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For Immediate Release
July 1, 2008

Communication studies students gain invaluable experience at U.S. Department of Labor

EWING, NJ … Julia Sahin ’10 and Truc-Lan Vu ’10 are both working with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Public Affairs in Philadelphia as public affairs assistants this summer.

photoCommunication studies majors in the public/mass communication track, Sahin is a psychology minor and Vu is a music minor and also has an interdisciplinary concentration in health communication. Despite intense course loads, both are active on campus: Sahin is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and writes for The Signal and Unbound; Vu is a member of multiple theater organizations and serves as the assistant residence director for Travers Hall. Most recently, Sahin and Vu collaborated on a research project and paper on tobacco marketing to adolescents for a course taught by communication studies Professor John Pollock. These experiences helped Sahin and Vu prepare for the internship with the U.S Department of Labor.

Responsibilities for the public affairs internship include drafting press releases, representing the department at events, writing articles for the department’s internal website, pitching stories to media, and working on public outreach campaigns in Philadelphia.

In addition to the traditional focus of the internship program, both Sahin and Vu are working on major projects during the summer months. Sahin will use her Russian heritage to help the department reach a vulnerable segment of the workforce. “I’m excited to take the lead on our Russian Outreach campaign for the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Sahin. “This project is very personal to me and I am able to apply what I know and what I do well to make a change.”

photoVu has been helped with the coordination of Job Corps’ 20th Annual Culinary Arts Expo and Iron Chef Competition. The competition was held at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and the winning team was announced on the Philadelphia’s NBC “10!” show on Friday, June 20. Vu explained, “I designed press kits, media advisories, and publicity plans…it was an amazing opportunity to see how the event turned out and know that I played an important role in its success.”

Sahin and Vu learned of the internship through communication studies Professor Anntarie Sims and Alisha Brown ’07, assistant regional director of public affairs and a TCNJ communication studies graduate.

“I enjoy working with Truc-Lan and Julia,” said Brown. “Their classroom experiences at TCNJ have prepared them for the hands-on work they’re doing during this internship. Both have written stories for the department’s internal website and have successfully pitched stories to the media within their first few weeks.”

Vu and Sahin were selected for the internship in December 2007 and January 2008, respectively, from a very competitive pool of candidates. They are joined by one other intern from Whittier College in Southern California.