Berntson interning in nation's capital

Daniel Berntson, Paullina, Iowa, was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this summer. He was chosen from applicants from across the country for one of 18 internship positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in Washington, D.C.

A senior English and philosophy major at Northwestern College in Orange City, Berntson is spending his summer working in the NEH’s office of federal-state partnerships. His duties include corresponding with state humanities boards, gathering statistics and writing reports. In addition, he is also working to prepare a website for his office.

 “I wanted to see how the things I’ve been studying at college—English and philosophy—relate to people’s lives outside of the college or university,” explains Berntson. His NEH internship gives him this opportunity by letting him experience firsthand the research, programs and outreach events that the NEH sponsors.

“The program isn’t just about working; they want us to learn about other things while we are here as well,” says Berntson. Each week, he and the other students in the program explore a different part of Washington by traveling to museums, going to concerts and attending lectures.

Berntson states the most enjoyable part of his experience has been interacting with the other students in the program because although they are from different areas of the country, they all share a common interest in the humanities.

In addition to his work at the NEH, Berntson is involved in a research project of his own. He is working on an honors research English project on Charles Brockton Brown’s book “Wieland,” which was written in the 1790s and is believed to be the first novel written in America. Berntson plans to visit the National Archives to find any documents related to Brown’s writings that would help him in his research.

On campus, Berntson serves as an organist for chapel services and is the incoming opinion page editor for the student newspaper. In addition, he is also a member of the Sigma Tau honor society and the Juggling Club.