This summer, Agnes Reyes Merced ’21 is helping one of the nation’s most esteemed law enforcement agencies manage its employee safety policies.
A double major in chemistry and psychology at Randolph, Merced is an intern for the U.S. Marshals Service’s (USMS) Management Support Division in the Office of Environmental, Occupational Safety, and Health. Though much of her work is confidential, some of her tasks include updating weekly reports and working on two law enforcement sensitive projects in regards to USMS employee safety and health.
“I wanted this internship because it was a good way to learn more about working in a governmental agency,” Merced said. “I know I have wanted to work with the government in some capacity since high school, so working with the USMS has helped me understand what to expect.”
So far, she has discovered that no two days are exactly alike.
“I have greatly improved my understanding of safety and health and how important it is to follow the policies that have been set forth for USMS employees,” Merced said. “In addition, it’s interesting to read about the hazards in different buildings, since they all differ in some way.”
Though the internship is based in Arlington, Va., it includes several trips. One of Merced’s most memorable experiences was a weeklong visit to Phoenix, Arizona, where she and her team presented at a conference. The program has also provided interns with brown bag lunch sessions, where Merced has met and learned from a variety of experts in the field.
After graduating from Randolph, Merced plans to earn a master’s degree in forensics and possibility pursue a Ph.D.
“What I am still discovering is whether I want to study forensic chemistry or forensic psychology,” Merced said. “The internship has helped provide a new perspective on the chemistry aspects of safety and health. It has also helped to build my resume and network with those who have been working for the government for a longer period of time, allowing me to get my foot in the door.”