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