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Political Science - Scholarships & Awards

Through generous gifts, the Political Science Department is able to assist students who are interested in pursuing summer internships in public affairs in Washington and around the world. These funds provide living expenses for students enabling them to accept unpaid appointments.

Funds available include:

The Harold M. and Margaret R. Coons Public Service Internships

In recent years, Wabash students have used this fund to support internships with:

  • Amnesty International and UNICEF in Madrid, Spain
  • The White House Partnership for Prevention
  • The National Defense University
  • The Family Research Council
  • The staff of a member of the Scottish National Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland

The F. Michael Cassel Fund

 In the summer of 2000, Wabash students are using this fund to support internships with:

  • The White House
  • Congressman Pete Visclosky
  • Senator Richard Lugar
  • The UN Commission on Refugees in Geneva

Applying for Cassel and Coons Grants
The political science department has funding available to provide financial assistance for students who work as summer interns in public service. Available to students with financial need who otherwise would be unable to accept internships in the public sector, these awards may be used to help defray living expenses during the internship or may go toward the student's expected self-help contribution from summer earnings. Political science faculty begin reviewing proposals for Cassel and Coons programs in mid-April.

Awards are open to all continuing students but preference is given to juniors who are political science majors or minors. Preference is also given to internships at the national or international level. Students who have obtained internships in local, state or national government or international organizations may apply for funds. Awards are available for internships in the US or abroad. Internships are not available for work in election campaigns of parties or candidates. Examples of appropriate internships include working in the White House, the office of a Member of Congress or Parliament, working for the United Nations, the WTO, the Red Cross),"think tanks" (e.g., AEI, Brookings, NDU), lobbyists, (e.g. National Audobon Society, Union of Concerned Scientists, Amnesty International), non-partisan voter information services (e.g. Project Vote Smart), or the media (e.g. C-Span, PBS News Hour).

Internships must have a public policy focus which may involve any of the stages of public policy including agenda setting, formulation, decision-making, implementation or assessment. Internships appropriate for these awards shall offer students genuine opportunities to learn about these areas, through such activities as studying legislation, attending briefings and legislative hearings, researching issues, writing articles, preparing papers, doing grassroots organizing, constituency services or outreach.

To apply, student should furnish the chair of the political science department with:

  • a description of the internship and its terms as set forth by the office offering it
  • a copy of the letter accepting the student for the internship
  • an essay outlining the student's goals for the internship and explaining how the toward assisting their fellow students in preparing to do internships, or to write an essay for internship fits in to his overall educational plan.
  • a copy of his transcript
  • a budget detailing how the requested funds will be used
  • a statement from the Director of Financial Aid certifying his eligibility for the award.
  • 2 letters of reference

Completed applications will be reviewed beginning in mid-April and will continue to be reviewed until all the funds have been given out.

Award recipients are required to provide a written report on their internship by September. This report should describe the internship experience and reflect on it in the light of the student's application essay. They must also present a letter from their supervisors attesting to the quality of their work. Award recipients are expected to participate in workshops or information sessions geared Horizons or some other suitable outlet describing their work.