Five Western Washington University students have been selected to participate in the 2020 Legislative Internship Program in Olympia this winter.
Logan Duling of Sammamish, Liliana Gilster of Bellingham, Kyle Jung of Bonney Lake, Katrin Kukhar of Centralia, and Skyla Sorensen of Seattle will intern winter quarter at the State legislature under the supervision of the House and Senate Intern Coordinators. Twenty-five Western students applied for the competitive internship.
The internship program offers Washington state college students the opportunity to gain paid work experience while getting to see the state legislative process up close. Interns build real-world skills while participating in seminars and workshops with state officials, policymakers, journalists and lobbyists.
The students work in Olympia as full time staff while the Legislature is in session, from January through March or April every year.
Jung, Kukhar, and Duling are all political science majors and have been assigned to the Senate. Jung will work with Senator Kevin Van De Wege, Kukhar with Senator Doug Ericksen, and Duling with Senator Annette Cleveland.
Duling said he is ecstatic to have this opportunity, and proud to represent Western.
“I decided to apply for this internship to understand more about the issues in my home state, as well as open the door for future opportunities politically,” Duling said. “I hope to learn more about how the legislature in Washington state compares to the federal legislature.”
Gilster, who is an environmental policy major, has also been assigned to the Senate, and will work with the Senate Democratic Caucus Staff. Gilster said she recommends that anyone interested in government come down to the capital during the session, and take advantage of the public tours that are offered.
“Everything that passes entirely through the legislature will either impact you or someone you know, so it is great to know how it comes to be,” she said.
Sorensen, who is an economics and political science double major, has been assigned to the House, and will work with Representative Sharon Shewmake, who is also a WWU associate professor of Economics, and the House Democratic Caucus Communications Office.
While the final decision on internship placement was up to the intern coordinators, Sorensen said she felt like she really lucked out with her assignments.
“More than a career, what I really hope to gain is knowledge,” she said. “I also would love to pick up some communications and public relations skills.”
For more information contact Erica Steele, Western Washington University program coordinator in the Department of Political Science, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (360) 650-3469.