Tanner Lascheid picked for Belgium internship
Tanner Lascheid of Alden is the third Ellsworth Community College student to be selected for an eight-week summer internship in Brussells, Belgium, with Dr. Peter Jahr of the European Union. The day after ECC’s commencement ceremony he’ll fly from Des Moines to New Jersey to Brussells, returning to the U.S. on July 12. Although he’s not exactly sure what he’s getting into, he’s looking forward to the experience.
“Scott Kauzlarich, one of my professors, asked if I’d be interested in the internship, and I was … I’m very interested in politics,” Lascheid explains. “I’ve been to Aruba once, but nowhere else out of the United States. I filled out an application and wrote a paper on why I’d like to participate, and I was chosen!”
The summer internship with the European Union is made possible because of ECC’s relationship with Dr. Peter Jahr through ECC social science faculty member Joerg Rochlitzer. The faculty selection committee that chose Lascheid included Kauzlarich, Rochlitzer, Greg Hodak and Larry Janssen.
Dr. Jahr, German diplomat to the European Union, visited Central Iowa three years ago to learn about agricultural education opportunities, develop goodwill and explore the possibility of student exchanges. Rochlitzer coordinated the visit for Dr. Jahr, his wife and daughter. They visited the ECC, Marshalltown Community College, Iowa State University, and the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Dr. Jahr is a member of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) in the European Union and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. He has a doctorate in agronomy, served two years in the military, has been farming since 1985, and has served as the chair of Lunzenau Lutheran School Association since 2005.
Rochlitzer says Dr. Jahr will take Lascheid to Parliament meetings, committee meetings, and presentations from other countries so he can meet delegates from around the world. The internship includes opportunities to visit Belgium, France and Germany, and perhaps other countries as well.
“Germany has Parliament and elections this year, so it will be particularly exciting for Tanner,” Rochlitzer explains. “Although Dr. Jahr is not up for election, some of his friends and associates are. Tanner will probably help with translating a newsletter and other materials into English, and he’ll be expected to talk about agricultural politics in front of the Committee on Agriculture.”
Lascheid says he’s taking lots of suits and meeting with several ag experts in Iowa before he leaves Iowa so he’ll be prepared for the speech.
Kauzlarich says Lascheid is a strong student academically, but that wasn’t necessarily the pivotal factor in his selection. “It’s all about the student’s ability to be articulate, outspoken and confident, really. We’re sending him into a situation where he’s representing not only Ellsworth Community College but Iowa and the United States. He needs more than good grades … he needs the right personality and ambition to be successful. Tanner will be able to stay focused and ask good questions in a tactful way. He was an easy choice for the committee.”
Soon to be a 2013 graduate of ECC, Lascheid is earning an Associate of Arts degree in History, and he plans to transfer this fall to the University of Northern Iowa, where he’ll double-major in History and Political Science. He’s a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society (Alpha Iota Omega chapter at ECC), and recently received ECC’s Outstanding Social Sciences Student Award. He currently holds four part-time jobs while attending ECC full-time.
Rochlitzer adds that all three interns have been excellent ECC representatives and interns for Dr. Jahr. “They’ve been the kind of people we’d want to hire, the kind we can depend on. This internship is a great opportunity that only ECC can offer, and it’s one of the things that makes us special. This European Union internship is the equivalent of a job at the White House … it’s big! Our interns make an incredible connection with people and events through this experience.”
Kauzlarich echoes the significance of the internship, giving credit to Rochlitzer for making it all happen. “When we hired Joerg at ECC we knew he was a cut above, and that is exactly why we’re so fortunate to have him here. He’s done an enormous amount of work to contribute to the visibility of our institution.”