WMU News

Presidential Scholar wins internship with German Parliament

June 2, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A three-month internship in the German Federal Parliament will provide hands-on experience in international policy and German social integration for a recent political science graduate of Western Michigan University.

Aaron Boesenecker, a recent WMU graduate and Lee Honors College student from Hamilton, Mich., was one of three American students selected for the Émigré Memorial German Internship Program in the Bundestag or German Federal Parliament in Berlin for the fall of 2000.

The internship program, which honors the memory of refugees from Central Europe, offers advanced undergraduates or graduate students from North American universities and colleges the opportunity to gain experience with administrative procedures and policy directions in German governmental offices.

"I will be working with a member of Parliament but I'm not exactly sure yet what my responsibilities will be, " says Boesenecker, who received his bachelor's degree in international and comparative politics, German and comparative religion from WMU in December 1999. He recently was named a Presidential Scholar in Political Science. That award is the highest honor a department can bestow on an undergraduate student.

Boesenecker is no stranger to Germany, having spent 11 months at the Karls-Eberhard-Universität in Tübingen, Germany, during the 1997-98 academic year.

"I missed Germany the moment I left it," he says. "The internship is a fantastic opportunity and I am grateful for the support by WMU's political science department, especially Dr. Gunther Hega (assistant professor of political science) who referred me to the program."

Boesenecker, who speaks fluent German and has a particular interest in the international policy arena, said the practical experience in Berlin will also help in his application to graduate school early next year.

Boesenecker is a recipient of numerous awards from organizations that include the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, and WMU's Departments of Political Science and Foreign Languages and Literatures. As a student, he was active in non-academic activities as well. Under his three-year leadership as commodore, the WMU Sailing Team became the only club-level, non-varsity, non-coached program to earn a national ranking in 1998.

Boesenecker currently works full-time at the Kalamazoo City Manager's Office assisting in the areas of policy and planning.

Media contact: Pauline Oo, 616 387-8400, pauline.oo@wmich.edu

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