Three Fairmont State University students spent the week of spring break in March interning with the West Virginia Legislature in Charleston.
Emily Markham of Clarksburg, Alex Vance of Ashford and Larry Ross of Bridgeport were selected to participate in the Frasure-Singleton Internship program. Dr. William Harrison, Assistant Professor of Political Science, is the current faculty contact on campus for the program. There were 51 positions available to undergraduate students.
The internship is sponsored through the West Virginia Legislature. During the regular 60-day session, participants spent a week with an assigned legislator, attended committee meetings and accompanied them on the senate floor during daily sessions. They also aided their legislator with issue research, constituent requests and other legislative tasks.
Since coming to Fairmont State in 2013, Harrison has worked with students, identifying those who participate in class discussions, speak well on their feet and work well with others. Students can either be recommended by a professor or approach Harrison themselves to find out more about the internship.
Emily Markham, a sophomore majoring in National Security and Intelligence, Political Science, History and Criminal Justice with a minor in French, had the opportunity to shadow Delegate Mike Caputo.
“Because I want to get into politics, it really benefited me personally because I got to be able to see how everything works throughout the day instead of just knowing how bills become laws. I got to actually experience it,” Markham said of her time at the Legislature. “I was able to make a lot of friends and network and make awesome connections with people. Whether they were on the Republican side or Democrat side, it didn’t matter, you were still able to come together and make decisions.”
Only one participant during the week was voted by fellow interns to deliver a speech on the Senate floor. That honor went to Fairmont State participant Alex Vance, a Sociology major and the newly elected president of the FSU Student Government Association. He shadowed Sen. Mark Maynard.
“The program was an excellent learning experience as to the inner workings of the legislative process,” Vance said of his experience. “It gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of important people in our state's government and advocate for higher education as well as our University.”