Working at a District Attorney’s Office: Nothing like TV

I have spent all of the summer working as an intern with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office (RCDA) in Staten Island, New York. Having no real work experience in the criminal justice field, I did not know exactly what to expect, except for what is usually on TV if I’m being honest. Working in the crime strategies unit, as well as getting to meet many assistant district attorneys and members of the office, really opened my eyes and allowed me to appreciate the work that really happens at a District Attorney’s office.

The most rewarding part of my internship was being able to be a part of work that, to me, felt like it really mattered. The work ranged from simple entry of data to excel all the way to prepping evidence for trials or court hearings. Through all of it, I still felt like the work we were doing was aimed toward one goal: providing a safer community for people to live. All the work done by anyone at the office is typically peer or supervisor reviewed, and every case is carefully handled to ensure the proper justice is taking place. The bureau of the office I interned for, the crime strategies unit, dealt with many different tasks, including crime analysis, conviction review, and investigations of crimes, to name the major parts. As such, there were many different people always working in, or coming in and out of the office. The unit was comprised of three analysts, who the interns worked closely with. They are, without a doubt, some of the most hard-working and committed individuals I have ever seen.

There are some challenges that go along with working at a District Attorney’s Office, however. The main challenge, at least for me, was the nature of some of the cases that we worked on. Some of the cases and situations that come through the office can be quite heavy to deal with, and it’s important to understand that before going into this type of work. Everyone at the office was super understanding, however, offering people to sit out for more graphic discussions/presentations if needed and always giving proper warning. The other main challenge is that while this work can let you meet plenty of new people, a lot of those times those people are victims of a crime, or even criminals themselves. It can be incredibly difficult to deal with those kinds of situations. However, the members of the RCDA were incredibly well-trained and able to handle any situation they had to. It was incredibly rewarding to be part of the work the RCDA offered.

My initial plan out of law school was to “get my start” as a prosecutor and maybe go into a different field of law afterwards. However, after my time at RCDA, I am not even sure I would close the door to working at a DA’s office. The work done is so fulfilling and every day can feel like a difference is being made, so long as the hard and careful work is done thoroughly. Regardless of what I choose to do after law school, I will never forget the time I spent at the RCDA.

Jake Marchese, Criminal Justice ’25

From Neuroscience Research to Becoming a Neurosurgeon

Having the opportunity to be a research assistant in Dr. Jong-Hyun Son’s lab was such an impactful and educational experience. My research is focused on determining the long-term effects of hypoxia induced neurotoxicity on the dopaminergic neurons and swimming behavior of juvenile and adult zebrafish. Furthermore, the significance of this research is that these physiological paradigms, such as lack of oxygen to the brain, can be associated with the development of neurogenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders in human species. By participating in experimental analysis, scientific knowledge is increased, medical advances are made, and better assessment technology is invented. It is rewarding to know that this research is helping to further understand the precursors to and effects of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Autism.

The most rewarding part of this internship was being able to carry out a research experiment from start to finish and fully understanding the mechanisms behind it. The first stage of my internship allowed me to understand the responsibility and importance of maintaining the zebrafish colony. This task included following a feeding schedule, balancing water pH, and cleaning the tanks and filters. I learned to never underestimate the simplistic activities and responsibilities of the research process. The second stage of my internship was completing the behavioral trials, which consisted of placing each zebrafish in a swimming arena for a 20-minute duration, 10 minutes in a light environment and 10 minutes in a dark environment. The velocity, total distance traveled, and the amount of time spent moving and not moving were measured using a motion-detection camera. The third stage of my internship was to analyze the data on the cellular and molecular level by performing CLARITY and immunohistochemistry. This staining protocol allows for the dopaminergic neurons to be visible under fluorescent light, which helps us to compare the brain development and neuronal spatial distribution of the two different treatment groups, normoxia and hypoxia. Moreover, the most challenging part of my internship was the unpredictability that comes with performing research. There are times the experiment did not go the way I expected, so I then had to rerun the trials or statistics to find the inconsistency or error. Research is a humbling experience because it requires patience and determination to reevaluate the procedure and make the proper modifications. Each time, I learn something new, and it helps me to process the information from a different lens.

