Leela.jpg Leela Harpur, a junior majoring in corporate communications and public affairs in Meadows School of the Arts and Spanish with a minor in Italian in Dedman College, has been selected by the U.S. Department of State to serve as a 2010 summer intern in the Consular Section of the American Embassy in Rome.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to intern in another country, to put to use the skills I have learned as a CCPA major, to see the inside communications of the U.S. Embassy, to practice my Italian and to live in such a beautiful and historical city,” says Harpur, a Hunt Leadership Scholar from San Diego. In photo: Leela Harpur visited San Sebastian while participating in SMU-in-Spain during fall 2009.

The U.S. State Department, which administers U.S. foreign policy and maintains diplomatic relations throughout the world, provides internships to students that introduce them to careers in foreign affairs. Internships can involve research, assistance with citizen services, cultural activities and communications.

Harpur says she became interested in the State Department while doing research on diplomatic communications for a course taught by Daniel Schill, assistant professor of corporate communications and public affairs. In November she began the intensive application process for the internship, which begins in June.

“I hope that this internship will help me decide whether the Department of State is a path I would like to pursue after SMU,” she says.