BETHANY, W.Va. — Three Bethany College political science majors are turning classroom knowledge into real-world experience by working with key governmental and professional sites in Washington, D.C, during the spring semester. The internships, organized through The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, were designed to provide Bethany participants with hands-on, professional skills in their areas of interest as they interact with issues ranging from employee litigation to political representation to drug control policy.
Senior Wendy McAfee of Jewett, Ohio, is interning with Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who represents the 2nd Congressional District in Wisconsin. Junior Quinn McCall of Venetia, Pa., is interning with the well-known law firm Kohn, Kohn, & Colapinto, LLP. And junior Matt Nemec of New Brighton, Pa., is working with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a component of the Executive Office of the President. Through their placements, the students are gaining invaluable experience, attending classes and learning about life in the nation’s capital.
Bethany has been affiliated with The Washington Center for more than a decade. Dr. Clinton Maffett, Bethany College Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of History and Political Science, serves as the College’s liaison to the organization.
“More than 30 Bethany students have participated in The Washington Center program,” stated Maffett. “The majority of them are in Washington, D.C., now with highly productive and interesting jobs.”
McAfee, who aspires to become a congresswoman, remarked, “I love the city life and working on Capitol Hill. This internship is very valuable to me, because I get the chance to interact with all the members of Congress and am getting real-world experience.” She attends briefings, gives Capitol tours and processes constituents’ concerns, along with other office duties.
McCall works with a law firm that represents whistleblowers from across the United States. “This has been an incredible experience so far, because I’m working with attorneys and seeing if I’m interested at all in pursuing a career in law,” he stated. “It gives me a chance to get out of the classroom and apply some of what I’ve learned to actual experiences in the workplace.”
Nemec noted the importance of the relationships he is building as he learns the day-to-day basics of working for the Executive Office of the President. “This internship will be very valuable because I am working with a federal agency under the Office of the President, and I am able to show the skills and academics that I have learned at Bethany.” He continued, “I am able to demonstrate the type of person I am and hopefully make a great impression on my co-workers and people I meet — and be one step ahead when it comes to applying for a job after graduation.”
The Washington Center links highly qualified interns from a variety of academic disciplines to thousands of organizations in government, business and the non-profit sector. Many times the internships evolve into long-term positions. Programs now offered include: The Congressional Program; Ford Motor Company Global Scholars Program; Governor’s Internship Program; International Affairs Programs; Law and Criminal Justice; Media and Communication; Political Leadership; Science, Technology and Society; U.S. – China Bilateral Trade Program; and Advocacy, Service and Arts Program.
Past interns from Bethany have worked with institutions such as the Department of State, Amnesty International, CNN and FOX News, the Department of Energy and the Middle East Institute.
A Washington Center representative will be on Bethany’s campus March 1 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Morlan Lounge to meet with interested students.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Bethany is the state’s oldest degree-granting institution.