5 Austin Peay State University Students serve as 2012 Legislative Interns

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Five Austin Peay State University (APSU) students are participating in the 2012 Tennessee Legislative Internship Program in Nashville.

Alison Bright, Tricia Collis, Tiffany Kaschel, Kristen Lawson and Randi Perry are interning for various legislators during the Spring 2012 semester. Interns are assigned to legislative leadership offices and committees, and perform various duties, such as bill analysis, constituent work, research and general office work.

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

Bright is interning for Tennessee State Representative Phillip Johnson. Kaschel was assigned to work in the office of Lt. Governor Ronald Ramsey. Collis is an intern for Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts, while Lawson is interning for Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson. Perry has been interning for Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell, chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee.

“I am learning that there is a lot more that goes into getting a bill passed than many may realize,” Perry said. “Being a part, even if a very small part, of the state legislative process, seeing it from the inside, is a unique and amazing experience that can’t be replicated,” Kaschel said. “It is a great supplement to formal education.”

“I have had the privilege of seeing a bill from its inception all the way through being passed by the House and Senate, and I will be attending the bill signing ceremony in April,” Collis said. “I would absolutely encourage future students to be a part of this internship program.”

This year’s intern class also is participating in a number of projects and tours. Past tours have included a maximum-security prison, the state Capitol, the Bicentennial Mall, Tennessee Supreme Court, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the BellSouth Tower. Projects have included the Great Strides Project for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and collecting food for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The program was established in 1972 to provide Tennessee college students with an opportunity to work and learn in a hands-on legislative environment. Each year, 70 to 80 students from across the state participate in the program to learn about leadership responsibilities as well as develop legislative process skills. The interns assist legislative offices with their work activities and functions.

Juniors, seniors and graduate students in law, political science, history, administration, social work, economics, sociology, journalism and related fields are eligible for the program. Legislative interns also must be registered to vote in Tennessee and have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.

For more information about the Tennessee Legislative Internship Program, telephone Dr. David Kanervo, chair and professor of political science and APSU’s faculty representative for the program, at 931.221.7581.