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Elizabeth Skelly gained profession-based experience this summer as an intern with Vi-Jon, a company that manufactures general care products. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Elizabeth Skelly gained profession-based experience this summer as an intern with Vi-Jon, a company that manufactures general care products. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Sept. 4, 2020

Skelly put classroom lessons, leadership experience to test during summer internship

By Leah Newell, communication assistant


Skelly participated in quality assurance and validation processes at Vi-Jon. She helped validate cleansing processes and identify weaknesses. (Submitted photo)

Skelly participated in quality assurance and validation processes at Vi-Jon. She helped validate cleansing processes and identify weaknesses. (Submitted photo)

Northwest Missouri State University student, Elizabeth Skelly helped keep consumers safe and a company in good standing while honing her lab skills this summer.

Skelly, a junior nanoscale chemistry major from St. Charles, Missouri, interned with Vi-Jon, a company that manufactures general care products. While her responsibilities focused on quality assurance and validation, she determined how much risk each compound uses in the products Vi-Jon manufactures. She helped validate the cleansing processes already in place and find spots of weakness.

“I looked at how compounds stuck to the equipment and how toxic they were,” Skelly said. “I saw the behind-the-scenes of Germ-X compounding and production. It was interesting to see a large batch of Germ-X being made as well as the shift in product production during COVID-19.”

Skelly also learned the importance of following Food and Drug Administration requirements and Good Manufacturing Practices. By the end of the summer, she was able to point to areas of improvement before a third-party audit occurred. Auditors routinely visit the company to review its practices and guarantee that guidelines are being followed.

Skelly says Northwest laboratory courses prepared her for the kinds of team-based projects that occur in a professional environment as well as working in a laboratory environment. Her practice with lab reports at Northwest also carried over to her internship.

“I created reports and took input from the team and was able to have cohesive projects,” Skelly said. “My lab classes have been beneficial because, during audits, I was able to spot good lab practices as well as personal protective equipment easily.”

At Northwest, Skelly also participates in Alternative Spring Break, Kappa Kappa Psi, the Honors Program, Society of Presidents Scholars and the Bearcat Marching Band, in addition to serving as a Northwest ambassador.

“Being involved has given me good leadership experience and prepared me for work with many different people,” Skelly said.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Skelly intends to pursue a graduate degree and then a nanoscale research position in targeted drug delivery research with a focus on cancer or environmental research.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704