Reagan Philbeck (center) is pictured here with Senator Bill Hagerty (left) and Senator Marsha Blackburn (right)
This summer, five Lee University political science students—Chris Coffey, Macy Petty, Reagan Philbeck, Caelen Phillips, and Dante Williams—participated in various internships and educational opportunities in Washington D.C.
“It was a thrilling and eye-opening experience for them all,” said Dr. Mark Scully, associate professor of political science at Lee. “Our students saw firsthand both the diligent work of the members of Congress as well as the complex and arduous tasks of formulating policy that can survive the political process.”
Mr. Coffey, a political science major, was invited to attend the AEI Summer Honors Program, an institute dedicated to research which supports the advocacy of American values, market, and global affairs. During the week-long seminar, Mr. Coffey met with law firms focused on the defense of religious liberty, attended several lectures, and examined in detail various political discussions.
"It was through these examinations that I recognized the key roles state and local governments have in defending their constituent’s values,” said Mr. Coffey.
Ms. Petty, a public administration major, interned at The Heritage Foundation, a research and educational institution. While there, she researched public policy as well as attended lectures, policy briefings, and skill development seminars. Her roles included writing and formatting footnotes and analyzing several planned parenthood reports tracking growth in various services.
Ms. Philbeck, a political science major, spent four weeks working for Senator Marsha Blackburn. Her internship opportunities included giving capitol tours, corresponding with constituents, and attending a lecture series hosted by speakers Kevin McCarthy, Rand Paul, and John Kennedy.
“The highlight of my experience was sitting in on a Taiwan Weapons briefing from the CATO institute and learning about where U.S. weapons are being sent and how they are being used in foreign affairs,” said Ms. Philbeck. “The experience made me much more aware of how congressional affairs operate from an internal perspective, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity.”
Political science major Ms. Phillips worked as a development intern with the America First Policy Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan research institute, during the months of July and August. Ms. Phillips’ role as an intern involved assisting and handling donors, oversight, and helping with excel projects.
Mr. Williams, also a political science major, spent three months as a congressional intern handling responsibilities such as processing constituent opinions on various legislative issues, giving tours of the capital, and aiding in the completion of some communications projects.
“I had the opportunity to attend legislative briefings, committee meetings, and hearings to take notes and report back to Congressman Fleischmann,” said Mr. Williams. “I am extremely grateful for the skills I have learned and connections I made at Lee. Without Lee, I would not have had these amazing opportunities.”
For more information about Lee University’s Political Science department, visit www.leeuniversity.edu/political-science.
Dante Williams (left) is shown with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann