Kent State University student Porter Brockway, a senior political science and international relations major, is interning this spring semester with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in his Capitol Hill office as part of the Kent State Washington Program in National Issues.
Kent State University student Porter Brockway, a senior political science and international relations major, is interning this semester with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in his Capitol Hill office as part of Kent State's Washington Program in National Issues.

Porter Brockway, a senior political science and international relations major at Kent State University, was selected for a spring 2012 internship with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) at Capitol Hill as part of the Kent State Washington Program in National Issues.

“I have always had a passion for government and wanted to be involved somehow,” Brockway said. “When I came to Kent State, the professors helped me figure out some of the areas that most interested me and drove me to research my topics of choice.”

The Maumee, Ohio, native said he was ecstatic to receive the internship, and his ambition to succeed in politics stems largely from being inspired by Kent State faculty. Brockway said Gabriella Paar-Jakli, assistant professor of political science, is one who made him think more about the international arena. He said Paar-Jakli lived an amazing life in Europe and was part of the politics in the continent before she came to the United States.

“Hearing some of the experiences that professors have partaken in before coming to Kent State made me dream about where my life could take me,” Brockway said. “I have traveled abroad before, but with their insight, I feel being involved in international politics and working in the fast-paced politics of Washington would be ideal.”

Brockway’s political passion made an impression on Brown’s office even before he arrived in Washington.

“Porter was selected for the Spring 2012 Internship Program in our office because of his deep interest in politics and strong academic credentials,” said Allison Preiss, press secretary for Brown. “As a senior at Kent State University studying political science and international relations, Porter made it clear that he has a strong desire to learn about the inner workings of Congress by interning on Capitol Hill.”

Richard Robyn, Ph. D, assistant professor and director of the Washington Program in National Issues, said Brown’s office has been a favorite placement for the program’s students for years.

“It’s an excellent place for students to intern and to learn about Washington politics from the inside,” Robyn said. “The office staff is very welcoming and responsive to student intern needs.”

During his time in Washington, D.C., Brockway will work with constituents, attend senate meetings, give Capitol tours, conduct research and review legislation.

“It is an amazing feeling knowing that my initial research will be the blueprint for Sen. Brown’s vote or the response letters that go to the constituents,” he said.

His goal is to gain real-world experience that will help him get a job in Washington, D.C., after he graduates.

“I plan to network as much as I can around here in hopes of finding any openings in offices in or around the Capitol,” he said.

Steven Hook, Ph.D, chair of Kent State’s Department of Political Science, is confident of Kent State’s political interns.

“We consistently hear great things about our interns from members of Congress, officials in the Executive Branch, news editors, and the directors of NGOs,” Hook said. “We take great pride in all three of our internship programs – in Washington, Columbus and Geneva, Switzerland.”

Brockway knows just how helpful this experience is going to be for his career.

“This internship will give me invaluable working experience on the Hill,” he said. “I know that I will walk away from Sen. Brown’s office with knowledge of how politics inside the Beltway works and hope that this could lead into a career.”

“It is always a pleasure to watch our students mature in these programs and move onto great careers,” Hook said.

“Porter has a bright future, whether he decides to go into politics or not,” Robyn said.

Brockway’s internship began on Jan. 7 and will continue until April 20. After that, he hopes to obtain a job in Washington, D.C.

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Political Science, visit www.kent.edu/polisci.

For more information about Kent State’s Washington Program in National Issues, visit www.kent.edu/wpni.

*  Photo of the United States Capitol courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Porter Brockway with Sen. Sherrod Brown provided by Brown’s office.

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