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UNK seniors intern in pursuit of justice
Debbie Epping
Antelope Staff
Michael Kling, a senior from Scottsbluff, is a Biology major with a minor in Criminal Justice and interned at a crime lab in Kansas City this summer.
Matt Marchio, a senior from Omaha with a Criminal Justice major, interned with the U.S. Marshals in Arizona this summer.

Searching for fugitives and extracting DNA aren’t typically part of the average day for a UNK student. For seniors Matt Marchio and Michael Kling, it was all part of a day’s work at their summer internships.
Marchio, a criminal justice major from Omaha, spent 10 weeks this summer as the first out-of-state intern for the U.S. Marshals in Arizona. Marchio applied for the internship after Dr. Danielle Neal, Assistant professor of criminal justice and the criminal justice internship coordinator, made him aware of the opportunity.

“I wanted to get away from Nebraska and see a different part of the criminal justice system,” Marchio said.

Marchio shadowed Deputy Marshals throughout the day and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and became involved in the whole process from searching for wanted fugitives to dealing with the inmates in the cell block.

“All of the techniques that are out there that you can find someone by just blew me away,” Marchio said.

Marchio’s favorite part about the internship was participating in the training week.

“They were practicing searching houses in a controlled house and let me be a bad guy. They gave me a fake gun, and then they put me in a corner with the gun, found me and pulled me out like they would with a normal person,” Marchio said.

Marchio plans to work for federal law enforcement in the future.

“All the laws and things we are taught in school are taught for a reason. What you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it,” Marchio said.

Kling, a biology major with a criminal justice minor from Scottsbluff, also learned from Neal that a crime lab in Kansas City was accepting interns for the first time. Kling applied and got accepted to work in the crime lab from May 15 to Aug. 20.

Kling’s responsibilities included filing and doing miscellaneous tasks around the lab.

“There was a lot more paperwork involved than I expected. There were just mounds of paperwork,” Kling said.

In addition to his daily tasks, Kling was exposed to everything a crime analyst would be exposed to, including gruesome crime scene photos and the DNA extraction process. Kling found the meticulous task of extracting DNA to be the most rewarding.

 “There were so many ways you could mess up. Basically one misstep at any step of the process and you had to start over,” Kling said.

Kling’s internship helped him realize his aspirations for a future career.

“I want to work in a crime lab. They had mentioned that they had a couple positions that may be opening up later, so maybe I’ll get lucky,” Kling said.

Kling advises fellow students pursuing internships to talk to a lot of people and don’t take no for an answer.

“Just keep pursuing it until someone gives you a good, solid reason why you can or cannot,” Kling said.

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