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New York, NY – The American Kennel Club is pleased to welcome the seven students who have been chosen to participate in the AKC Internship Program. The program–open to college students with a background and interest in purebred dogs–is designed to further their professional development as well as help the AKC identify potential employees with experience in both AKC operations and the sport.

The AKC interns will work on specific project assignments aimed at their interests and career goals, and also receive an overall orientation on all aspects of The American Kennel Club. The following interns are with the AKC for a period of eight weeks, from June 9 to August 1:

New York:

Michelle Gross – Marketing.

Michelle is a senior at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, where she is majoring in Public Relations. Originally from Manalapan, NJ, Michelle has been a part of the dog world for as long as she can remember. She has participated in AKC conformation shows, including the Tibetan Terrier National Specialty, and has cared for her Old English Sheepdog and Tibetan Terriers. In addition to working with dogs, Michelle is a nationally ranked figure skater. While interning with the AKC, Michelle is working on projects for the marketing and advertising departments, such as promoting the sale of DOGNY sculptures and conducting demographic research on fanciers.

Laura Hendrick – Editorial.

Laura is from Sterling, Virginia and will be a senior at Virginia Tech this fall. She is majoring in English and minoring in Business Management. She has a strong family involvement in the dog fancy and has a Pomeranian of her own. Laura is a second year intern for the AKC and worked in the Customer Relations and Web Development Departments last summer. This year she is working with the AKC Gazette editorial staff writing several short articles and assisting with features.

Kristy Siefkin – Communications.

Kristy is a native of Sacramento, CA, and attends college at Duke University, in Durham, NC where she is majoring in Psychology. Kristy has trained and shown dogs in Jr. Showmanship, obedience and conformation and recently earned her provisional AKC Jr. Showmanship judging license. Kristy has also dedicated her time to training guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue and therapy dogs, and to presenting public speeches and demonstrations about dog training throughout California. While interning at the AKC, Kristy will be working with print, television and radio media outlets nationwide to promote and publicize major AKC programs and events such as the AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational Championship, ACE Awards and the first annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day.

Danielle Zezulinski

Creative Services. Danielle is from Hillsborough, New Jersey, and joined the sport of dogs through the 4-H program. She recently graduated from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, with a BFA in Communications Design. As a junior handler, Danielle competed in Junior Showmanship, obedience, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdog and Australian Shepherd. She has her provisional junior showmanship judge's license and judged at the 2002 AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational Championship in Orlando, Florida. While interning at the AKC, Danielle is assisting the production department in creating the AKC publications including The AKC Gazette, Events Calendar and Family Dog.


Danica Burge – Canine Legislation:

Danica, a native of San Jose, CA, will graduate from San Jose State University of California with a degree in Kinesiology. Along with her family, Danica has been involved in many aspects of the sport of purebred dogs throughout her life, including showing, breeding and many club activities. She has been active in the San Francisco Bay Scottish Terrier Club and the Scottish Terrier Club of America. She has been a handler's assistant and has completed conformation championships on more than 25 dogs. Danica's project at the AKC will include creating media outlines to be used when working with the press.

Jennifer Windham – Veterinary Outreach.

Jennifer is a 2001 graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in Biology and is currently a third year veterinary student at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Jennifer's projects at the AKC include developing a contact list to be used for each of the veterinary schools and veterinary technician schools, soliciting corporate funding for the veterinary outreach program and communicating the value of the AKC to the veterinary community. She is also the proud owner of a Bloodhound.

Whitney Meeks – Judging Operations/Handlers.

Whitney is attending Elon University in Burlington, NC and is currently studying Business Management. She is from Fuquay-Varina, NC. She became involved in dog shows through her grandmother, who has been in the sport her entire life. Whitney participated in Junior Showmanship for seven years, and was a finalist in Juniors at the AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational Championship in 2001. She is working on developing the Handler's Apprentice Program. She will also be working on a brochure for the novice dog owner that is interested in hiring a professional handler.

This is the second year of the AKC's Summer Intern Program after its very successful inaugural summer of 2002. Each intern will be assisting their department with various projects throughout the summer, as well as attending seminars to learn more about the many different functions of the AKC. The 2003 Summer Intern Program ends on August 1st.