The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field

Notes From the Field: Dania Torres '20

Dania Torres '20 interned with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics during the 2018 Spring Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Housed in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., President George H.W. Bush first established the Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics through an executive order signed in 1990. The office supports the federal government’s commitment to addressing disparities faced by the Hispanic community, particularly within educational opportunities. It also aims to recognize the many contributions of Hispanics towards national prosperity. I began my work at a time of transition with the new executive director, Aimee Viana. In this capacity, I closely served to inform her strategic plan under the current administration, which involves charter renewal, commission selection, and stakeholder engagement to advance Hispanic innovation, investment, and excellence.

Notes from the Field: Anabel Moreno-Mendez '19

Anabel Moreno-Mendez '19 interned for the Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley in Washington, D.C. during the 2018 Spring Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

I chose to complete my Senate internship with Senator Merkley because of his character, integrity, and dedication to my home state of Oregon. He was also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as a government major focusing in international relations, I knew that I wanted to get an inside look to how foreign policy was created on the domestic level.  As a part of my internship, I was assigned to various policy teams including the foreign relations, banking, judiciary, telecommunications, and press teams. I also assisted with constituent correspondence, front desk duty, tours, and a variety of tasks as requested.

Notes from the Field: Allyssa Dobkins '19

Allyssa Dobkins '19 interned at the New York City Council for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

The New York City Council is comprised of 51 members, each representing neighborhoods within their districts in boroughs across the city. Together, the City Council works to improve the lives of not only the constituents within their districts, but also for all city dwellers by proposing legislation and actively participating in community-wide efforts that range from fundraisers to delegations. 

Notes from the Field: Debora Han '20

Debora Han '20 interned with Senator Gillibrand’s Legislative Office in Washington, DC for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

I was motivated to seek this internship after I spent two consecutive terms studying abroad in China and Scotland, where, for the first time, I was able to view the U.S. from the outside. It struck me that the biggest difference between American society and other societies is its emphasis on citizen involvement: i.e., the “democratic process.” I found myself wondering about the authenticity of this process and the depth of our citizen involvement and wanted to witness both for myself. 

As a legislative intern, I had four main duties: answering constituent phone calls, sorting through and categorizing constituent mail (which is sent to DC from each of the eight regional offices), electronically assigning response letters to constituent mail, and giving Capitol tours to constituents and VIPs. These duties allowed me to interact directly with the electorate, as well as gave me insight to how politicians interact with their constituency.

Notes from the Field: Sadie Red Eagle '19

Sadie Red Eagle '19 worked as a legislative intern in the office of U.S. Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA 50th District) during the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Representative Hunter currently serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, House Armed Services Committee, Education and the Workforce Committee, and serves as the chairman on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittee. In his office, I was able to work on projects with the nine legislative assistants, the Deputy Legislative Director, and the Chief of Staff. 

Notes from the Field: Matthew Brown '19

Matthew Brown '19 interned at the Brookings Institution for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

This winter I interned at the Brookings Institution, an American research group in Washington D.C. The organization broadly conducts research and education in the social sciences with the mission of improving the welfare of all Americans, strengthening American democracy, and building a more prosperous and cooperative international system.

At Brookings, I was a research intern in the Center for Technology Innovation, an initiative founded by the Institution’s Governance Studies department. While there, I conducted statistical analyses on the state of the “digital divide” in America, assisted in researching and writing white papers surrounding algorithmic bias and black-box algorithms, and conducted in-depth policy research and analysis on the telecommunications and technology sectors of the economy.

Notes from the Field: Olivia Bewley '19

Olivia Bewley '19 interned at the United States Embassy in Rabat, Morocco in the Economics Section for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

The Department of State uses embassies to further its own foreign policy goals abroad, but also to observe activities that other foreign missions are conducting. In addition, embassies house other agencies who work closely with those in the Foreign Service and have interests in the host nation. 

The work that I completed ranged from researching bilateral relationships between nations ahead of important meetings to attending conferences as a representative of the U.S. Mission to Morocco. I also wrote summaries of economic news from Morocco used to update our colleagues outside of the country, assisted a colleague with research for a report, and drafted a white paper given to the African Development Bank. My culminating experience in the office was writing a cable, which is the term used for an informative report sent to other embassies around the world, and to headquarters in Washington D.C. 

Notes from the Field: Hannah Pruitt '19

Hannah Pruitt '19 interned at the Brookings Institution for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

The Brookings Institution is a nonpartisan think tank in Washington DC that conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. At Brookings, I worked in the Economic Policy department, specifically in the Center for Regulation and Markets, where I did research and analysis on financial regulation, payment systems, the future of fintech (financial technology), and federal infrastructure initiatives. 

Notes from the Field: Ethan Fairbanks '19 

Ethan Fairbanks '19 interned at the New Hampshire Supreme Court for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

From early January to the end of March 2018, I interned at the New Hampshire Supreme Court, located in Concord, NH. As the highest court in the Granite State, and the state’s only appellate court, the Supreme Court annually considers about eight hundred unique cases. Given the nature of the court and the number of cases heard each year, the Court rules on a wide range of legal issues. For instance, during my internship, the Court heard cases concerning child custody, contract law, and First and Fourth Amendment issues. 

The Court consists of four associate justices and a Chief Justice. I served as an intern to the Honorable Associate Justice James P. Bassett '78. During the internship, I reviewed cases that came before the Court, drafted memoranda on them, and observed oral arguments when I had the time.

Notes from the Field: Bill Kosmidis '19 

Bill Kosmidis '19 interned with the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

The City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office is the custodian and manager of all cash and investments for the City of Chicago, the four City employee pension funds, and the Chicago Teacher’s Pension Fund. Additionally, the Treasurer’s Office manages a number of programs that promote financial education and small business growth in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The Treasurer is one of three city-wide elected officials in the City of Chicago, with the Mayor and the Clerk being the others.  

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