Lee Students Gain Experience Through Summer Internships In D.C.

  • Friday, September 23, 2022
  • Morgan Varner, Lee University

Lee University students Zadie Fiveash, Brandon Newell, and Macy Petty have returned from Washington D.C. after completing unique internships in their respective fields.  

“This summer several students from the political science department, relying on their own ambition and determination, found some wonderful internship opportunities," said Dr. Mark Scully, assistant professor of political science. “They discovered a little bit about our nation’s capital, a little bit about their career paths, and most importantly they all had the opportunity to experience the meaningful life of a public servant: thinking through challenging issues of public policy and how to work for the public good.” 

Ms. Fiveash, a sophomore political science major, was one of 13 students from across the country who participated in the Alexander Hamilton Institute’s Washington Program on National Security. For two weeks she heard from a variety of speakers including State Department workers, a Brigadier General in the Army, a legislative staffer for a senator, and many others with national security experience. While she was in D.C., she visited the Heritage Foundation, the American Foreign Policy Council, and the International Monetary Fund.  

“This program taught me a lot about how policies are made in D.C. through hearing from both the government and think tanks,” said Ms. Fiveash. “I was able to grow my knowledge in national security, as well, which will be very beneficial for my upcoming classes. This program also helped provide me some direction as to possible career paths and how to achieve my career goals.” 

Ms. Fiveash was also involved in the Summer in the City internship program run by the city of Knoxville. Working in the Parks and Recreation Department, she joined professional development seminars, assisted in a youth outreach program, and made connections with many city employees and elected officials. 

Mr. Newell, a senior public and business administration double major, interned for Congressman Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee’s Third Congressional District through a connection he made at a prior internship in Senator Bill Hagerty’s office. Mr. Newell was the only intern over the summer and the first one Rep. Fleischmann has had in three years. During his time there, Mr. Newell completed extensive research on bills on the floor, communicated with constituents, and gave several tours. 

In addition to seeing congressional representatives daily, Mr. Newell also met individuals such as Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank and Phillip Fulmer from the University of Tennessee. “I cannot recommend a Hill internship more,” said Mr. Newell. “I have made so many connections and learned skills I could only learn in this environment.” 

Because of his positive experience, Mr. Newell began helping Lee’s Center for Responsible Citizenship connect students to internships of all levels of government. 

Ms. Petty, a junior public administration major, was able to intern at the Family Research Council, a Christian public policy organization influential in conserving biblical principles within the political arena. She worked in the Policy and Government Affairs Department specializing in education policy and had the opportunity to speak at several public events such as a D.C. rally, Leader McCarthy’s Title IX Round Table, and a women’s sports conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The internship program at FRC has equipped me for a future in this field,” said Ms. Petty. “The program taught me how to effectively debate, deliver speeches, and refine what it means to live with a biblical worldview.” 

For more information on Lee’s History, Political Science, and Humanities Department, please contact Scully at mscully@leeuniversity.edu or visit www.leeuniversity.edu/academics/arts-sciences/hps/.  

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