Summer Experience Scholars

The Washington, D.C. Summer Internship Experience Scholarship is an award of $4,000 given to select high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need to help defray costs associated with travel, housing, and living expenses during their summer internship experience in Washington, D.C. Recipients of this award are among the most accomplished Baylor undergraduate students interning in the nation's capital.

Summer 2017 Summer Experience Scholars

Austin Dobbs

"I’m Austin Dobbs and I will be graduating in May 2018 as a Pre-Law, Political Science major. After extensive applications and a lot of help from the Baylor community, I secured an internship in our nation’s capital. In D.C., I worked on researching topics relative to American Civic Society for the American Enterprise Institute. I worked in one of the most iconic locations in the D.C. area, completely immersed in the vibrant culture. My class of interns, hailing from prestigious universities along the east and west coast, became some great friends with whom I keep in touch. Beyond my internship in D.C., I had the opportunity to expand my academic horizons as well. Between a tour of the Battle of Gettysburg with a war games scholar and a lecture by Senator Marco Rubio on drug and immigration reform, I truly feel more well-rounded and grounded in my own understanding of complex topics.

Following my internship, I feel much more prepared to study and analyze data-driven and quantitative studies to mitigate unintended policy consequences. I am challenged to appreciate the merits of both sides of an argument in a more charitable way. Without the assistance of the scholarship, I would simply not have been able to live in D.C. I would have missed out on the opportunity to explore my calling in the policy world. I made life-long memories because of my summer in D.C. that have allowed me to see the world in a new lens."

Jessica Schurz

"I spent my summer in D.C. interning with International Justice Mission (IJM). As a Senior pursuing a double major in Economics and Psychology and completing coursework in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC), this internship gave me many opportunities to grow in my areas of interest and directly apply knowledge from my courses. Working at IJM allowed me to cultivate more experience in international development before graduating in May 2018.

As IJM’s Africa Field Operations intern, I worked directly with their team of staff members who are focused on IJM’s operations in Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya. I first learned about IJM while living in Lusaka, Zambia, where they spent ten years working with Zambian lawyers to combat property grabbing. It was phenomenal to join an organization that I had admired for many years. Over the course of the summer, I researched regional retreat possibilities while managing a significant budget, represented IJM at the Wilson Africa Center, completed weekly data entries for their constituent cards, redesigned their online database, and led new staff members in a day of orientation activities. The most exciting task of the summer, however, was synthesizing a thorough literature review researching the feasibility of a new field office in another African country and presenting these findings to the new field office manager. Part of IJM’s internship program also included having biweekly lunches with members of the organization’s leadership. The opportunity to listen, learn, and ask questions with leading professionals in the field of work I want to pursue was one of the most transformative experiences I’ve had as an undergraduate.

I am so grateful for the Washington, D.C. Summer Internship Experience Scholarship in making this summer possible. This generous financial gift lifted the burden of housing costs, transportation costs, and living in an expensive city while working an unpaid internship. My time spent at IJM, combined with a one-week Values & Capitalism seminar at the American Enterprise Institute, strengthened my desire to pursue a career in international development. This desire also grew from spending time in the beautiful and multicultural city of Washington, D.C. Outside of IJM, I was able to explore the city’s rich history through museums, live jazz, theatre, and eating delicious food from all over the world. These experiences, paired with working alongside likeminded professionals who share my interests, will stay with me for many years to come and will greatly influence my pursuits after graduation."

Courtney Sosnowski

My name is Courtney Sosnowski and I’m a junior University Scholar major concentrating in Politics, Journalism and Great Texts.

This summer I had the privilege to intern for my congressman, Representative John Ratcliffe from the 4th District of Texas. My duties included providing constituents with Capitol tours, scheduling tours, answering phones, logging and sending mail, and otherwise assisting the staffers as they needed help. I learned a lot about hospitality, because a large part of the job is helping constituents get the help that they need from their congressman. Many times, I was the first or only person they interacted with in the office. As a fly on the wall at a congressional office, I gained invaluable understanding of how the government operates…there are so many things that the textbooks miss!

Being halfway across the country from all of my family and friends, I was extremely thankful for all that the Baylor in Washington program did to help connect me to other Baylor students and alumni. DC is a city built on connections, and Baylor alumni can be found scattered throughout so many parts of the city. I enjoyed hearing from and meeting Baylor alum at the Poage-Mayborn Seminar, the Nationals Baseball Game and various other events. Before even leaving for DC, I was aware of dozens of other students who would be in the city, and ended up gaining a really close friend through the experience.

