AIKCU welcomes 13 students for 2015 Frankfort Semester Internship

2015 AIKCU intern class

Thirteen students from five nonprofit private colleges and universities–Alice Lloyd College, Campbellsville University, Georgetown College, St. Catharine College, and the University of Pikeville–are in the state capital this spring getting a close look at the workings of Kentucky state government.

The students were selected through a competitive process to participate in the Frankfort Semester Internship Program, sponsored by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. Throughout the spring semester they will work approximately 30 hours per week in state agencies or carefully selected organizations tied to the Kentucky political process.

This year’s intern class includes students from a variety of backgrounds and majors and, somewhat unusually, three international students. The interns, their home colleges, and their placements are:

  • Kayla Franklin is a junior communications major from Alice Lloyd College. Kayla will spend the spring working with the Kentucky Historical Society at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.
  • Kelsey Logsdon is an Alice Lloyd College senior majoring in sociology. Kelsey is interning with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
  • Alexa Ortiz is also an Alice Lloyd College senior sociology major interning with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
  • Daniel Anderson, a junior political science major at Georgetown College, is spending the spring in his hometown of Frankfort interning with the Kentucky School Boards Association.
  • Joshua Jackson is a Campbellsville University senior majoring in political science. He is interning with the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
  • Justin Lawson, a sophomore, is also a political science major at Campbellsville University. He is interning in the Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet.
  • Jorge Aguilar, a senior communications major at the University of Pikeville, is interning this spring with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Jorge is one of three UPIKE interns from San Salvador.
  • Rodrigo Perez is also from San Salvador. The UPIKE senior business management major is interning with the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions.
  • Felecia Proctor is a senior communications major at UPIKE. She is interning with the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
  • Diego Rivas, the third UPIKE intern from San Salvador, is a senior business management major. He is interning with the Kentucky Department of Insurance.
  • Jamie Ward, a senior communications major at UPIKE from Georgetown, is interning with the Kentucky Retail Federation.
  • Cynthia Cavazos, a junior liberal arts and social sciences major at St. Catharine College, is interning with the Office of the Inspector General in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
  • Sarah Haydon is a junior business management major at St. Catharine College. She is interning with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.

It has been well-documented in recent years that students who gain relevant work experience are better equipped for the competitive post-graduation world. The AIKCU internship program, now in its 16th 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 indeed 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.

Whether or not they pursue public service careers, nearly all former AIKCU interns echo the sentiments of 2013 intern and Campbellsville University alumnus Zachary Myers, who tweeted recently:

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. Completion of the program qualifies them for up to a full semester of academic credit from their home institutions. Interns also receive a $2,500 stipend to partially cover their living expenses for the semester.

Since its inception in the year 2000, 129 students from Kentucky’s 19 independent colleges and universities have participated in the AIKCU Frankfort Semester Internship Program. More information about the AIKCU internship program is available at

Private college students can apply for internships in state government this spring

Students attending Kentucky’s 20 independent colleges and universities will again be able to compete for paid internships during the spring semester in Frankfort.

Applications are currently being sought for the 2013 Frankfort Semester Internship Program (FSIP) sponsored by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). The application deadline is Oct. 26 and interns will be selected by mid-to-late-November. The internship begins in January 2013.

Juniors, seniors or graduate students are eligible for the program which requires that interns work for 30 hours per week in executive branch agencies and complete two academic seminars focused on state government and public policy. Students interested in the internship can learn more about it and obtain an application at

Applications will be accepted online or by mail from students in good academic standing, regardless of their academic major. Students in the program receive a semi-monthly stipend of $416. The number of internships awarded is dependent on the level of interest by state agencies and their ability to pay the student stipends. Intern classes normally range from five to 10 students and completion of the internship qualifies students for academic credit from their home institutions.

“We have had numerous outstanding students in this program, and they have all made very favorable impressions of themselves and of their schools,” said Dr.Gary S. Cox, AIKCU’s president.

The intern program, initiated in 2000, is tailored to give students an up-close look at state government. A related purpose is for the experience to permit them to consider public service as a career option. During the second semester of even-numbered years students serve their internship with members of the Kentucky General Assembly. Since 2000, 109 students have completed the Frankfort internship.


Frankfort newspaper profiles Union student interning with lobbying firm through AIKCU internship

Frankfort State-Journal reporter Katheran Wasson has a nice profile on Union College senior Nikki Bistline, a Frankfort native who is interning with a Frankfort lobbying firm through the AIKCU internship program.

Bistline sees the internship with Capital Link Consultants as an opportunity that could open up her future:

“Even if it doesn’t take me anywhere, I feel like this will let me get to know some people and get to know what’s out there and open up some options,” she said.

