Kirsten Schlorff, a senior Journalism and Public Relations Department major and
communications minor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, completed an
internship with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Office of
Communications in Harrisburg.
Schlorff received the internship after having networked
with April Hutcheson, an IUP alumnus whom Schlorff met through Randy Jesick, a
professor in IUP’s Journalism and Public Relations Department. Hutcheson, who
had been a guest speaker to Schlorff’s Introduction to Public Relations class
in her sophomore year, later became Schlorff’s supervisor at her internship.
During her internship, Schlorff was tasked with communications
responsibilities both within the workplace and beyond. She was involved with an
antibiotic awareness campaign, updating the pages on the official DOH website,
and designing flyers, graphics, and guidelines for the Be Antibiotics Aware art
and video competitions. Schlorff was also involved in event planning and the
research and distribution of daily health press clips to the DOH staff.
Schlorff credits the IUP
Journalism and Public Relations Department with providing her some of the
skills necessary to excel in her internship.
“My IUP education in the Journalism and Public
Relations Department engraved AP style into my long-term memory, which helped
me in editing press releases and op-eds,” Schlorff said. “Also, my IUP
education taught me how to collaborate and effectively communicate with
multiple partners to accomplish a common goal for the statewide antibiotic
After graduation, Schlorff plans to return to
the Harrisburg area to pursue health care public relations. She hopes to find
an entry-level position working in-house for a hospital or at a public
relations agency for health care clients. Her dream job is to work as the
director of communication for St. Jude Hospital.
“I want my writing to make a difference,
inspire others, and change lives,” Schlorff says.