Columnists

IPRA, Fishers P.D. Intern Among 2022 IMPACT Award Winners

Nine categories, 80-plus nominees and infinite potential. The 16th Annual Indiana IMPACT Awards, presented by Work and Learn Indiana, honored outstanding talent and contributions regarding Hoosier internships at a virtual celebration today.

The winners – chosen by a panel of impartial judges – are:

  • College Intern of the Year: Jenna Burow, Purdue University (Fishers)
  • High School Intern of the Year: Shelby Rosenberger, Franklin County High School (Brookville)
  • Non-Traditional Intern of the Year: Dana Perez, The Children’s Museum (Indianapolis)
  • College Career Development Professional of the Year: Kathy Kassissieh, Rose‐Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute)
  • High School Career Development Professional of the Year: Eric Feller, Oldenburg Academy (Oldenburg)
  • Intern Supervisor of the Year: Kameron Utter, Quest Safety Products Inc. (Indianapolis)
  • Employer of the Year (For-Profit): Corteva Agriscience (Indianapolis)
  • Employer of the Year (Non-Profit): Indiana Park and Recreation Association (Noblesville)
  • David R. McKinnis Community Partner Award: Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commission for Higher Education (Indianapolis)

“Interns are increasingly a critical component of Indiana’s workforce, especially for developing future talent and growing our economy,” reports Todd Hurst, executive director at the Institute for Workforce Excellence, a subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce that houses Work and Learn Indiana. “The ongoing partnerships between employers and high schools and higher education institutions should be a point of pride for the state and it’s exciting to see.”

The event was sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College, with Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business serving as the emcee.

The Work and Learn Indiana program cultivates the creation and expansion of high-quality experiential learning opportunities within the state. For more information about Work and Learn Indiana, visit www.workandlearnindiana.com or call (317) 264-6852.

The two winners from Hamilton County are listed below:

Employer of the Year (non-profit): Indiana Park and Recreation Association

While the Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) may only take on a few interns at a time,that does not make its interns’ contributions any less significant. The organization gives interns the chance to directly make an impact statewide, serving more than 1,800 members. Interns’ work directly impacts the success of the organization, giving them meaningful experiences to further their educational and professional journeys.

IPRA maximizes the potential of its interns by tailoring each experience to an individual’s skill set. Instead of strictly staying within an internship’s job description, the organization seeks to play to each intern’s interests, resulting in more enthusiasm and overall satisfaction with the experience. Students experience a wide variety of networking opportunities, including at the organization’s annual conference, giving them access to significant connections within the parks and recreation field.

IPRA’s internship program pays off as a successful talent pipeline strategy. Multiple interns were hired as full-time staff, or placed at IPRA’s counterparts around the state. By committing to providing meaningful and informative experiences to its interns, IPRA builds a sustainable pipeline for not only itself, but for Indiana’s entire parks and recreation field.

College Intern of the Year: Jenna Burow, Purdue University

To many, forensics is a fascinating and challenging field. For Jenna Burow, it’s a potential career and an enduring passion. She’s been interning with the Fishers Police Department, primarily in the forensics unit, since 2017. When COVID-19 led to the elimination of her paid internship position in 2020, Burow persevered, requesting to continue as a volunteer.

Among her accomplishments are earning a designation as a certified evidence technician and drone operator. She’s qualified to respond to/process crime scenes and trained to deploy the police department drone to search for missing children, endangered people and criminal suspects. She also serves on the Indiana Division of the International Association of Identification, a rare distinction for an intern.

Her supervisor, Sgt. Jim Hawkins, cites her mentoring skills as a strength: “Jenna sees the value in training her replacement. She cares enough about the forensics unit that she has purposefully cultivated relationships with other interns to develop future leadership within the lab. Burow has excelled in applying critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. She created an interactive lesson plan that she has implemented as an instructor, teaching classes for the Fishers Police Department Teen Academy and Cadet Program.