The Frasure-Singleton student internship is a program that allows selected full-time undergraduate students an opportunity to observe, interact and work in the West Virginia Legislature for one week during the regular legislative session.
Every February, 31 public and private institutions of higher education in West Virginia are invited to send two students to participate, although only 50 total are accepted into the internship. In 2012, Fairmont State University had four students participate in the internship: Courtenay Bjorndahl, Ava Morris, Lukas Griffith and Lonzo Martin.
Once in Charleston, students participate in carefully planned activities and receive an overview of the legislative process by assisting an elected official (or lawmaker). Students also attend dinners where the legislators speak on their roles in the state capital and meet with the Governor and the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
Two of FSU’s students, Lonzo Martin and Ava Morris, were asked to address the group at the end of the program.
“I was asked to co-present a speech with fellow FSU student and friend Ava Morris to the House of Delegates during the final day in Charleston. Out of all the events this was the most humbling and the most rewarding. I have a fear of public speaking, and the fact I was addressing the full House of Delegates didn’t ease my anxiety. However, it provided a feeling of pride and achievement that was almost indescribable,” said Martin, a double major in Political Science and National Security and Intelligence, who spent his time during the internship shadowing Harrison County Delegate Richard J. Iaquinta.
Any full-time sophomore, junior or senior at FSU is eligible for this internship, which is open to all majors.
“Whether someone has an interest in politics or just how our world is shaped, I would recommend that they take advantage of this program and see the process firsthand,” Martin said.