Oklahoma Christian University offers three scholarships for students to attend the Fund for American Studies internship in Washington D.C. every year.
Senior Katie Bowles recently received the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation American Studies Scholarship to intern in Washington D.C.
The Fund for American Studies internship program was founded in 1967 with the purpose of teaching young people about the history of American government and the government’s current state.
While at the conference, Bowles took nine hours of classes at Georgetown University and interned at CRC Public Relations, a public relations firm in the Washington area.
Bowles’ believes her internship was a great experience because it was her first job pertaining to her future career.
“I was working for people who had worked for presidential candidates and famous bands,” Bowles said. “I got to call Tim Russert and interview a congressional correspondent for Fox News. I was constantly learning and being star struck by everything going on around me.”
Being in a classroom in Washington D.C. gave Bowles a greater insight into the different opinions of the nation.
“I don’t think my perspectives changed, but I think I understand other people’s perspectives a little bit more because of that,” Bowles said. “We also got to listen to a speaker every Wednesday night. So, we heard activists, politicians and different journalists. It was really good to hear them because they gave a different perspective to think about on different issues.”
There are four institutes in the program: Comparative Political and Economic Systems, Political Journalism, Business and Government Affairs, and Philanthropy and Voluntary Service.
Bowles went to the institute of Political Journalism. She feels studying political journalism is a completely different experience in Washington D.C. than in Oklahoma City.
“It’s really focused on what you want to do. It was a really good experience to totally be immersed in journalism. D.C. is the heart of journalism it seems like,” Bowles said. “There is journalism everywhere, but political journalism is so alive there.”
Bowles was able to meet people just as passionate about journalism as her.
“I think that’s the main thing; meeting other people from all around the nation and meeting people who have actually done it,” Bowles said. “Meeting the people who were where you were, and now, they’ve made it. Experiencing what you’ve dreamt about is the biggest thing.”
Not only did Bowles have a good educational experience, but she also got to meet several prominent people.
Bowles met Chris Matthews of MSNBC at a taping of his show, and a photograph of the two of them was chosen to be on the brochure for the Fund for American Studies program.
“It was cool. I went to a taping of ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews.’ That was a really cool experience. We got to stand in the background of the show and then meet Chris Matthews,” Bowles said. “I asked to have a picture taken, and while they were taking the picture, one of the staff members from the Fund for American Studies just snapped one too. I guess she thought it was a good one to put on the brochure.”
Bowles highly suggests anyone interested in attending the Fund for American Studies program to apply.
Students can either apply at http://www.dcinterships.org or wait for the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation American Studies Scholarship e-mail to be sent out.
“I definitely think it gave an experience that a lot of people don’t get to have, and that’s amazing,” Bowles said. “I think everybody goes about their education and spends their summers in their own way. Nothing in me regrets what I did this last summer.”