MACON – Mercer University junior Danielle Countryman was recently awarded a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Internship for this summer.
CBCF is a nonprofit nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute that focuses on advancing the global black community. Interns work in congressional offices and participate in professional development sessions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s internships will be conducted virtually.
Countryman, from Columbus, is a triple-major in global health studies, international affairs and anthropology with a minor in Spanish. She is interested in community and reproductive health and aspires to work as a mixed-methods health researcher and eventually a global health policy analyst.
“As someone with interests in a lesser-discussed soft policy issue like health, it shocks me even more to have been accepted into this internship. I’m hoping to learn from, be counseled by and share information regarding the creation of health policy that is prospective and holistic rather than reactive,” said Countryman. “Although I wish the circumstances were different, I appreciate the opportunity to work alongside legislators as they respond to a pandemic. What we’re experiencing is the perfect demonstration of how health affects and is affected by other policy areas. I know that this experience will demonstrate the intricacies of health policy and be particularly valuable for those of us entering a health-related field.”
Countryman is a Mercer Service Scholar, director of teen dating violence prevention program Operation Lighthouse, a study abroad ambassador, volunteer with Real Talk, participant in Model Arab League, president of the Association of Global Health, secretary of the Mercer International Affairs Organization and a founding member of Bears Engaged Across Religions.
She has received the Outstanding Junior in Global Health Studies Award and the Megan Murphy Scholarship, and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Sigma Iota honor societies.
“Danielle has made the most of her three years at Mercer. She has traveled to Dubai, completed a Mercer On Mission to South Africa and has taken on a substantial extracurricular load by making significant and meaningful contributions to student clubs and community organizations of all types,” said Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and chair of international and global studies. “This internship is a hard-earned and well-deserved achievement to cap her very impressive run as she transitions into her senior year. I am sure we will see more to come from Danielle next year as the internship should open up a host of new possibilities for her in the short and the long term. She is articulate, mature and committed to the goal of improving lives through a more just and accessible health system. This internship is one big step in that direction.”
CBCF’s internship programs prepare college students and young professionals to become principled leaders, skilled policy analysts and informed advocates by exposing them to the processes that develop national policies and implement them – from Capitol Hill to federal field offices.