The end of the first semester brings many deadlines and, for the seniors in the Public Service Certificate Program of the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, one deadline is for submission of their research papers drawn from their last semester or summer internships. Before submission of the written paper, each certificate candidate makes an oral presentation to his fellows.
Matthew S. Lakin spent the summer at the Virginia Port Authority office in Brussels, Belgium. The office is responsible for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Matt worked for the marketing director, who visits companies that do significant shipping to encourage them to use the port of Norfolk. His biggest job was to create a database of content information. However, Matt's most exciting work was to schedule business trips for the marketing director, to accompany her on trips within 100 miles, and to sit in on meetings.
Brussels is becoming the "capital of Europe," and almost any business that has international operations has offices there. Matt stayed in a housing facility with other interns and students from all over the world.
For his research paper, Matt is investigating the political implications of the division between the Flemish and French-speaking populations in Belgium.
Albert T. Drummond worked this past summer for the Catholic Charities in Tidewater, VA, in the Norfolk office. The agency, with a staff of about 50, deals with all forms of social services. Bert worked with several people in the agency in a variety of areas.
His research paper is on methods for refining distribution of United Way funds.
Kemper M. Beasley worked this past summer in both the Farmville Office of 5th District Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr. and in the Virginia Department of Business Assistance in Richmond. The two internships allowed him to see the political and administrative sides of government. He found it valuable to see how these two sides of government work together.
In Congressman Goode's district office, Kemper worked directly under the office manager on constituent services. He was involved with the various forms of help a legislator is asked to provide constituents. He served as a contact between constituents and appropriate federal agencies. Kemper enjoyed working directly with constituent concerns and, also, had the opportunity to help develop support for legislation.
During his second internship, Kemper worked on the directory in which Virginia businesses can find assistance in sales and marketing. He was impressed with what the agency does for business but feels that state agencies lack the sense of urgency found in the private sector.
His research paper examines what part state government should take in Virginia business. He focuses on Governor Gilmore's task force to develop a Virginia Strategy to determine the role of the state, which tends to be a middle ground between laissée faire and tight control.
Nicholas H. Kline worked this past summer at the George C. Marshall Institute in Washington, DC, a public policy institute that deals with space and environmental policy and develops non-partisan approach to issues like global warming and missile defense policy.
Nick's first project was working on a mail database on environmental literacy for city mayors. He was then assigned to try to determine why there are temperature discrepancies between satellite and earth data that pertains to global warming. His research determined that thermometers on ground are affected by ground factors. Nick is not a science major and realized that he would not have been successful if not for the required science courses at Hampden-Sydney. His research paper is on U.S. missile defense policy.
Steve M. Belcher worked during the summer in the Office of the City Manager (Police Department) in Beaumont, CA, about an hour east of Los Angeles. He worked primarily with the chief of police and his staff.
Steve was responsible for writing city ordinances for review by the city attorney. He made good use of the writing skills he learned in Rhetoric. He also had opportunities to go out with officers on patrol.
One of his tasks involved the collection of statistical data on traffic stops relative to racial profiling and this led to his decision to do his research paper on racial profiling. Steve assisted Professor James Pontuso of the Political Science Department with an article on racial profiling that will be published this winter in Perspectives in Political Science.
Jason T. Ritchie began his internship last spring in Richmond with Virginia Delegate Steven Landes from Augusta County. He worked on constituent services and took notes at meetings of two committees Transportation and Health, Welfare & Institutions.
His research paper is on transportation issues involving younger drivers.
Jeffrey R. Hubbard also had two internships. He worked last summer in the Fulbright Commission Office in Prague, Czech Republic, researching educational and scholarship opportunities in the United States for foreign students and, during the spring semester, in the Virginia General Assembly Journal Department. Although Jeff found rewarding his work with foreign students, many of whom had no idea how to complete the application for a U.S. university, he found the internship closer to home more exciting.
Every morning before the session of the Virginia General Assembly, he filed bills in order for the Journal. He created special joint resolutions and helped legislators find past legislation in the Journal. Jeff describes being on the floor of the General Assembly as an amazing experience. Many legislators are extremely articulate; debating skills are tops.
Jeff's research paper is on Bill 2782, which involved dispensing of "morning-after pill" over the counter without a prescription. He followed the bill through the entire legislative process from the Health & Welfare Committee to the floor of both houses and to its death in conference committee. Delegate Viola Baskerville of Richmond sponsored the bill, and Jeff had many opportunities to talk with Delegate Baskerville and people from Planned Parenthood.
Chad M. Krouse spent the summer as a program director at a Boy Scouts camp in West Virginia. After certification training in Indiana, he assumed responsibility for a staff of twenty 15- and 16-year olds. Before camp opened, Chad conducted their training and did team building.
His research paper is on the impact of federal child labor laws (Fair Labor Standards Act) on camp operations and focuses on the question of how you run a program that requires so much of young workers and remain in compliance with federal requirements?
Stephen P. Sharpe worked in the spring semester of 2001- 2002 in the Virginia General Assembly. Steve was assigned to the bill room. He went through copies of bills, collated, ordered, and entered them into delegates' Daily Calendars on their floor desks. Although two years ago, software was installed to update Daily Calendars, the vast majority of Delegates prefer hard copies.
Steve had the opportunity to see the work of Delegates each day. He observed that Delegates tend to focus on bills that affect their constituents while other bills receive less careful individual attention.
During his internship, the primary topic on the floor was the car tax, and Steve chose this as the subject of his research paper. He feels that the three reasons Governor Gilmore did not back down in his confrontation with the Senate over the amount of the latest reduction were that he did not want to admit he was mistaken about the initial financial calculations; he did not want to fail to fulfill the campaign promise that put him in office, and he did not want to be embarrassed as head of the Republican National Committee.