Recognizing that many University students aspire to a career in nonprofit service where they can contribute to the common good, Seton Hall parents, Jesus and Patricia Rodriguez, established The Rodriguez Family Nonprofit Intern Scholarship Fund. Committed to supporting academically gifted students with promise, potential and a bright future, the scholarship helps defray students' expenses, allowing more Seton Hall students to gain professional experience while providing important service to a variety of nonprofit organizations.
Jesus and Patricia Rodriguez with their daughter, Erin
To prepare for careers in the nonprofit sector, students typically intern at organizations with service related missions, Seton Hall's Career Center manages a large and diverse internship program, consisting of employers from all industries, including for-profit, nonprofit, government and education. While most employers provide compensation for their interns, oftentimes nonprofit organizations are unable to do so. The Career Center has created an application process, criteria, and guidelines for awarding the stipends, for which qualified students can apply.
Jesus and Patty's daughter, Erin, majored in sociology, graduated Seton Hall in 2019 and received an M.P.A. in 2020. Having seen their daughter in the program, they wanted to support other students looking for opportunities who often took non-paying internships but incurred commuting and other costs to do so.
The two scholarship recipients of the 2020 Rodriguez Family Nonprofit Intern Scholarship are sophomore Russell Cook, and senior Catherine Wasson. The scholarship has allowed them to follow their passions without worrying about the expenses that might otherwise prevent them from doing so.
Sophomore Russell Cook
Sophomore Russell Cook, a biology major from Springfield, New Jersey, interned at the Regenerative Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at the Kessler Foundation last summer. In this internship, he coordinated with principal investigator–Dr. Dyson-Hudson–on conducting two pilot studies using micro-fragmented adipose tissue to treat either rotator cuff tendinopathy in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) or meniscus tears in SCI veterans to restore their mobility and independence. Russell Cook is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall University majoring in biology as part of their Joint Bachelor's/M.D. Program. He plans to continue to immerse himself in future nonprofit internships that allow him to gain a deeper knowledge of clinical research being performed that continues to advance medicine for all.
"My next step after graduation from Seton Hall is to enter medical school and study to become a physician, likely specializing in fields like psychiatry or neurology. I will continue to value and use the ideas of a servant leader."
Senior Catherine Wasson
Senior Catherine Wasson, a political science major from North Tustin, California, interned as a legislative intern at Know Before You Go. Know Before You Go is a non-profit program that helps prevents DUIs in California. During her internship, Catherine spoke with previous offenders and worked on legislation to curb DUIs. Now, Catherine is working with a women's campaign to help women get into politics. Catherine Wasson is a political science major and has been able to explore her interests in political science and the nonprofit sector, which led her to the nonprofit studies minor. Through her minor, she has interned for two nonprofits and solidified her future goals in working for nonprofits after graduation.
"After Seton Hall, I aspire to attend law school and pursue a career as a civil rights attorney. My goal is to argue constitutional law in front of the Supreme Court."
For more information on internships and services provided by the Career Center, please click here.