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:
The @aikcu Frankfort internship was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
— Zachary Simon Myers (@kyfavoriteson) January 15, 2015
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 http://www.aikcu.org/frankfortsemesterinternships/.