 She encourages more students from Kentucky’s independent colleges to apply for the AIKCU internship program:

“I know people might be scared for the change, but this is huge, this is something that will matter,” she said. “You should come, you should try it – it’s an experience worth vying for.

“If you don’t get anything out of it, you’ll learn more about the government by meeting some legislators and shaking some hands and seeing how things work and why things don’t get done.”

This is the first year that AIKCU has placed interns with lobbyists.  In odd-numbered years interns work with the General Assembly, normally working directly with members of the legislature. This year AIKCU added a small number of placements with carefully selected lobbyists in order to provide opportunities for students to gain a different perspective on the legislative process. In even-numbered years interns work in a variety of state agencies.

Read the entire article about Nikki Bistline on the State-Journal website.

Transy wins 4th straight Battle of the Bumpers

Transylvania University has retained its title as the reigning AIKCU “Battle of the Bumpers” champion. This is Transy’s fourth straight title in the annual contest that pits AIKCU’s 20 members against each other to see which college’s supporters can put the most institutionally-branded license plates on Kentucky highways.

Since $10 from the sale of each plate goes back to the school’s general scholarship fund, the Battle of the Bumpers is also a competition to see which institution can raise the most money for students. Transylvania plate sales raised $8,520 for student scholarships in 2011. Overall, sales of Kentucky Independent Higher Education license plates generated more than $45,000 in scholarships last year. The plates have generated more than $300,000 for student scholarships since they began hitting Kentucky highways in 2002.

“We’re very proud of the commitment that Transylvania and our other members have made to promoting their license plates,” said Gary S. Cox, AIKCU President. “The pride people show by displaying these plates is an extension of the institutions’ quality and dedication to supporting students.”

Transylvania has implemented a number of promotional strategies to bolster their plate sales, including sending license plate birthday cards to alumni reminding them to purchase or renew their plates.

Centre College, the only other institution to hold the Battle of the Bumpers title, was the runner-up for the fourth consecutive year. Georgetown College placed third.

Plates for all 20 AIKCU institutions are available to Kentucky residents through local county clerks offices. Plates cost $44 upon initial issue and $31 for renewals, including the $10 that goes to the campus to support student scholarships.



St. Catharine, Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson collaborate on SB 1 Symposium

More than 70 faculty members and administrators from Campbellsville University, Lindsey Wilson College, and St. Catharine College assembled at St. Catharine on May 17 for a symposium focused on Senate Bill 1 and its implications for higher education.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 1 of 2009 is the most sweeping reform of education in Kentucky since the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1990. Senate Bill 1 calls for higher and more rigorous learning standards to ensure more Kentuckians graduate from high school ready for college or career. SB 1 requires collaboration among postsecondary institutions, with an emphasis on teacher preparation programs but also involving arts and sciences faculty, to accomplish this goal.

Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday provided the keynote for the symposium. Holliday reviewed the steps that the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Educational Standards Board have taken to implement Senate Bill 1 and discussed the critical role teacher preparation programs play in ensuring classroom teachers are able to implement Kentucky’s new standards.

Commissioner Holliday said that despite the complexity of Senate Bill 1 and the collaboration required to accomplish its goals, “Our vision is simple: every child must be proficient and prepared for success. And prepared for success translates to college and career ready.”

AIKCU President Gary S. Cox stressed to attendees from the three institutions that it is crucial for the independent college sector to be involved early in the implementation of Senate Bill 1, because the future of their programs and the success of their future students depends upon its success.

Other presenters during the morning session included Dr. Pam Rogers, AIKCU’s Senate Bill 1 Initiative coordinator, and Charles McGrew, Director of the Kentucky P-20 Data Collaborative. Rogers talked about the implications of Senate Bill 1 for the higher education classroom. McGrew discussed the development of Kentucky’s P-20 Data Collaborative, which when complete will link the P-12, postsecondary, teacher preparation/certification (EPSB), and workforce data systems to help policymakers and others assess the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, among other things.

The afternoon was divided into four breakout sessions for faculty subgroups of teacher preparation, English, math, and other faculty to allow attendees to dive deeper into the particular implications of Senate Bill 1 for their disciplines.

The collaborative symposium involving CU, LWC, and SCC – a first of its kind professional development collaboration between multiple AIKCU members – was made possible by AIKCU’s Senate Bill 1 Initiative, which is in turn funded by a grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Under the grant AIKCU is charged with helping its members facilitate professional development activities that fulfill the requirements of Senate Bill 1. A portion of grant funds were allocated to support faculty development at individual campuses, while some funds were held in reserve for collaborative projects like this symposium. AIKCU will also facilitate additional collaborative opportunities.

To learn more about AIKCU’s grant-funded Senate Bill 1 Initiative, check out the project blog or contact Dr. Pam Rogers.

For more on the broad Kentucky postsecondary community’s Senate Bill 1 efforts, visit