2018 ILA Summer InternsMeet the ILA’s New Intern Team

Amelia CrossAmelia Cross is a rising senior at Florida State University. She is pursuing degrees in both public relations and international affairs. She aspires to work in strategic government communication after graduating in May 2019.

At the beginning of June, the International Leadership Association (ILA) welcomed four new members to its intern team. With the continuation of Joanna Jones, an intern from last semester, the ILA is hosting its largest cohort to date. Bringing their own unique ideas, diverse skill sets, and passions to the ILA, the enthusiastic group hails from all across the East coast of the United States.

Seasoned team member Joanna Jones is a rising senior at the University of Maryland. She is currently studying communication with a focus in public relations. Along with her four dogs, Joanna has called Germantown, Maryland home for her entire life. Her favorite spot in D.C. is the Capitol One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards. Interning in the D.C. area was an easy choice for Joanna as it allows her to take her passion for the city into a professional working environment. After graduation next year, Joanna plans to pursue a career in the public relations field.

Joanna’s main responsibility is to further communication efforts in preparation for the upcoming ILA conferences in Lima, Peru and West Palm Beach, Florida. She manages the ILA’s social media accounts and writes copy for the bi-monthly newsletter. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with a team of other students,” Joanna shared. “I’m also looking forward to further honing my writing skills during the next ten weeks.”

ILA’s four new interns all came to the association via the Washington Center (TWC), an academic internship program that provides professional development and connects students from around the world with internship opportunities in the D.C. area. In addition to experiencing “what a successful career looks like,” TWC hopes to inspire participants to “become well-informed, public-spirited, and more socially engaged in their communities,” — a great fit with ILA’s mission and vision.

Amelia Cross, a rising senior at Florida State University (FSU), is pursuing degrees in both public relations and international affairs. As a Tallahassee native, Amelia is ecstatic to have the opportunity to live and intern in the Washington, D.C. area this summer. So far, Georgetown has been her favorite neighborhood in the area. “It’s the perfect place to find new restaurants to check out and to shop,” she pointed out. The vibrant professional environment was the initial draw that brought Amelia to the Washington, D.C. area. Amelia aspires to a career in strategic government communication and hopes to work on a political campaign after graduation.

Amelia will be serving alongside Joanna as a communications and marketing intern. After interviewing with ILA’s Communications Director, Debra DeRuyver, Amelia felt drawn to the association and its mission to connect those who study leadership and those who practice it. Her focus will be writing for the Interface newsletter, and creating and implementing a strategic marketing plan to spread the mission of the ILA across the globe. Amelia’s main professional goal this summer is to use the skills she’s learned at FSU to reach untapped audiences that could not only benefit from but bring new leadership ideas to the ILA.

Katherine Wankel is a rising senior at California University of Pennsylvania. She is completing her degree in communication studies with a concentration in public relations later this year. After living in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, not far from Pittsburgh, Katherine is accustomed to living and working in a bustling metropolitan area. Over the past two weeks, Katherine and her Washington Center roommates have enjoyed biking to the National Mall. “There’s so much going on there; it’s the perfect place to spend my free time exploring,” she explained. Once she graduates in December, Katherine is open to moving anywhere in the United States that is hiring a social media manager.

Working closely with Bridget Chisholm, Director of Conferences, Katherine will tackle community outreach for the ILA conferences in Lima and West Palm Beach. She will also be teaming up with the communications team to contribute to social media campaigns focused on reaching new audiences and keeping current ILA members informed. After interviewing with Bridget, Katherine knew that interning for the ILA meant she would have the opportunity to work in a flexible and creative environment, one where she could best showcase and develop her skills. During her internship, Katherine hopes to polish her public relations skills and learn more about conference and event planning.

Nicole Regalado is a rising junior at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida. She is working on her degree in public administration. After completing her undergraduate degree, Nicole plans on pursuing her Masters and then working towards a Ph.D. Born and raised in Miami, Nicole loves to spend her free time exploring the waters of the surrounding areas in her kayak. Since being in Washington, Nicole has enjoyed visiting the Lincoln Memorial at night. Her post-grad aspirations including working in the non-profit sector in an administrative role.

ILA’s flexible hands-on learning environment convinced Nicole to accept the internship. She will be working with Katherine to support Bridget Chisholm in community outreach, event planning, and research in preparation for the 2018 ILA conferences. She’s eager to gain a better understanding of the workings of a non-profit, improve her communication skills, and further her talents in community outreach. Nicole hopes to grow her professional network at ILA and obtain skills that will help her promote philanthropy to students at FIU. “I’d like to become better equipped to plan events and international service trips for students at FIU,” Nicole related. “I’m excited to have the chance to apply new perspectives and build connections with ILA’s staff and members.”

Devon Weichel is a rising senior at the University of Lynchburg completing a degree in business management with minors in leadership studies and in psychology. He is hoping that focusing on these two areas will allow him to gain some important insights into successful management. Hailing from Orange County, Virginia, Devon is familiar with the D.C. area, especially the Georgetown neighborhood. “After graduating from Lynchburg University, I hope to return to work in the D.C. area,” Devon remarked. By interning in the region, Devon is striving to make connections that will lead to a possible career working in corporate management.

Increasing member engagement on Intersections, ILA’s online member community, will be Devon’s focus. From the initial interview process with Nick Kiessig, the ILA’s Digital Communications Coordinator and Conference Registrar, he felt the dedication of ILA’s staff to help interns succeed in their chosen career paths and further their professional development. Through his work for the association, Devon would like to broaden his understanding of nonprofit organizations while delving into the role ILA and its members play in assisting and growing local, national, and global leaderships. For Devon, giving back to the ILA is something he has placed on the forefront of his summer intern agenda.

"The ILA is excited to host this stellar group of young professionals!” ILA President and CEO Cynthia Cherrey declared. “I look forward to celebrating their contributions at the end of their time here and I hope we see them at a future ILA event. I'm grateful to ILA's Administrative Assistant Jen DuMars for coordinating our internship program and relationship with the Washington Center and the University of Maryland and for creating such a welcoming physical environment."

Interested in becoming an ILA intern? Visit our Leadership Jobs Board in July for information about joining the team in August or September.

Devon Weichel and Katherine Wankel Joanna Katherine Wankel Nicole Regalado Devon Weichel