Having the opportunity to connect this research to my role as a future physician has truly enhanced my perspective on how to carry out the scientific method when diagnosing and treating a patient. This internship has not only increased my critical thinking, communication skills, and lab techniques, but it has also given me the confidence, leadership, and endurance needed to be successful in medical school. As a physician and diagnostician, I will be educating other medical professionals and patients, performing research, and taking part in medical breakthroughs and advancements. My passion is to change the lives of others by finding ways to improve their course of treatment and prevent other diseases from developing. This opportunity has brought me one step closer to accomplishing my goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. At this moment, I am gaining more knowledge about the nervous system through research, but one day I will be using these techniques and understanding to operate on the brain of an individual. 

Olivia Manarchuck, Neuroscience ’24

Cracking the Code on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

I have spent several weeks working as a Clinical Research Intern at Friendship House in Scranton. My duties included harvesting data from archival records while observing Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). I have learned so much from this wonderful experience.

PCIT is a therapy for children with behavioral problems that focuses on coaching the parent to deal with the behavioral issues. The therapy format is fascinating – the therapist sits behind a two-way mirror and coaches the parent through a microphone that feeds straight into the parent’s ear. I was fortunate to watch the therapy and sat right alongside the therapist and observed. I was able to ask lots of questions, and the therapists I worked with were extraordinary.

The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing the same clients almost every week and seeing how they improved drastically. It is such a rewarding feeling to see parents master skills that they struggled with previously. I was fortunate to see the effectiveness of PCIT in this practical manner.

The most challenging thing about the experience was dealing with no-shows. No-shows are common in community mental health centers and generally affect a client’s course. Thanks to the format of my experience, I could utilize the time advantageously by harvesting data. The data collected will be used to complete the quantitative section of my University Honors Program research project. My project will be related to no-shows and dropouts – seeing it in the practical sense is critical so that I can understand and relate to the project.

The Royal Experience was a fantastic opportunity, and I am perpetually grateful to the Center for Career Development and the Psychology Department for granting me this exceptional opportunity.


Jack Burke, Psychology ’25

Life as a Royals Intern

Thus far at my internship with the Reading Royals, I’ve been able to learn a lot about myself. Seeing myself grow as a person and seeing my sales and communications skills improve every single day has been the most rewarding part of my internship to this point. Early in the summer, I, along with all the other interns, doubted ourselves when it came time to make our first sales calls. For the first week or two of making calls, I found myself getting nervous before and during each call. I wasn’t fully confident in my abilities just yet.

After a few weeks passed, I found myself getting more and more comfortable being able to communicate my sales pitch. Additionally, I began diving further into conversations and being able to learn more about the person I was speaking with and the business they work for. Soon it became second nature and I found it exciting when I was able to get deep into conversations and create a bond with the person I was speaking with. I made 2 sales within the last month here with the Royals and I owe it all to my dedication and desire to get better. (Attached is a picture of me wearing the “Royals Chain” after making my first sale!). To this day, I am amazed by the progress I have made so far this summer.  I believe without a doubt that has been the most rewarding part about my internship here at the Reading Royals.

The most challenging part of my internship was making the transition from practicing and rehearsing my sales pitch to my supervisor and other interns, to actually getting on the phone and talking to a complete stranger, trying to get them to buy Royals tickets. When we were practicing together early on in the summer, we stuck to a script, asking question after question trying to further understand what kind of tickets would work best for the business. This helped me memorize what the best questions to ask were, but it didn’t give me a great understanding of what making a real call was going to be like.

When it came time to get on the phone and make sales calls, it was completely different. The possibilities are limitless as to what the person you’re speaking with on the phone will say or ask. Making this transition from practicing these sales pitches to actually pitching them to potential customers was a very difficult transition. Eventually, I was able to get the hang of what works best for me and was able to have conversations on the phone rather than sounding like a robot asking question after question. Although this was very challenging at first, I was able to improve with every single call I made and am now at a point where I enjoy making these calls. This has been a very rewarding challenge to overcome!

