Summer 2016 Mayborn Scholars

Abby Callison

"My name is Abby Callison, and I’m from Plano, Texas. I am currently a senior studying Political Science and Spanish, and I plan to graduate in May 2017.

This summer I had the opportunity to intern in the office of Congressman Pete Sessions. Congressman Sessions represents a large part of Dallas, just south of my own congressional district. He has served in Congress for 10 consecutive terms. He currently serves in leadership as the Chairman of the Rules Committee and has done so since 2013.

Because Congressman Sessions places a very large emphasis on constituent services, many of my responsibilities included handling photos, logging constituent information, giving tours of the Capitol, answering phones, and sorting and sending mail. Additionally, I attended policy briefings and committee hearings and did policy research. My favorite responsibility was attending committee hearings and briefings. Staff members would ask me to attend specific sessions based on their policy area, and I would take notes and create a write-up after the briefing to inform them of the most important issues discussed at the hearing. This allowed me to learn about a wide range of issues, some that I knew I was interested in, as well as some policy areas that I had never considered.

I truly enjoyed this summer spent in Washington, D.C. because of all that I learned through my internship and living in the city. I also loved being plugged into the Baylor in Washington program. It made me really appreciate the Baylor connection that I will share with other alumni long after I graduate. Hearing from each of the speakers at the Poage-Mayborn Seminar encouraged me to consider looking at jobs in D.C. after I graduate. They also inspired me to look for all kinds of opportunities after graduation because many of them ended up places they never thought they would be. This summer greatly prepared me for graduation next May because it showed me how many different types of jobs exist and the number of different paths you can take to end up where you want to be. It also opened my eyes to the expansive network of Baylor alumni that exists in Washington, D.C.

My internship experience in D.C. would not have been possible without the help of the Mayborn Scholarship, as my internship was unpaid and I had to find housing for my time in D.C. I am so grateful for the Mayborn Scholarship to allow me to spend the summer in D.C., where I learned a great deal about the policymaking process and further developed my future goals."

Amye Dickerson

"My name is Amye Dickerson, and I am a Junior Business Fellow studying Economics and Finance. I plan on graduating in May of 2018. This past summer, I interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. with their Office of Ethics. In this office, I was one of two interns to work closely with the Chief Compliance Officer, lawyers, and financial analysts to conduct internal audits on the SEC Employees. Federal regulations maintain that all employees are unable to hold certain securities to prevent conflicts of interest, so it was our role to analyze all employees’ financial statements-in both the D.C. and local offices-to catch any ineligible securities.

Within the first week of my role, it was evident that I was participating in one of the most challenging and rewarding internship experiences not only in D.C. but in the nation as well. My coworkers trusted me with copious amounts of confidential information, and I was performing the same tasks as the lawyers in the same office, as just a junior at Baylor. My experience strengthened my love for finance and economics, as well as introduced me the variety of different holdings. This was great background knowledge for my three finance classes I have taken since then, as well as my own financial portfolio preferences. My experience at the SEC is continually brought up in my classes, conversations with professors, and my business interviews. Now, I am considering the career option of federal regulatory compliance consulting with several consulting firms in Washington, D.C.

I never would have been able to afford my time in D.C. without the Mayborn Scholarship. D.C. is expensive, and the unfortunate reality is that most internships are unpaid. The Mayborn Scholarship allowed me to cover part of my housing expenses. It also gave me the opportunity to receive three hours of class credit that went towards my Political Science minor. My time in D.C. shaped me more than anything else at Baylor. Not only did I have a taste of a potential career, but I was also able to enjoy the community, culture, and history in D.C. I strengthened relationships with my Baylor friends there, as well as met with Baylor alumni weekly, and explored all of the museums and buildings. One person I met during my time there told me, 'The thing about D.C. is that everyone is smarter and more successful than you in one way or another, so meet these people and learn from them because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.'"

Brent Golden

"My name is Brent Golden, and I am a Senior Economics Major, graduating in May. I grew up in the small West Texas town of Denver City. There, I participated in athletics and academic competitions, but spent most of my time raising livestock and managing my business, H2Snow Snow Cones. In college, through class work and job opportunities, I became interested in politics. This interest became a passion and culminated this summer during in D.C., thanks to the Mayborn Scholarship.

