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Psychology major Jessica Memoli’06 (Port Washington, N.Y.) is using skills she learned through an internship to conduct research with Tim Silvestri, coordinator of drug and alcohol services in the counseling center.

The Alcohol Program Efficacy Study is examining the various approaches at colleges and universities aimed at reducing high-risk alcohol consumption. Memoli is piloting questionnaires, conducting a literature review, and working with Silvestri to better the program at Lafayette.

“Jessica had her own hypothesis and helped to create a new scale, which looked at whether men and women view the consequences of drinking differently,” Silvestri says. “She isn’t just a research assistant, but rather a co-researcher.”

He believes her scientific curiosity and hardworking characteristics are keys to the study.

“She is always wanting to explore her ideas, hypothesize, and test them,” he says. “She isn’t getting credit for any of this, but still goes above and beyond what is asked of her.”

Her skills in research, surveying, and program development were honed through her internship with HWH Public Relations in New York, where she also found motivation to pursue a career in public relations.

“I gained valuable work experience through my internship and learned a great deal about the demands and expectations of the public relations industry,” says Memoli, adding that she decided to take the internship because she was not sure of her plans after graduation. “This field was suggested to me after talking to some people about my interests in psychology as well as English.”

Memoli, who interned under Wendy Tush, managing director of consulting services, was officially a public relations intern, but she got to work on branding, marketing, and consulting projects as well. Her daily activities included writing press releases, assembling press clips, compiling media lists, and making phone pitches to potential clients.

“My role as supervisor was to teach her how to do things, and then trust that she had the drive and intelligence to accomplish those tasks,” Tush says. “She definitely did.”

“If Jessica is representative of the students at Lafayette, I would hire another one in a minute, and would be proud to send my daughter there,” she adds.

Memoli learned how to use a media database called Media Map. She also helped the company produce a promotional video for the fashion industry and created presentations for all of the projects in which she was involved.

As the internship progressed, Memoli’s responsibilities grew. She helped plan a large charity event for one of HWH’s larger clients. During the process, Tush provided her with a lot of insight.

“I learned a great deal from her, and she became more like a friend and a mentor than anything else,” Memoli explains.

Planning the charity event was difficult, and the majority of Memoli’s internship was spent on the task. She learned the fine details of event planning and how to create a gala event.

“The knowledge I gained at HWH is definitely applicable to my future,” she says, adding that she worked on events for large clients like Samsung as well as smaller business accounts. “Because of my experiences this past summer, I am most likely going to be looking for a job in marketing or public relations.”

Memoli says that Lafayette has an active academic environment that encourages students to excel.

“No matter where your interests fall, there are many opportunities for involvement in distinctive academic experiences,” she says.

She is a writing associate with the College Writing Program, peer tutor, and member of the Psychology Club and CHILL (Creating a Healthy, Interesting, Livable Lafayette).

Categorized in: Academic News