University's legislative internship program gets a boost

Published: Nov. 2, 2017 at 9:10 PM AKDT
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The University of Alaska's legislative internship program has received a substantial investment from the Ted Stevens Foundation, which has pledged $157,500 over the next five years to expand the initiative.

The foundation has pledged $31,500 annually during each of the next five years to support the program.

In addition, the foundation has agreed to match up to an additional $10,500 per year in private contributions to the program from other donors.

The program, which will be renamed the 'Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program', is nearly 30 years old and has hosted 300 interns during legislative sessions since its inception.

Managed by the University of Alaska Southeast, this non-partisan program affords university students an opportunity to work in state legislative offices during the annual legislative session in Juneau, while earning college credits in an Alaska focused public policy seminar.

University of Alaska Statewide System President, Jim Johnsen, says this program gives students the chance to learn in a hands-on environment.

Jim Johnsen; University of Alaska Statewide System>>"The Ted Stevens, Senator Ted Stevens internship program is critically important for students because it provides them, a real experience in the legislature and serving as a staff person for a legislator. So it's an inside view. You know it's one thing to read about politics in the newspaper or in textbooks but it's really valuable to be in the room, to be working in an office, to see what happens during a legislative session. I had this experience when I was in college, a long time ago, and that was back in congress and I learned a ton from that experience and this program is critically important because it supports students in their opportunity to learn the same kind of thing and again from the day to day real life perspective opposed to just from textbooks."

Students can learn more about the 'Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program' at