graduate school

Recent Drury grad completes White House internship

From Drury to Washington, D.C., Austin Seaborn is proving that with perseverance, the right attitude, and hard work, anything is possible. Seaborn, a 2013 graduate with a bachelor’s in German and International Political studies, has spent the last year pursuing a Master’s degree at Georgetown University while also interning at the White House, continuing the legacy of leadership that he left at Drury.

Georgetown has top-ranked programs in international affairs, and only about 20 people were accepted into Seaborn’s program at the BMW Center for German and European Studies.

“I knew it was competitive so I beefed up other areas of my resume — I had great internships, a lot of leadership positions and experiences, and studied abroad while I was at Drury,” Seaborn said. “One of my professors, Dr. John Taylor, got his Master’s and Ph.D. (at Georgetown), too, and he gave me a lot of encouragement.”


During his first semester in grad school, Seaborn applied to be an intern at the White House and found out this past December that he would be working in the Office of Legislative Affairs — the President’s liaison to Congress.

From January to May, he worked 50 hours a week and was a full-time student. He met and escorted members of Congress to events and meetings at the White House, monitored the Senate floor and counted votes, and helped manage and track correspondence from members of Congress to the President and other senior officials.

During his internship, Seaborn spoke with the President, First Lady, Vice President, and Chief of Staff. He even got the chance to play with the President’s two dogs, Sunny and Bo.

“I most enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside some of America’s best and brightest. Both the staff and my fellow interns are brilliant, hardworking people who wake up every morning and come to work hoping to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” Seaborn said. “It was great getting to meet so many members of Congress, and see what goes in to making a meeting or event happen at the White House was unforgettable.”

Seaborn’s internship and experiences reaffirmed his commitment to public service. He is excited at the possibility of starting a career that raises discussion about important issues and helps positively affect the people around him.

“I hope to use the skills I have learned and the experiences I have been so fortunate to have to help others who are going through a tough time and to inspire people to set lofty goals, work efficiently, be flexible to different opportunities, and to give back to people in need,” Seaborn said.

This summer, Seaborn will be working at the Georgetown Law Center and will start his last year of graduate school in the fall.


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, and English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Digital Health Communication Certificate program begins June 2

Drury University’s new Digital Health Communication graduate certificate program begins June 2. Enrollment remains open for the upcoming cohort.

Designed by communication research faculty and facilitated by professionals in the field of digital healthcare, the certificate program seeks to build students’ skills in the growing and converging fields of digital communication and healthcare technology.

Recently featured on and currently enrolling students from three continents, the innovative DHC certificate program is designed to be valuable, flexible and highly relevant to today’s healthcare workforce.

“Digital health technology is reshaping healthcare on a global scale,” says Jeff Riggins, program director. “Health researchers and professionals working in the field understand that this technology is most effective when combined with a strong focus on human communication. Our program intends to serve as a resource for those seeking to narrow the gaps that currently exist, while working to guide the industry into the future.”

Digital health communication is the intersection of digital and social technologies and healthcare. Examples may include using mobile apps for medical care and monitoring, using online communities for social support and patient education, or using social networking sites for public health preparedness and prevention.

“Our goal as digital health communicators is to understand this intersection and provide our clients the best counsel to navigate this emerging field,” says Sarah Mahoney, Director of Digital Health Practice at Weber Shandwick Public Relations, who is among the first professionals to present in the program. “The most important thing we can offer our clients is confidence. Healthcare companies need to feel confident in the communications tactics they employ, especially in a highly-regulated environment.”

The entirely online program consists of six one-month block courses. Classes may be completed as stand alone units or combined to earn the certificate. The limited number of participants per cohort (maximum of 16) provides the opportunity to tailor studies based on the specific areas of highest interest to the individual.

For more information about the DHC program, visit

Media contact: Jeff Riggins, Director of the Graduate Program in Digital Health Communication, at (417) 861-7041 or


2012 Drury graduates found jobs and went to graduate school soon after graduation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 2013 — More than 96 percent of 2012 graduates from Drury University’s traditional Day School, who responded to a university survey, are employed or furthering their education according to an annual study conducted by Drury University’s Office of Career Planning and Development.

Drury graduation

The study measures the status of traditional undergraduates six months after graduation who received bachelor’s degrees in December 2011, May 2012 and August 2012. Drury received information on 242 out of a possible 320 graduates for a response rate of more than 75 percent. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average national response rate for the Class of 2010 was just 60.8 percent.

In the latest Drury survey, 234 respondents were found to be either working, in graduate school or working while in graduate school for a placement rate of 96.7 percent. Another 2.1 percent of students took a gap year or were not looking.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in 2011 for students with a bachelor’s degree was just 4.9 percent, nearly three points lower than the national average,” said Jill Wiggins, director of Career Planning and Development at Drury. “When you combine that with average lifetime earnings for bachelor’s degree holders versus non-graduates, it’s easy to say, ‘Yes, college is worth it.’ ”

Drury students furthering their education in graduate or professional schools are attending more than 50 different institutions, including: the St. Louis University School of Law, the University of Chicago, Washington University, the University of Denver and Vanderbilt University.

Media Contact: Jill Wiggins, MBA, Drury’s Director of Career Planning and Development, Office: (417) 873-6980, Email: