It has a long name, the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative or IIC. This month, the program received the National Parks Service Director’s Award for Partnerships.
According to Teri Saa, management assistant at Cedar Breaks National Monument and administrator of the internship program, this program is the first of its kind.
“It was a whole new program—a whole new idea," Saa said. "And to see two things happen, the cooperation between all of the agencies and the college, and the growth of the interns. It was just amazing and it’s just filled my heart with joy to watch these young people grow up.”
This internship program actually starts with high school students who can continue through college and work into the internship program.
Paul Roelandt, the superintendent of Cedar Breaks National Park and Briget Eastep, from Southern Utah University, received the award from the National Parks Service.
Saa said she thinks the program is successful because of the partnership between SUU, six national parks, and over a dozen federal and State Land Management Agencies.
“It’s just a fabulous program that I’d like to see it go nationwide at all different colleges," Saa said.
In 2016, over 225 college and university interns participated in the program.