Two Georgia Southern University Students Work Alongside State Lawmakers
Two Georgia Southern University students are working side by side with Georgia lawmakers in the General Assembly as part of the state’s legislative intern program.
John Rogers Fleisch III of Peachtree City, Ga. and Kristi Winger of Kathleen, Ga. are both political science majors at Georgia Southern. During this internship, they are working daily with lawmakers who are wrestling with the decisions that will affect the entire state.
Fleisch is assigned to the Judiciary Committee. ‘Judiciary is arguably the busiest committee at the General Assembly. My goal with this internship is to gain experience in the field of law and that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m often asked to look up current statutes in both the state and federal code, prepare the committee for meetings and run bills,” said Fleisch. ‘I’ve learned how much work, preparation and debate go into making our laws. Sometimes one word can be enough to hinder a bill’s passage and cause it to never leave a subcommittee. That’s why so many lawmakers and the people on their staff work so hard to do what’s best for the state and the people who live here.”
The chance to not only see, but to be a part of, government in action is the reason Georgia Southern University participates in the statewide program. ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for our students. They can only gain this type of experience by living it. As an intern, they will have the chance to apply what they have learned in their studies,” said Dr. Teresa Thompson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Winger says the internship program has strengthened her already strong resolve to make the political process part of her future.
‘I wanted to get right into the legislative process and the politics that surround it. This internship is allowing me to experience firsthand what I’ve only read about in textbooks,” said Winger. ‘Working in the House Majority Whip’s office has allowed me to read and analyze each bill for the Whip’s Report, which gives me even more of an opportunity to submerse myself in the process. To me, nothing is more exciting than watching a debate on the House floor!”
‘This is a win-win for everyone. Providing opportunities like these to students is what universities are all about,” said Thompson. ‘It also gives our state government the opportunity to see the caliber of students we are producing.”
Interns were selected based on their academic standing and the potential they have to be a leader in politics based on their work experience, extracurricular activities and interests. To be considered for the program, interested students must write an essay on how their studies and experiences have prepared them for the internship and provide references.
The internships are open to students of all majors, provided they are a Georgia resident during their junior or senior year.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 116 degree programs serving nearly 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.