Dominican student selected for congressional internship

Sydney Lewis, a junior majoring in Political Science and English at Dominican University of California, has been selected to participate in the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Congressional Internship Program.

The Grass Valley native, who graduated from Forest Charter School in Nevada City, will spend the fall 2012 semester in Washington, D.C. working for a member of the California congressional delegation. Lewis was one of about two dozen students appointed by university presidents from the 23 campus California State University system plus Dominican and Santa Clara University based on exemplary scholastic record, interest in politics and potential for a public service career.

“It's a great honor,” Lewis says. “To be selected as the only intern out of the Dominican campus makes me feel incredibly blessed and fortunate. I'm excited that I will have the chance to see how policy is actually made, hear constituent concerns, see how policies actually affect individuals, states, and the nation at large. I am very glad that I get to actively participate in passing legislation that I care about, and that I will get to learn more about all the issues facing the district for which I will be working as well as the country."

Lewis credits Alison Howard, chair of the Department of Political Science and International Studies, and Christian Dean, professor and pre-law advisor, for encouraging her to apply and guiding her through the process.

“Dominican helped me achieve this for several reasons, the first and most obvious being that it is one of the few schools that have the opportunity to participate in the program,” Lewis says. “Dominican has wonderful staff that are super encouraging and supportive, and even my professors that aren't in the political science department were encouraging me to go for it and were thrilled to find I had received  it. They do their jobs wonderfully, which I believe is part of the reason I was selected.”

“The professors here are highly competent and convey their subject matter clearly and effectively,” she adds. “They therefore helped prepare me by enhancing my writing abilities, critical thinking and analyzing skills, and just making sure I really learned the material. All of the professors here have played a role in my receiving this internship, even if it was only a small, indirect one.”

Lewis will spend two weeks in August training at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay then 11 weeks in Washington, D.C., working full time in the office of a congressional representative. She is a member of Dominican’s Harry Potter LLC, located in Meadowlands Hall. She also works as store manager for Silbermann's Ice Cream in Terra Linda.