Live. Learn. Intern. DC 2014. Oct07

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Live. Learn. Intern. DC 2014.

“Live. Learn. Intern.” The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) motto perfectly captures my summer internship experience.  From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. of each day, I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of D.C. life. On average, I interned 34 hours a week and was in class 11 hours a week. Each day began with the morning trek on the sardine-packed metro to Capitol Hill where I worked in Congressman Conaway’s office in the Rayburn House Office. After work, I would travel to George Mason University’s law school campus where I took three classes in TFAS’ Englicheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems: Economics and Public Policy, American Political Thought, and Internship Seminar.

Savannah H3Despite the craze of Washington, I was blessed with the opportunity to intern for some wonderful West Texans serving Congressman Conaway and TX-11. These die hard “wreck’em” Texas Tech raiders provided me with the opportunity to get my hands dirty and conduct challenging legislative research. By the end of the summer, I had written fifteen constituent letters addressing issues varying from the bushmeat trade in Africa to President Obama’s sanctions against Russia relating to the Ukraine crisis. I also did a project on educational policy related to school choice for military dependent and disabled children. In addition to letters, I talked to numerous constituents, congressional staffers, and Congressmen about everything from oil-leaking jeeps to how to best handle the immigration crisis. ACU alumnus Congressman Poe opened his office up to me twice throughout the summer to chat about ACU, politics, and Jesus. Upon conclusion of my internship, the TX-11 office recommended me for a position with the House Ethics Committee that the Congressman chairs.

The classes in TFAS’ Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems were challenging, interactive, and rewarding.  I learned about economic Savannah H2principles and dove into and picked apart the Federalist papers, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. My classmates were very vocal and often debated policies using evidence from the works of Hazlitt, Hayek, Smith, Keynes, Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton to support their argument.  In the Internship Seminar, my professor instructed the class on the ins and outs of Washington, D.C. including Congress, the Supreme Court, the executive branch, think tanks, lobbyists, non-profit organizations, and bureaucracies. I wrote multiple papers relating to my internship and presented a group project in which I had to hypothetically propose an immigration bill to a congressman.

Savannah HOutside of class and work, the majority of my time was spent attending TFAS events including briefings at the Federal Reserve, State Department, and World Bank, lectures at the Heritage Foundation, and TFAS donor events. I also attended the Marine Corps Foundation Scholarship Conference and Ceremony on July 15. The weekends were typically full of studying, trips to museums and monuments, and church.

Looking back, my two favorite memories are when I was able to share my faith by offering the invocation at The Fund for American Studies Annual Conference and when I was named Outstanding Student of the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at graduation.  The TFAS program was a great experience and I am so blessed I was able to be a part of it. Thanks to the ACU Honors College, ACU Political Science Department, Dian Graves Owen Foundation, TFAS donors, and all my friends and family for their prayers and support. Without it, none of this would have been possible.