Danielle Corso '12: "I want a career that
helps the community."
Corso helped plan events for the
Richmond Slave Trail Commission.
Internships are an essential part of career exploration and preparation at Randolph-Macon
College. Just ask political science
major Danielle Corso ’12.
Corso’s J-term 2011 internship at the
Virginia House of Delegates enabled her to work closely with Delegate Delores McQuinn.
Corso says the internship was a perfect match for her career goals.
“I want a career that involves helping the community, whether at the community level
or through the political process,” she explains. “During my internship I experienced
firsthand how an elected official carries out the duties of that position. I felt
a kinship with Delegate McQuinn because we are both motivated by a deep desire to
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For three months, Corso attended General Assembly sessions and committee meetings
and assisted Delegate McQuinn by helping her prepare for meetings.
“I compiled information about the bills being discussed at each meeting,” says Corso,
who followed chief-patron bills to track their progress and then presented the information
to delegates and senators. One of the highlights of her internship involved event-planning
for the Richmond Slave Trail Commission.
“At the time of my internship, the Richmond Slave Trail Commission, which Delegate
McQuinn chairs, was preparing to unveil 17 Richmond Slave Trail Markers,” says Corso.
“I attended meetings with Delegate McQuinn and other members of the Commission to
plan the event and get the community involved.”
One of Delegate McQuinn’s chief-patron bills addressed the research investigations
of the Department of Historic Resources and the bill that would allocate slave-burial
grounds back to the City of Richmond (from Virginia Commonwealth University) to
preserve the location as a historical marker. Corso presented this bill to delegates
and senators and asked for their support.
Along with the unveiling of the Slave Trail Markers, Corso attended a meeting with
the partners of The Future of Richmond’s Past, an initiative that promotes the history
of the Civil War.
“My internship was very valuable for me,” says Corso. “It enhanced my understanding
of the legislative body and also gave me a unique opportunity to help organize public
events. I networked with politicians, attorneys, lobbyists and leaders of various
organizations. Through my work for Delegate McQuinn, I reached out to the community
and assisted in planning events that would benefit the community’s understanding
and appreciation for their city's history. It was an awesome experience.”
R-MC Sociology Professor Reber Dunkel, the coordinator of Students Engaged in Responsible
Volunteer Experiences (SERVE), says that
Corso’s experience exemplifies the vital importance of the real-world training that
“The Richmond Slave Trail Commission has been instrumental in helping preserve and
recognize the historical contributions and hardships experienced by Africans and
African Americans during the slave era,” says Dunkel. “Along with facilitating while
learning about the legislative process in the General Assembly, Danielle was able
to play a leadership role in organizing the events commemorating these important
Virginia landmarks. This is a genuine service to the larger community.”
R-MC Political Science Professor Brian Turner helped Corso secure the internship
and serves as her advisor and mentor.
“Danielle took the opportunity our internship program creates for students to work
closely with elected officials, who like Delegate McQuinn serve as role models of
public service,” says Turner. “Our January
Term interns working at the General Assembly are given truly substantive
and important work to do, and like Danielle they often continue to work after the
internship has ended. Our students are great ambassadors for the college.”
In 2010-11, R-MC students collectively amassed almost 8,000 volunteer hours. Nearly
50 students spent an alternative Spring Break in Florida for a combined 950 hours
with Habitat for Humanity and 130 hours for a Haiti Relief project. Students in
R-MC’s Greek organizations contributed more than 4,500 hours of collective service
to the community, collected 550 pounds of canned food, donated 60 inches of hair
to Locks of Love, 21 toys to Toys for Tots and generous funds to various organizations.
In addition, money was raised on campus and donated to the Red Cross & Partners
in Health for the Haiti Earthquake Relief. The SERVE program, in the Office of Student
Life, is an integral part of Randolph-Macon’s Leadership Development and Service