The mission statement of the Department of State states that the Department will provide exceptional public service and will remain a leader in all regulatory and enforcement policies and practices aimed at protecting every resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Breann Reismeier applied for an internship with The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) in the fall of 2009 and this semester is hard at work in Harrisburg. THIS accepts one student every semester from each of the 14 state schools. The program requires students to work full time in a government agency, attend a weekly Public Policy seminar and write a thesis-length paper pertaining to their agency during the semester. The program accepts students from any major and teaches them about state government, as well as the basics of working in a professional office. Breann was placed as an intern with the Department of State and works in the Prosecution Office. The Prosecution Office of the Department of State prosecutes on behalf of the 29 professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions in Pennsylvania. The Prosecution Office specifically strives to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public from fraudulent and unethical practitioners. The licensing boards range from Medicine and Cosmetology to Accountancy.
Breann works at the Department and receives many tasks from the attorneys that work in the office. She is responsible for reviewing files and writing summaries of complaints, then making a decision as to what action should be taken. The files can be closed if the complaint is not justified or the file can move on to an attorney and further investigation is conducted. Breann also drafts letters to be sent to respondents, complainants, and other attorneys involving their cases.
In addition to paperwork, Breann is able to experience the legal process first-hand in the Department of State. A few times a week she gets the opportunity to attend hearings with the prosecuting attorneys in the office. There are several courtrooms in the building and a number of hearings take place every day. Breann also attends board meetings of the licensing boards. At the meetings the attorneys she works with present consent agreements to the board for their consideration. The meetings also consist of the boards discussing any new changes that may affect the way that they operate.
Breann has learned a lot from working with the Department about licensing and how the legal system operates. She is glad to be able to help protect the safety of the people who live in her state. The Harrisburg Internship Semester has been a great experience that has taught Breann many things about working in a professional office and help her to decide what she wants to do after she graduates.
Breann Reismeier is a fourth-year student majoring in political science with minors in International business and Spanish. She can be reached at BR659357@wcupa.edu.