JUNEAU — Officials from the University of Alaska and the Alaska State Legislature recognized the eight-member class of the Ted Stevens Legislative Internship program Tuesday in the State Capitol.
University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Rick Caulfield noted the successes of the program in opening remarks.
“It’s an important opportunity for our students to have a high-impact learning opportunity,” Caulfield said. “I myself was an intern, actually in D.C. not here in the Capitol, but I can tell you from first hand experience how meaningful that was for me.”
The students were also recognized by House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham.
“It’s a wonderful learning environment down here,” Edgmon said, noting many students had only been in Juneau for the one session. “Maybe some of you will return, maybe some will run for office. We’ll do our best to leave the ship going in the right direction for you.”
Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki was also present at the event and said that he has had interns in his office for years, many of have gone on to work as lawyers, administrators and gone into politics.
The Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program is the new name for the longstanding University of Alaska legislative internship program that has been allowing college students the ability to intern in the Alaska State Capitol as well as the congressional offices of Alaska’s senators and representative for over 30 years and has included more than 250 students in this time.
Caulfield said that with the help of the Ted Stevens Foundation, there is hope of growing the program to see more students involved and expanding opportunities.
During their time in Juneau, students work full time in the Capitol in the offices of state senators or representatives while also participating in an academic program combining class work with research, earning a total of 12 college credits by the end of the program.
Contact staff writer Erin Granger at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMPolitics
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Contact: Keni Campbell, UAS Public Information Office (907) 796-6509, firstname.lastname@example.org
TED STEVENS FOUNDATION PLEDGES $157,000 TO UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA LEGISLATIVE INTERNSHIP; PROGRAM TO BE RENAMED IN HONOR OF SENATOR TED STEVENS
Juneau – The University of Alaska’s legislative internship program has received a substantial investment from The Ted Stevens Foundation, which has pledged $157,500 over five years to expand the initiative. The program, which will be renamed the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program, is nearly 30 years old and has hosted 300 interns during legislative sessions since inception.
Managed by the University of Alaska Southeast, this non-partisan program affords university students an opportunity to work in state legislative offices during the annual legislative session in Juneau while earning college credits in an Alaska-focused public policy seminar.
The Ted Stevens Foundation has pledged $31,500 annually during each of the next five years to support the program. In addition, the Foundation has agreed to match up to an additional $10,500 per year in private contributions to the program from other donors.
“This program honors Senator Ted Stevens’ legacy of bipartisanship, innovation and collaboration,” said UA president Jim Johnsen. “The Foundation’s support allows our students the real world experience of public service, and we are thankful to the Ted Stevens Foundation for its generosity and partnership with the university.”
Karina Waller, Executive Director of the Ted Stevens Foundation, said “the Foundation’s support of the Senator Ted Stevens Internship Program fosters the Senator’s commitment to education and public service for Alaska’s next generation of leaders.”
During his 40 years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Stevens hosted his own legendary congressional internship program giving hundreds of students from across Alaska an opportunity to engage in the political process in Washington D.C. In fact, UAS Professor Glenn Wright, the program’s faculty coordinator, said the university internship program has become an excellent source of future full-time legislative staffers. He estimated that 30 percent of the current staff working in Alaska’s State Capitol are former university interns.
“We’re very grateful to the Ted Stevens Foundation for this investment in Alaska’s future leaders,” said UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield. “This support allows us to take the program to a higher level and sustain the Senator’s legacy of public service and his dedication to the professional development of young Alaskans.”
For program information about the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship, go to http://www.uas.alaska.edu/internprogram/. For those wanting to join the Ted Stevens Foundation in supporting the program financially, contact the UAS Development Office at (907) 796-6320 or go to www.uas.alaska.edu/development
In March, the Ted Stevens Foundation hosted a staff alumni reunion at the Foundation. Former staff and interns from Anchorage, Mat-Su, and even Washington, D.C. were welcomed. The informal get-together offered an opportunity to look at the archive, reminisce with old friends, and to record memories of the Senator on film.
Attending the event were, among others, former Chief of Staff George Lowe, President Pro Tem Director Jennifer Lowe, State Directors Jim Egan and Marie Nash, staffers George Owletuck, Carol Gustafson, Steve Wackowski, Leif Haugen, Mary Gore, and former intern Jessica Hanneman.Read more