryan LeMier (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Philip Mangum (Royal Oak, Michigan), Meghan Mitchum (Petoskey, Michigan), Betsy Riley (Poteau, Oklahoma), Tomena Scholze (Burlington, Wisconsin), Kelsey Smith (East China, Michigan), Genelle Uhrig (Haslett, Michigan), Patrick Walters (Royal Oak, Michigan)

Michigan Technological University: Eva Vrana (St. Johns, Michigan)

Mississippi State University: Michael Burgess (Marietta, Georgia), Chloe Cantor (Jackson, Tennessee), Kaylin Chaney (Pearl, Mississippi), James Dalrymple (Columbus, Mississippi), Leah Jones (Port Orchard, Washington), Lauren Trippe (Potomac, Maryland), Jennifer Warren (Toms River, New Jersey), Tyler Willingham ( Atlanta, Georgia)

North Carolina State University: Peter Thompson (Greensboro, North Carolina)

University of Oklahoma: Tess Thomson (Silver Spring, Maryland)

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