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Four RIC students land congressional internships

Raymond Baccari


Poster created by Emily Pucino

During the weeks of May 15 and May 22, four Rhode Island College students will get to learn more about life in Congress through the Washington Week congressional internships. The program itself, which is funded by Student Community Government Inc. and managed by the RIC’s political science department, took a brief pause due to COVID, but is back as the pandemic has died down.

The four students selected for these internships are Jason Melise, an organizational leadership major in the Bachelor of Professional Studies Program, Kamar Gure, a psychology major, Lorraine Quintero, a political science and public administration major and Arianna Arias, a social work major.

These students will be interning for the offices of Rep. Seth Magaziner, Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. During their internships, all four students are also serving as ambassadors of RIC. The work they will be doing ranges from going to meetings and hearings, to shadowing staff to picking up phone calls from constituents.

“This year’s RIC Washington Week/Congressional Interns illustrate the extraordinary students at Rhode Island College,” Dr. Perri Leviss, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and director of undergraduate major in public administration, said. “They are committed to bettering their families and the larger RI community; they have diverse identities and histories; they have worked and volunteered locally throughout their college experience; they have been actively engaged in the RIC campus; some have lived their entire lives in our small state and some came to RI more recently; they are proud to be at RIC and are excited to learn from the internship and then bring this knowledge back to share with others.”

Rep. David Cicilline’s office isn’t doing an internship since the congressman is stepping down from Congress to lead the Rhode Island Foundation on June 1.

“It is such an honor to be one of the four interns selected to represent Rhode Island College for the Washington Week Congressional Internship,” Quintero, who will be interning for Reed’s office during the week of May 15, said. “As someone who was educated in the Central Falls Public School system, this honor is not only an accomplishment for me but for my community. I am excited to experience all that this internship experience has to offer!”

During the same week as Quintero, Gure will be interning in Reed’s office and also feels proud to be chosen for this internship, saying, “It’s a chance to learn, and explore new things while acquiring valuable experiences and making meaningful connections.”

In week two of these internships, Melise, who said this is a “once in a lifetime opportunity” will be interning for Magaziner’s office.

Arias is interning in Whitehouse’s office during week two.

“I am still beyond speechless and grateful that I have been selected for such an incredible opportunity,” Arias said.

The internship is unpaid, but all four 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.

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.


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