Marietta’s Vigue chosen for coveted WHICI summer internship

Elizabeth Vigue headshot

Elizabeth Vigue ’23 (Junction City, Ohio) doesn’t even try to hide her excitement about earning the Washington Health Industry Communications Internship (WHICI) this summer. Her only regret is that she will spend most of the time working remotely.

“I would have loved to work in person in Washington, D.C., all summer, but since that was not an option, I am happy to do the internship virtually,” said Vigue, who is majoring in Political Science and Economics. “The organization has been doing business virtually since the pandemic and has just started working in person a few days a week, so I won’t be the only person working virtually. … I plan to visit D.C. for a few weeks at the end of July and work in person during that time.”

Vigue initially learned about the internship through the College’s Communication Department. She also discovered that Marietta College Trustee Dan Leonard ’85 is the President and CEO of the Association for Accessible Medicines — one of the sponsor organizations.

“At that point, I did not think I was qualified so I planned to apply the next year. I applied in late 2020 and had an interview with the organization in early 2021,” she said. “I was super excited, and I knew that I had done well in the interview, but a few weeks later they announced that the program had been canceled for the summer.”

Disappointed, but not deterred, Vigue found a new opportunity for the 2021 summer.

“I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in The Plains, Ohio, with Rural Action, and that helped me learn so much more about public health,” Vigue said.

As she started her junior year this past fall, Vigue, who is minoring in Health Communication, was still interested in the WHICI internship.  In 2022 she applied again and got it. “I am so glad that the program is happening this summer and I’m so excited to get started,” she said.

WHICI is a unique work and learning opportunity for College undergraduates (rising juniors or seniors) pursuing degrees in the communications and/or health-related fields. The nine-week summer program provides a first-of-its-kind experience in healthcare communications and policy in some of the leading healthcare associations in Washington, D.C.

WHICI is sponsored by:

  • Association for Accessible Medicines (accessiblemeds.org)
  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (amcp.org)
  • Alliance of Community Health Plans (achp.org)
  • Pharmacy Quality Alliance (pqaalliance.org)

Leonard noted that interns in this program earn 360 internship hours that can be applied toward college credits.

“We are very excited to have Elizabeth join our team this summer for the program,” Leonard said. “Our mission is to ensure patients have access to affordable medicines to deliver better health. Elizabeth will be helping us with the messaging and communications strategy for all of our work in this regard.”

Dr. Cody Clemens ’13, Assistant Professor of Communication, never doubted Vigue’s ability or her determination.

“Elizabeth is an exceptional student, and I am extremely proud of her for landing the Washington Health Industry Communications Internship,” he said. “With her knowledge and talent, I am confident that Elizabeth will thrive in her internship role. Health communication is a rapidly growing field, and this internship will allow Elizabeth to better understand how this part of the health industry operates.”

Marietta College alumna Jaclyn Mulvain ’21 completed this internship during the summer of 2020, and she told Clemens that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I know Elizabeth will be grateful for this opportunity after she completes her internship roles and responsibilities, too,” he said.

Vigue hopes to gain a more complete knowledge of the work done by organizations such as AAM.

“A lot of my experience so far feels less formal and less professional than what I anticipate AAM to be, although still valuable,” she said. “I am excited to learn how high-powered organizations function and how to fulfill the responsibilities that are asked of me. In conversations with the AAM Communications and Marketing Team, we have discussed the importance of storytelling and the role that it plays in AAM’s marketing. They see telling the stories of those who their work has impacted as one of the most valuable tools to advancing their mission. I anticipate working on storytelling projects as well as research and technical writing, all of which I am excited about.”

While Vigue has one more year before she graduates, she is looking at a potential career in public health, agricultural policy and community. She is also considering going to graduate school to earn a Master of Public Health.

“I am positive that this experience will be applicable to that,” she said. “I am really looking forward to networking and finding new areas of interest. The most important thing to me in any experience is forming relationships with others because in my experience this leads to new opportunities and mentorship.”

Vigue is also thankful for the role members of The Long Blue Line have played in her time at Marietta College.

“So many great mentors in my life are part of The Long Blue Line, such as my advisor, Dr. Michael Morgan ’10, who has helped me make strategic decisions about my courses and internship experiences. Also, the professor who is in charge of collecting applications for this position from MC students is Dr. Cody Clemens, and he offered great advice throughout the interview process,” Vigue said. “I feel very fortunate to go to a school where I feel comfortable using the connections that are available, and I think every MC student should feel empowered to do the same. I think it’s great that alumni like Dan are able to provide current MC students with such cool opportunities and I am very thankful that I can take full advantage of that.”