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New Mexico State University

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NMSU students to participate in national summer internships

Two New Mexico State University students, Cyrus Salazar of High Rolls, N.M., and Iris Flechsenhaar of Anthony, N.M., will participate in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program this summer.


Salazar graduated from NMSU this spring with a degree in communication studies. He will work this summer for the U.S.Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. One of his projects will involve improving the department's Web pages, including making them more attractive to Hispanic communities.

Salazar has participated in the program twice before, working for the Federal Aviation Administration. "It's a high-quality program. It gives you career possibilities, networking possibilities and a well-rounded perspective," he said. "In today's day and age you must be exposed to the type of environment you want to work in and this gives you that chance."

Salazar is the son of David and Mary Serna of High Rolls. He graduated from Cloudcroft High School in 1993 and earned an associate's degree from NMSU-Alamogordo in 1996 before coming to NMSU's main campus in Las Cruces.

He was president of the Associated Students of NMSU and served on the state Commission on Higher Education. A Crimson Scholar and McNair Scholar, he was on the Dean's List and belongs to Golden Key National Honor Society. He volunteered at El Caldito Soup Kitchen and as a Big Brother at Washington Elementary School.

In the fall he will begin graduate studies in NMSU's Master of Public Administration program, and he hopes to work someday with an agency that promotes higher education for disadvantaged people.

Flechsenhaar, an NMSU communication studies and psychology major, will work for State Fair Foods, a division of Sara Lee, in Dallas.

"Getting into an internship sounded interesting," she said. "You can work somewhere else, with new people, getting involved in different projects. It's really all about new experiences."

She is a McNair Scholar and a member of Golden Key National Honor Society. She has worked as a research assistant in the psychology department and the Computing Research Laboratory, and helped with new student orientation. She participated in community service efforts supporting Tombaugh Elementary School, Mesilla Valley Hospice and the Red Cross.

Flechsenhaar is the daughter of Helen and Dennis Flechsenhaar of Anthony, and a 1994 graduate of Gadsden High School. Upon earning her bachelor's degree from NMSU in December, she plans to enter the graduate program in marriage and family therapy.

The HACU National Internship Program seeks to "expose talented college students to a challenging set of professional and educational experiences in many different fields." The comprehensive program provides travel expenses and a weekly stipend, as well as arranging for housing at a reasonable cost to students.

Participants must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above and demonstrate involvement in campus and community activities. Interns may work for any of 18 agencies and corporations participating in the program. The summer program runs June 4 - Aug. 14.