SSU’s internship fund makes student experiences possible


PORTSMOUTH-Funded through the Shawnee State University Development Foundation, the internship support fund – also known as SSU Works – allows SSU students to apply for assistance in completing their internship experiences. The fund helps with transportation, housing, and additional fees that can occur when students are pursuing a competitive internship. Recent graduate Xavier Stambaugh and current senior Hannah Tackett both received funding through SSU Works to assist in the costs with their work experiences.

Class of 2022 graduate, Xavier Stambaugh completed an internship with his home state congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky at the U.S House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. in 2021. Choosing to major in Political Science to further understand the role of government and the way he could impact the world, Stambaugh wanted to explore his career opportunities with this internship.

“Our federal government always seemed big and ominous to me but working with congresspeople and seeing them as real people really let me connect with them on a more personable level,” he said.

Hoping to work in nonprofits or government agencies in his future career, Stambaugh is thankful for the experience this hands-on internship was able to give him.

“I have been able to connect with staff members on the hill and create long-lasting relationships that will help me in my career,” he said. “I was so grateful and appreciative of what the SSU Development Foundation has done for me. Because of them, I was able to focus on my internship and not have to worry about my financials.”

SSU senior Hannah Tackett completed a 10-week internship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York in 2022. Enrolled in the university’s Biomedical Sciences program (Pre-Med), she applied for summer research programs to help her decide if she wanted to become a physician or a researcher in her future. Getting the opportunity to do both at the cancer center helped her see how much she enjoys being able to connect with others.

“I really enjoyed furthering my knowledge in cancer science,” she said. “Our region is deeply impacted by cancer and education is key to prevention and early detection. I am passionate about promoting health education, especially in a topic that is so universal.”

Throughout her time in the program, she was able to help test the effects of specific chemical compounds on various types of cancers such as lung and colon.

“I want to be able to help others and create a safe environment for people to receive care,” she said. “To get funding like this makes me appreciate our community and creates a clear reason to work harder on my goals and reflect on how I will give back.”

To learn more about programs like SSU Works that are funded through the SSUDF Grants program, visit

This feature was originally released in the Shawnee Magazine 2022 issue. To view the full magazine online, visit

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