Editor's note: A previous version of this story include all four of Rhode Island's congressional delegation on the list of offices interested students can intern for through this program. Emily Pucino and Dr. Perri Leviss have informed The Anchor that internships for Rep. Cicilline's office have since been withdrawn since he is stepping down from Congress on June 1.
Students interested in learning more about life in Congress now have the opportunity to do so. Rhode Island College’s Washington Week gives students a chance to intern for a Rhode Island congressional office located in Washington D.C.
“I am so excited that we'll be sending students to DC again this summer. It’s been four years since we were able to do this,” Michelle Brophy-Baermann, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science said about the program. “Even though the different congressional offices had interns doing different things, every student I've talked to has loved their Washington Week experience.”
This internship program is scheduled for the weeks of May 15 and/or May 22.
Graduate Assistant Emily Pucino told The Anchor that this program’s goal is “to provide RIC students with an overview of the workings [of] Congress through being a part of a RI Senator or Representative's office (Rep. Cicilline, Rep. Magaziner, Sen. Reed, Sen. Whitehouse) and to see first-hand how the federal government works.”
During this internship, students participating are also serving as ambassadors for RIC. The work for interns will vary throughout their week. The work interns do could include going to meetings and hearings, shadowing staff, general office administration and picking up phone calls from constituents.
“Our 2023 Washington Week/Congressional Internship Program will give RIC students the chance to see the federal policymaking process up-close and experience how our elected officials’ work impacts the lives of Americans,” Dr. Perri Leviss, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and director of undergraduate major in public administration added. “It will also be a fun experience to live and work in the capital for the week and be a part of ‘the room where it happens.’”
There will also be an orientation component for interns. Pucino added that the program will “provide general orientation to the sites and people who work in Congress in the hope that the internship may also provide new career and educational pathways for the interns.”
Any student who is considered a full-time student at RIC is eligible to apply. Up to four students will be selected for this internship.
The internship is unpaid, but RIC students are going to be given a $1,500 stipend. This stipend will cover the living and travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
This internship also can provide a real-world experience for those interested in pursuing a career in public policy. Students who have entered this program in the past have utilized that experience in their future careers in public administration such as RIC alumnus Derrik Trombley.
“My internship in Congressman Langevin's office was a fantastic opportunity that taught me so much about democratic principles and the importance of public service,” Trombley, who is a policy analyst for the Rhode Island House of Representatives, said.
Students interested in applying for this program can fill out the registration form using this link.