Mansfield University student attends The Harrisburg Internship Semester

Harrisburg Sarah Stigerwalt of Mifflinburg is working for the state Department of Public Welfare as part of a 15-week internship sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Stigerwalt is a senior at Mansfield University, pursuing a degree in criminal justice and pre-law with a minor in psychology minor.

She is one of 14 students participating in The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) program, which provides students the opportunity to work in all areas of state government while earning a full semester’s worth of credits. THIS invites students from each of the 14 PASSHE universities to participate.

Stigerwalt, the daughter of Jim and Brenda Stigerwalt, is a 2010 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School. She and the other students participating in the program will attend several academic seminars during their spring semester internship. Each of the students also will complete an individualized research project as part of the program’s requirements.

More than 500 students from PASSHE universities have participated in THIS since the program began in 1989, each gaining valuable insight into the workings of state government at the policy-making level. Interns have worked with dozens of state agencies, as well as in the offices of the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the attorney general.

PASSHE students interested in participating in THIS in a future semester may obtain information on the program by contacting their individual campus coordinator or their university’s cooperative or internship office, or by calling the Dixon University Center at 720-4089.

More information on the program also is available at

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.