Three West Virginia Wesleyan College students were selected to the Frasure-Singleton Internship program, a one-week internship at the state Capital where students assist a specific senator or delegate during the regular 60-day session. Mason Barnhart, Jessicah Cross and Abby Saenz were this year's recipients.
Participants selected are assigned to a legislator who assists in explaining the legislative process. They attend committee meetings and public hearings where legislation and issues are extensively discussed. The students sit on the floor during the daily sessions surrounded by legislators determining the fate of the legislation, and aid the senator or delegate with issue research, constituent requests and other legislative tasks.
Barnhart, a sophomore political science major and philosophy minor from Wellsburg, shadowed Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha. Barnhart sat in on House sessions and helped draft and submit a bill for the naming of a memorial bridge in Kanawha County.
"The Frasure-Singleton Internship was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to the importance of state government," Barnhart said. "None of this would have been possible without the care and guidance of Dr. Rob Rupp and the rest of the Wesleyan faculty and staff."
Barnhart is a member of Theta Xi Fraternity, the Pre-Law Society, Sigma Alpha Pi and Alpha Lambda Delta.
Cross, a sophomore political science major and library science minor from Philippi, attended committee meetings with Delegate Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur. Cross attended House sessions and sat on the floor with him. During her internship, Cross completed a study resolution on the negative effects of medical marijuana. She also attended the Governor's Ball.
"This experience has allowed me to see what I have been studying in my class in action," Cross said. "I was very lucky to have been assigned to Delegate Hamilton. He wanted me to get the most out of my week as possible. I am beyond blessed to be attending Wesleyan, and I would not have had this amazing opportunity if it were not for my professors, who take a personal interest in my education."
Cross is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Library Strategic Planning Task Force, and she is a co-founder of the Commuter Student Organization.
Saenz, a junior public relations major and political science minor from Buckhannon, shadowed Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, a 1990 Wesleyan alumnus. She attended judiciary finance and health committee meetings, took part in daily floor sessions and attended the women's caucus meeting.
"My experience at the Capital was unforgettable," Saenz said. "I met incredible people from all over the state and was placed with outstanding interns, one of whom was a refugee from Africa who is now a U.S. citizen. I was constantly reminded by each vote made that our government is truly for the people, of the people and by the people, as President Lincoln once said."
Saenz serves as the public relations vice president for Alpha Xi Delta and the director of public relations for Greek Life.
Full-time sophomores, juniors and seniors of all majors and disciplines from two- and four-year public and private institutions are up for consideration to the internship program. More information on the Frasure-Singleton Internship program is available at www.legis.state.wv.us/Educational/Internship/frasure_singleton.cfm.