WIU Student Selected for Competitive Divers Alert Network Internship in North Carolina
March 21, 2016
MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University senior Jocelyn Joseph (West Chicago, IL) found her love of scuba diving through an elective course offered at Western. Offered as a minor academic program through the WIU Department of Kinesiology, scuba diving will soon provide Joseph an opportunity to train and work with some of the most respected and well-known scuba researchers and practitioners in the world at the Durham, N.C.-based Divers Alert Network, often referred to by those in the diving community as "DAN."
In early March, Joseph was selected as one of two U.S. college-level interns for the DAN Research Internship Program this summer. According to Kinesiology Professor Christopher Kovacs (who is currently working on a study with DAN researchers), Joseph's mix of skills, acquired from her studies in both her scuba diving and kinesiology classes, have provided her with an ideal background for the internship opportunity. DAN's website states the internship enables participants to "learn about diving-related research and develop or enhance professional skills that can lead directly to career advancement."
For Joseph, the internship provides yet another opportunity to use her scuba diving skills and certifications, all of which she earned while a student in Western's academic scuba diving program.
"Since I've been at Western, I have been able to train for, test and obtain my open-water certification, as well as my advanced open-water certification. I did that in the Bahamas on a trip with Dan Walter, the scuba program coordinator here," Joseph explained. "I also got my rescue dive certification at Lake Media, a rock quarry we use to train. It's about 30 miles away from Macomb," she added.
Joseph noted she had originally chosen nutrition as her minor, but once she got into the scuba diving, she was hooked on the activity and changed her minor. Last year, her diving skills also helped obtain another diving-related internship in Key Largo, FL, through Quiescence Diving Services.
"I like the adventure of scuba diving, as well as the aspect of being under water. You just get to observe—whether it's in Key Largo at a coral reef and you can look at all the pretty colors, or if it's at Lake Media and you're looking at algae and a sunken Go West Bus, or you're out near Catalina in California, where there is a bunch of kelp forests—it's so interesting and so different everywhere you go. I feel like you never see the same things twice, and you never know what you're going to see when you're down there. It's kind of like therapy. It's just something I love," she said.
Through her internship at DAN, Joseph will have the opportunity to work with Neal Pollock, a well-known researcher in the diving community across the globe. (See more about Pollock's research at "Scuba Diving Minor Provides Unique Opportunities for Kinesiology Faculty, WIU Students.")
"I am heading to North Carolina May 16, and I will be there until August 20, at least. Dr. Pollock has had interns up to 11 months before, so it may not have to end in August," Joseph noted. "I am looking forward to what the DAN opportunity has to offer, as it will be more research-based than the internship I completed in Key Largo. That was more about learning to be an instructor and being in the water most of the time," she added.
For more information about Western's scuba diving program, see www.wiu.edu/coehs/kinesiology/scuba/. For more information about the DAN Research Internship Program, visit www.diversalertnetwork.org/research/intern/.