W&L Summer Spotlights

Run into a fellow general this summer? No surprise if you did. From Lexington to London, Washington and Lee students were out researching, interning, and getting hands-on experience.

Asha Campbell


Jackie Clifford, ’17, spent her summer in London working at a public relations/marketing company called Influence, which works with car companies and affiliates like Jaguar, Land Rover, and Fiat. The company develops brand strategies and publishes new releases for its clients.

During her internship, Clifford spent most of her time compiling coverage reports to see how many news outlets picked up Influence’s press releases.

“It really expanded my knowledge of how a public relations company is run and how much they have to tailor to their individual client’s needs,” Clifford said.

She was part of the W&L London Internship Program, a seven week study abroad and internship program that places students at London businesses or nonprofits.


Kate McCreary, ‘17, researched the endangered Peaks of Otter salamanders all summer in Lexington, a project that she started working on last winter.

She hiked through the Blue Ridge Mountains collecting data on the Peaks of Otter salamanders and the Red-back salamander. The project examined how rising temperatures affect salamander populations.

“By studying the effects of temperature and climate change, we can determine if they are at risk of other salamanders, like the Red-back salamander, expanding into their territory and displacing them,” McCreary said. “We hope to raise awareness to prevent forest degradation in their distribution range.”

The Peaks of Otter salamanders’ strict habitat restrictions make it easier for them to become endangered, especially since they can only survive in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Jake Barr, ’16, spent his summer continuing his internship from Washington Term at the lobby shop, Ogilvy Government Relations.

OGR principals create strategic plans to educate United States Representatives on legislative policies in order to eventually influence their decisions.

Barr chose OGR because he was interested in how interest groups influence policy making. He spent his time conducting research projects on potential clients and policy topics, wrote memos, helped operate OGR’s social media, and attended conference calls and meetings.

“Working for a boutique firm provided me with the opportunity to work directly with senior lobbyists which yielded experience and advice I don’t think I would have received had I worked a bigger firm,” Barr said.


Ryan Brink, ‘18, interned at Campus Kitchen in Lexington this summer. He was initially attracted to Campus Kitchen as a way to get involved in the Lexington community.

His internship involved teaching nutrition lessons to children four to five times per week and cooking food for the deliveries three times a week. He spent a lot of time in the Campus Garden working in the beds.

Brink values the relationships he developed this summer while working in the Rockbridge community.

“My favorite part of the internship was teaching nutrition lessons and getting to know the kids we taught fairly well,” Brink said.