Students gain valuable experience in Frankfort through AIKCU internship

2016 AIKCU Frankfort Interns

The 2016 AIKCU Frankfort Interns. L-R: Michaela Hydon (UPIKE); Alyssa Mattingly (Campbellsville University); David Azcunaga (UPIKE); Kadada Dowell (Campbellsville University); Kaitlyn Abdon (UPIKE); Aleshia Sykes (UPIKE); Mona Branham (UPIKE)


Seven Kentucky private college students are getting a close look at the workings of state government this spring through their internships in the AIKCU Frankfort Semester Internship Program.

The interns were selected through a competitive process and will work approximately 30 hours per week in legislative offices, state agencies or carefully selected organizations tied to the Kentucky political process.

This year’s intern class happens to be comprised of two students from Campbellsville University and five from the University of Pikeville. The interns and their placements are:

  • Kidada Dowell is a senior political science major at Campbellsville University from Radcliff, Kentucky. She is interning with Representative Linda Belcher.
  • Aylissa Mattingly is a junior from Bardstown, Kentucky majoring in psychology and criminal justice at Campbellsville University. She is interning with the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet.
  • Kaitlyn Abdon is a senior business sports management major at the University of Pikeville from Florence, Kentucky. She is interning with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
  • David Azcunaga is a junior from San Salvador who is also majoring in business sports management at UPIKE. He is interning with Representative Johnny Bell.
  • Mona Branham is a senior majoring in business and communications at the University of Pikeville. The Shelbiana, Kentucky native is interning in the office of the Kentucky House Republican Leadership.
  • Michaela Hydon, a senior business administration major at UPIKE, is interning with the Kentucky Retail Federation. Michaela is from Alexandria, Kentucky.
  • Aleshia Sykes is a University of Pikeville sophomore from Elkhorn City, Kentucky. The communications major is interning with the Council on Postsecondary Education this spring.

The AIKCU internship program, now in its 17th year, is designed to give valuable on-the-job experience to students interested in public affairs and expose them to public service as a career option.

A number of former AIKCU interns have gone on to careers in public service, including former interns currently working in U.S. Congressional offices, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, and in various branches of Kentucky state government.

Interns are supervised and guided throughout the semester by program coordinator Richard Wilson, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. In addition to their work experience, they complete two upper-division academic seminars focused on public administration and Kentucky government and politics. Interns may qualify for up to a full semester of academic credit from their home institution upon completion of the program. Interns also receive a stipend to partially cover their living expenses for the semester.

More information about the AIKCU Frankfort Semester Internship program is available at