I can say that the 10 weeks in Washington DC changed my life. I think about my time there almost every day. My internship confirmed that I would love to work on the Hill for a congressman after I graduate, so I am grateful that the Mayborn scholarship gave me the opportunity to experience DC halfway through my college career. My internship has definitely enhanced my course work; when I hear about a Supreme Court case or a piece of legislation or a branch of government, I can so clearly see the different rooms and places that these historical events occurred in, because I’ve gone on a tour or given a tour in those very rooms. The scholarship fully covered my housing and flight to/from DC, which eliminated a huge expense. Since Hill internships are unpaid, this was instrumental in my ability to travel there."

Abby Stanger

"My name is Abby Stanger and I am from Overland Park, Kansas. I am currently studying Accounting with a minor in Philosophy. Along with my Bachelor’s degree, I am pursuing my Master’s in Taxation and plan to graduate in May of 2019. I am also in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. This summer, I interned for the Congressional and Political Affairs team for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). As an intern, I conducted legislative research, attended hearings, and compiled information on current tax policies. One of the projects I worked on was a comprehensive tax code resource made available to all AICPA members.I had the opportunity to represent the AICPA at several public meetings such as the Congressional Institute’s House and Senate leadership update and the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee summer meeting.

This internship helped me to better understand the accounting profession as well as the political process. Before this summer, I had a very negative view of lobbying and the inner workings of D.C. While I cannot speak for all people that conduct lobbying or the issues they lobby for, I have a greater appreciation for those that lobby to protect and represent the accounting profession in the capital. One of the greatest parts of the internship was just the opportunities I had to listen and learn from amazing working professionals. Each week I was able to observe several different tax policy meetings led by incredible tax professionals and policy advisors. Tax policy is any area I feel strongly about and hope to work in one day.

On a weekly basis, I was able to meet prominent D.C. lobbyists as well as members of Congress. I attended many meetings and luncheons put on by the American Enterprise Institute, the Carnegie Institute for Peace, the Congressional Institute, and many other D.C. Think Tanks. Women in Government Relations (WGR) is organization that allowed me to connect with other young, female interns as well as experienced professionals of the D.C. area. There were other social occasions that turned out to be professional networking opportunities as I explored the city and met different people from across the political spectrum with different levels of experience.

Without this scholarship, I could not have had this wonderful experience both with the AICPA and living in Washington D.C. This scholarship helped cover most of my living and travel expenses, something that I did not think was possible. Having few financial concerns allowed me to truly invest in my internship and the city itself. I learned so much about my role as a citizen and a young professional while working in the nation's capital. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have this experience and am honored to have been given this amazing scholarship."

Rebecca Voth

"I am a senior University Scholar major concentrating in Political Science, International Studies, Spanish, and Philosophy. This summer I had the incredible opportunity to work for The House DC, a neighborhood nonprofit in Southeast Washington D.C. I worked as the Development Intern managing the nonprofit’s marketing on social media, email campaigns, and mailings. As the sole intern for The House DC, I had individualized attention that made professional growth and relationships possible. Baylor’s generous support of my internship allowed me to develop professionally and personally, as well as take time to invest in my future.

My professional goals for in working in DC this summer were to gain experience working on the business aspect of the nonprofit sector. As a recent nonprofit founder and having worked for several nonprofits in the past, I was hoping to gain more experience on the business side so that I can achieve efficiency and effectiveness in my own nonprofit and in my future career. This internship gave me exactly the opportunities I was looking for and helped me discover new aspects of the public sector. I learned to make and implement an editorial calendar, use social media effectively for marketing, and use storytelling strategies to write grant proposals. I am confident that these skills will help me as I run my own newly formed nonprofit, as well as in any future career I pursue.

Not only did I achieve my professional goals of gaining valuable work experience in D.C., but I also fulfilled personal goals of experiencing community while preparing for life beyond graduation. This summer, because of Baylor’s generous support of many of its students in D.C., I experienced the blessing of a ready-made community that made it easy to continue the conversations, friendships, and spiritual growth that have defined my Baylor experience for the past three years. Because many of us were seniors, we were able to discuss future goals and plans, and even begin to prepare by attending law school fairs, visiting graduate schools, and assisting one another with personal statements. The growth I experienced through these conversations and experiences will be invaluable as I begin applying for law school.

Without the Baylor scholarship, I would not have had the incredible opportunities for personal and professional growth that I had this summer. As a self-supporting student, I am extremely grateful for Baylor’s willingness to provide quality experiences for students- both during the year and the summer."