- Double majoring.
- Interested in youth corrections.
- A fraternity member.
- From Menlo Park, Calif.
- A resident assistant.
Ready for the Real World
Bernie Bernstein’s research and internship projects showed him how to apply his academics to a career.
From working with children who have psychological disabilities to mentoring juvenile inmates to walking dogs, David "Bernie" Bernstein has already applied his Willamette psychology and sociology lessons to the real world.
Walking dogs may not sound scholarly, but Bernie's "Psychology of Learning" class used the volunteer opportunity at the local humane society to observe different types of conditioned learning.
Another of his psychology classes volunteered at Easter Seals Children's Therapy Center, giving them a firsthand view of children with autism and other disabilities.
But the experience that had the most impact on Bernie's path was his internship at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility, where he met one-on-one with adolescents who are incarcerated for alcohol or drug offenses. He worked with young men to determine their treatment and help them eventually be released.
Bernie's internship showed him how to turn his interest in criminal justice into a potential career in youth corrections.
"I like working with youth because, in my mind, they still have time to change their behaviors and find a better future," he says.After graduation he hopes to find a position at a youth correctional or detention facility. His eventual goal is to apply for the FBI's criminal profiling program, putting into practice the concepts he learned through his psychology and sociology majors.
Why I Value Willamette
"Willamette places a lot of emphasis on getting students out of the classroom and helping them find real-world experience. My research and internship opportunities helped me see connections between what I read about in class and what actually happens in life."
Beyond the Classroom
Beyond his academic experiences, Bernie was highly involved in campus life. He worked for the admission office, played intramural club soccer, worked as a resident assistant, served on several judicial boards and joined a fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.
"Getting involved in Greek life was one of the best decisions I made at Willamette," he says. "My fraternity brothers and I had a good time and supported each other academically and socially, but we also gave back to the community through service. These are friends I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life."
Hannah Vietmeier is turning her love for the outdoors into a career in conservation. Read More
A summer internship allowed Kimberly Hursh to explore a career path while helping the community. Read More
Whether playing football or helping form a new club, Walter Robinson hones his leadership skills at Willamette. Read More
As a student, Alisa Alexander added curator to her résumé. Read More
Doug Rice dreams of using his leadership skills in the ER. Read More
Hannah Leland shows the next generation that Bartók is relevant. Read More
Alicia Maggard searches historical archives for clues about people’s identities. Read More
Michael Miller examines global challenges through an economic lens. Read More
Kaeli Swift turns bird watching into scientific discovery. Read More
Biking is more than a pastime for Jan Taborsky — it’s a vocation. Read More
Jeff Weber holds his own among PhDs in the lab. Read More
Chemistry and language classes — and a year in Africa — helped Emily Mitchell find a career in medicine. Read More
Arianna Alibabaie blends her interests in politics and global cultures as she learns both on campus and abroad. Read More
Jonnie Dunne has taken his environmental studies in new directions during his time at Willamette. Read More
Rachael Peterson’s Willamette experiences have prepared her to lead elementary school students. Read More
Mika Lim explores global leadership as an intern in Cambodia and Vietnam. Read More