Student’s Internship Includes Research On Chile’s Earthquake
Nebraska Wesleyan University junior Kaycie Rupp spent nearly a month researching and writing a report about Chile’s upcoming leadership change.
The article was just one of her responsibilities at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a Latin American think tank in Washington, D.C. where she is interning this spring as a research associate.
“The article was edited; it was done and ready to be published,” said Rupp. “And then the earthquake happened.”
Watching the news unfold on CNN on February 27 was surreal for the political science and Spanish major. That’s because the country is very familiar to her. She studied in Coquimbo, Chile, last semester.
“It was a little surreal for me with the earthquake happening in places I had traveled and affecting so many people that I know and then having President Obama speak regarding Chile just a mile away from where I live now,” she said.
On March 1, Rupp was back to work refining her article. Rather than submit an article about the country’s president-elect, she refocused her article on how the natural disaster adds one more major challenge to Sebastian Pinera’s full plate.
“While Pinera has made obvious efforts to base his cabinet on the idea of efficiency rather than political experience, it is apparent that this quake and the devastation it has caused will present a substantial barricade for Pinera’s well-oiled machine,” Rupp wrote in her article. “Perhaps Pinera is hoping that he had some political experience in such a time of need.”
Days after her article was published about the earthquake’s effect on the leadership change, Rupp was writing about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Latin America. That article voiced frustration at the United States’ lack of engagement in Latin America.
Rupp is hoping her experience in Chile combined with her Washington, D.C. internship will lead to even bigger opportunities. She plans to apply for a prestigious national scholarship that will send her abroad again and she hopes to eventually pursue a dual degree in law and international relations or international development.
“I came to NWU knowing I was going to study abroad,” she said. “But I didn’t expect these kinds of experiences.
“Being able to be away from campus for a year, not get behind in my studies and get these kinds of experiences is priceless.”
To read more of Kaycie Rupp articles on Chile, visit the Council on Hemispheric Affairs website at http://www.coha.org