During my time in D.C. I worked in two roles, a Policy Analyst for the Texas Hunger Initiative, and a Congressional Intern in the Office of Representative Pete Sessions. As a Policy Analyst with the Texas Huger Initiative, I spent approximately fifty-percent of my time researching poverty-related legislative topics, focusing on their budget implications. The remainder of my time was spent meeting with congressional staff members, networking for colleagues or evaluating competency in poverty related issues. As a Congressional Intern in the Office of Representative Pete Sessions I spent the majority of my time working under the Office’s Chief of Staff, creating reports on issues ranging from the USDA to gun control. And, like all Congressional Interns, I became familiar with the Capitol building by giving plenty of tours to visiting constituents.

From scheduling my own meetings to being a simple research assistant, these interactions confirmed that a career in public service was my direction after graduation. This valuable realization would not have been possible without the generosity of the Mayborn Scholarship. Internships in the nations capital are typically unpaid, and mine were no different. As I support myself in college, the generous financial gift allowed me to sustain myself in D.C. Additionally, the professional networking events and the mentorship program gave me a valuable network within the Beltway. Specifically, the mentorship program introduced me to someone who cared about my wellbeing as well as my career path, and showed that by investing time and energy into helping me succeed this past summer. Overall, the Mayborn Scholarship not only enabled my time in D.C., but also enriched the experience."

Drew Mackenzie

"I spent my summer working as one of three interns in the office of Congressman Ted Poe. As an intern, I was responsible for logistical tasks relating to the day-to-day operation of running a DC congressional office. What this entailed specifically varied almost every day. Most of my time was spent answering the phone and recording the mood of constituents about current legislation or current events related to Congressman Poe, or, as was often the case, altogether unrelated to him. I also gave daily tours of the Capitol building, which I enjoyed immensely. It was often a relief to get out of the office and interact with constituents, and I had fun accumulating a collection of Capitol facts and historical anecdotes. I was honored to have an article written about a tour that I gave, unwittingly, to a local journalist. That article can be found here.

The most exciting task that I was assigned as an intern was drafting Extension of Remarks (EOR) speeches for the Congressman. Even as an intern, I had the opportunity to introduce a topic to the floor of the seat of democracy. As such, I took a lot of pleasure in researching for, and writing, these speeches. The speech that I am most proud of is one that was written with the help of former Congressman Frank Wolf, the inaugural holder of the Frank and Susie Wilson Chair of Religious Freedom at Baylor University. The speech was on religious liberty and was intended to raise congressional awareness about the religious persecution currently occurring in Iraq and Syria.

D.C. was work too, and one must 'do their time' in more menial tasks before being assigned anything worth writing home about. Some of the less enjoyable assignments included preparing letters to welcome new residents into the Congressman’s district. Over the weeks I fed about 4,000 of these letters into a machine, which was a constant bane to my intern existence. It broke or jammed every 5 or so, and sometimes more often than that.

Whether writing speeches, giving tours, or licking envelops, the Baylor in DC program provides an incredible opportunity to explore the nation’s Capitol and political system. As a student of political science, I can think of no better way to culminate one’s education in political theory than to engage in the nitty-gritty of political praxis."

Simon Sheaff

"My name is Simon Sheaff, I am a Class of 2017 Political Science and Economics major from Des Moines, Iowa. My summer in D.C. as a Mayborn Scholar was one of the most rewarding, enlightening, and fun experiences I’ve ever had. As an intern at the Federal Highway Administration Office of Workforce Development, I wrote and disseminated agency-wide memos about legislation, assisted with administering hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant money, and helped create a new nation-wide program to assist with transportation workforce development. These tasks gave me unique insight into how federal agencies function, which has allowed me to tweak my goals for working as a public servant. These goals were additionally furthered by the amazing networking opportunities that Washington provides, not just from the Mayborn Seminar, but from dozens of meet-and-greets that are hosted in D.C. over the summer. I attended lectures, dinners, and even a film screening where I met people who are passionate about the same things I am and have the knowledge and resources to help me achieve my goals.

None of this would have been possible without the Mayborn Scholarship. Washington, D.C. is not cheap city, but with the amazing support that Baylor University provides to those interested, its doors are opened and opportunity beckons. I hope to see many more Bears in D.C. in the future - Sic Em!"