July 30, 2015

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Southwest District

Southwest District at Work

Jeremy Belcavitch Kathy Harvey
THAT’S THE BUTTON FOR THE HORN – Motorist Assist Operator Jeremy Belcavitch points out features of the incident response vehicle to a young visitor at Big Rig Night at Springfield’s Battlefield Mall July 21. (Photo/David Mitchell) FIELD TRIP – Bolivar Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Rick Crews (left), Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Jason Shafer (right) and Assistant Chief Engineer Kathy Harvey discuss a patching operation on Polk County Route BB northwest of Bolivar during Harvey’s visit to the district July 27-28. (Photo/David Mitchell)
Watershed visit TMA struck
IN THE COMMUNITY – Members of the Southwest District Management Team listen to Rob Hunt, Watershed Center Coordinator for the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, discuss the organization's work to protect the area’s drinking water sources. (Photo/Jennifer Williams) IN HARM’S WAY – This is one of two Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMA) struck by motorists over the past two weeks. The TMA above was struck at a mowing operation on Interstate 44 near the Missouri/Oklahoma state line. Click the image above to see a news story by a Springfield television station after the second TMA was hit on U.S. Route 60 between Kansas Expressway and Scenic Avenue in southwest Springfield during a striping operation. No one was seriously hurt in either incident.

Intern Spotlight: Southwest District

Interns Get Real-World Experience

Nicole Hodges
Nicole Hodges

As I submerge myself in college curriculum, I soon discovered that attending class, getting involved in academic clubs and maintaining contact with my professors would not be enough to land me a career once graduation rolls around. That is why I, and seven other college students, ventured to MoDOT for some real-world experience this summer.

What some students may not know is that MoDOT internships are not only for engineering majors. MoDOT is a coexisting system of multiple departments including: communications, human resources, facilities, traffic, construction, maintenance, financial services, information systems and more. So students pursuing degrees other than engineering have opportunities as well.

Artur Graesser, a junior at Missouri University of Science and Technology working on his degree in both civil and architectural engineering, interned in the district Traffic Department this summer. He highly supports students' gaining out-of-the-classroom knowledge.

“Internships are only over the summer so it’s a good way to earn money, as well as, experience the real world without falling behind in school,” Graesser said.

“I was interested in MoDOT because I wanted to see the government and transportation side of civil engineering versus private construction,” said Zach Smith, a junior civil engineering student at the University of Missouri – Columbia who interned with the Branson Project Office. “Since MoDOT was both, it happened to take care of what I was looking for.”

Dustin Scales, a soon-to-be graduate at Missouri State University who spent his summer working with Information Systems, says that he wanted the internship experience “to sharpen interview skills, to network with people in the field, and to have relevant experience.”

After we all attained our internships, we continuously learned new skills within our fields.

Southwest District Interns
Back row (left to right): Andrew Schmidt, Nevada Project Office; Artur Graesser, Traffic; Dustin Scales, Information Services; Zach Smith, Branson Project Office; Kyle Griffith, General Services. Front row (left to right): Greg Van Loon, Joplin Project Office; Nicole Hodges, Communications. Not pictured: Zach Dumas, Facilities; Joe Mulnik, Signals.

Dustin’s favorite experiences while interning were installing security cameras along sections of interstate and programming JavaScript computer software.

“I have enjoyed learning about fracture critical bridges and going out to inspect them hands on. I have also learned more about steel and other components of bridges,” Smith said.

As for me, I have enjoyed writing news releases, working closely with customers, meeting with local media outlets and attending public meetings in my role as a Communications intern.

Contemplating a MoDOT internship next summer?

Smith offers that he “would recommend this internship to other students, especially those who are looking to get into the government sector.”

Zach Dumas, a senior Construction Management major at Missouri State University who spent his summer with the Building Crew, says he would highly recommend an internship with MoDOT to other students. “The people, work and atmosphere at MoDOT are quite unique… It is an invaluable experience to have.”

Our experiences here at MoDOT have helped ready us for the work force and have allowed us to establish a strong foundation for our future. For that, we are grateful.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Communications Manager
Southwest District

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