Benjamin Trexler, Business Analytics ’25

Interning at Indraloka; A Place Where All Animals are Loved

My internship at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is full of rewarding experiences. My absolute favorite part of my internship is being able to successfully take care of animals, providing them with the care and help that they need. It is an amazing opportunity to witness animals being rescued and given a second chance to live the life that they deserve. Recently, Indraloka welcomed three adorable chicks into the sanctuary. Unfortunately, upon arrival, one of the chicks was incapable of standing up and walking on its own. After progressive care and acupuncture treatment, the chick is slowing regaining strength in her legs. It is so inspiring and fulfilling to watch the chick’s gradual improvement. As she becomes stronger and healthier, I am constantly reminded of why I want to pursue a career as a veterinarian. All the rescued animals at Indraloka, including the three chicks, feel very safe, content, and happy because they live in an environment fostered by caregivers and a team that truly values, supports, and loves them.

The most challenging part of my internship is hearing about animals who are neglected, hoarded, or mistreated prior to coming to Indraloka. It is also difficult to witness animals that are battling illnesses. However, I am very thankful that these animals are being rescued and currently on the path to a happier and healthier life. After working as a Veterinary Medicine and Animal Care Intern, I am extremely confident that the veterinarian and team at Indraloka will provide the highest level of care to every single animal that walks through their door.


Cabre Capalongo, Biology ’25

An Informative Experience

My internship with the New Jersey State Parole Board was without a doubt rewarding and overall, an amazing experience. This internship has taught me more than I could have ever thought to learn in a classroom setting. Between the projects I got to complete by myself and the hands-on experiences I got to experience, I truly feel that this internship has been an eye opener for me. In this professional setting I have learned to develop my interpersonal skills, my communication skills, teamwork and leadership skills, confidence, and more. With gaining knowledge about the criminal justice field during this time period, I also developed more professional skills that I will take with me even upon graduation and into my career.

With all the rewards of this internship, there were some challenges that I had to overcome. The most challenging part of this internship was being the only intern in my unit. This made it difficult to connect and network with other students going through similar internship experiences. Another challenge I had to overcome was getting adjusted to the work originally assigned to me, as I was starting in a brand-new role at a new organization. However, my supervisor was extremely understanding about the work I wanted to do, and I enjoyed the majority of what I did. Overall, I am very pleased to be able to put my foot in the door in another agency in New Jersey following my internship last year at the New Jersey State Police. I am thrilled to take what I learned in these professional settings to now apply it in the classroom and my careers to follow.


Olivia Ciccimarra, Criminal Justice ’24

Archiving the Past: Building Some Aspect of Community

In the last two years, I have truly learned what the definition of community is by attending the University of Scranton. It is a comradery about having a place that makes you want to be better for the sake of a group. In Northport, the place that has been by home for almost eighteen years, our definition of community is different than Scranton’s. For the longest time, I thought that community in Northport was only shared through one’s social and academic circles. I saw this as a daughter/sister/friend/student/performer, but for the longest time I never felt that I fit into the title as a resident. Working and interacting with Northport Historical Society made me realize that they were fighting for the same acceptance Scranton values.

It was strengthening to use my skills, but what was most rewarding was being able to see that preserving history is used to help unite the town. This promotion of what we were would have a better influence on what Northport inspires us to be. I saw that by working with the closely-knit staff, especially with Terry Reid, who passionately inspired me with that message. I also saw, through cataloging items that ended up in pop-up exhibits, that it made residents love Northport more. I looked through the eyes of older people, young adults, and children, and I enjoyed their stories of the past. Northport Historical Society gave free items and tours, yet the organization was trying to be the force of connection instead of the circles that have been placed.

During my time this summer, I never fully encountered any challenges when working or helping with the organization. I was worried though because I do have a young voice compared to people who have worked in the industry longer than I have. Oftentimes, they had conversations about history and life in general, and I sometimes felt that I couldn’t relate. Yet they treated me as one of their own counterparts who can handle anything that is in front of them, and my confidence grew as a result.

Amelia Semple, English ’25