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Mount Union Student Earns Prestigious Internship with FBI

June 15, 2006

Julie Bitzel, a psychology major with a concentration in criminal justice of Massillon, is the only student in Ohio to have been selected to intern with the Federal Bureau of Investigations as part of the Honors Internship Program.

Julie Bitzel

Julie Bitzel

Bitzel, who will begin her senior year this fall, learned of the internship while at an Ohio State University convention with Angela Smith Alder, assistant professor of political science and director of the pre-law program at Mount Union.

"Julie is an avid and enthusiastic student of criminal law," said Smith Alder, "She is dedicated to her lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent. She has just come one step closer to fulfilling that dream.

"The FBI Honors Internship Program is extremely competitive," added Smith Alder. "Only one college student from the state of Ohio is selected each year. In order to achieve this honor, Julie completed a process that took over six months. Mount Union is very proud of her accomplishment, and we will benefit in the fall when she returns and speaks about her experiences to our criminal justice classes."

During the spring semester, with the deadline fast approaching, Bitzel sent in her application and became one of seven people chosen to go through to the next round of the application process.

During the second round, background checks were done along with drug screening and a polygraph test. "I had to go to Cleveland twice for two interviews with different heads of boards," Bitzel said.

After round two, it was narrowed down to only five people, Bitzel being one of them. More interviews were done, and it was narrowed down to just two people. After more interviews and tests, Bitzel was chosen as the only student in Ohio.

"Because there are different fields and positions within the FBI, no specific major is required, but being well rounded and involved certainly helps," said Bitzel.

Along with a major in psychology, Bitzel is pursuing three minors and is involved in women's cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

The main purpose of this internship is for the students to get experience in the different fields of the FBI. "We get to go to Washington D.C. and other training centers in Virginia to help us identify what we are interested in getting out of the program," Bitzel said. "I am hoping to meet new people and make some connections."

As a little girl, Bitzel dreamt of working with the FBI. Reading mystery books and watching horror and mystery movies pushed her dream of wanting to be a detective even further. "I saw Silence of the Lambs when I was in seventh or eighth grade, and I wanted to be Clarice so bad," Bitzel said. "Now, I am one step closer. I am so shocked and excited that I am going to get this experience.

"This type of internship is a great opportunity for those interested in the FBI because it's such a secret institution," said Bitzel. "It isn't one of those places where you can just go and take a tour or learn much about it in school."

Bitzel, along with the other selected interns from across the country, will be housed in apartment complexes in Alexandria, Virginia from June until August.

"I feel really blessed that I was picked and given this opportunity and I plan to make the most of it," Bitzel said.

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