North to Albany: CUNY Students Intern in Legislature

December 22, 1997 | The University

When Lisa Fraser worked for three years as a counselor to children at risk of being put in foster homes, she wished for better laws to protect the youngsters. Ms. Fraser will now find out how those laws are made as she becomes one of 27 City University of New York students who will spend the Spring semester in Albany as interns with the New York State Legislature. A June graduate of the Hunter College School of Social Work, she wants to work in the field of public policy and public welfare.

Among other interns who will go to Albany in January as the 1998 legislative session swings into action will be:

  • Karen Leemou, a Lehman College political science major whose previous internship was in the New York State Attorney General’s Harlem Regional Office.
  • Alexis Kurschner, majoring in forensic psychology at John Jay College of of Criminal Justice, who would like to pursue her special interest in the interaction between law and psychology, including the use of the insanity defense and the provision of psychiatric care in prison.
  • Jego R. Armstrong, a journalism major at Brooklyn College, who is looking forward to broadening his knowledge of the political system as preparation for a media and communications career.
  • Joseph Wilbeck, a Queens College political science major, who is a peer advisor on campus and is active in the Queens College Student Association.

“Legislative internships provide excellent educational experiences for our students. By focusing on the governmental process of the State, such opportunities help strengthen the relationship between academic study and public service,” said Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich.
This year marks the CUNY Internship program’s 30th year of providing an “education for the public service.” More than 8,000 CUNY students have served as government interns in Albany, New York City and Washington during that time, but for every student it is a new and exciting adventure and an opportunity to obtain a first-hand look at how American government works. Students with excellent grade point averages, good writing skills, and a special interest in public affairs are recruited and nominated by college faculty. The New York State Assembly and Senate Internship Programs then make the final choice among those nominated.
In addition to their duties in Assembly and Senate offices during their five months in Albany, interns attend seminars and monthly forums and write papers on public policy issues. Students earn college credit and are given a small stipend for living expenses by the New York State Assembly and Senate Internship Programs, which CUNY supplements for its own students, many of whom would not otherwise be able to afford to live in Albany for the semester.
Integrating substantive work experiences with supervised coursework in urban government and politics, students incorporate their internship responsibilities into an understanding of the political process at work. Some go on to become legislators, lawyers, and workers in the field of public policy.
The following students have been selected to participate in the New York State Assembly Internship program during Spring 1998:

Graduate Interns:

Hunter College School of Social Work
Lisa Fraser
Brooklyn, N.Y.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Andre Ossohou
New York, N.Y.

Undergraduate Interns:

Brooklyn College
Jego R. Armstrong
Ozone Park, N.Y.

Peter J. Lynch
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jerome P. Smith
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Solethea Sparkes
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Peter O. Ubi
Jamaica, N.Y.

City College
Magnolia I. Bautista
New York

Tyesha Miley
Cambria Heights, N.Y.

College of Staten Island
Scott A. Kerr
Staten Island, N.Y.

Hunter College
Julio Arroyo
New York, N.Y.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Nicola Bennett
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Alexis Kurschner
Staten Island, N.Y.

Robert Severson
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nisha Stillwell
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Lehman College
Karen H. Leemou
Bronx, N.Y.

Tracee Mapp
Bronx, N.Y.

Yajaira Rosario
South Ozone Park, N.Y.

Joseph M. Scriva
Richmond Hill, N.Y.

Prashant Vazirani
Flushing, N.Y.

Joseph Wilbeck
Glendale, N.Y.

Queens College
Krista Brenner
Middle Village, N.Y.

Marco Castillo
Queens, N.Y.

Miranda I. Chatelain
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Andy Georgalas
Astoria, N.Y.

Jennifer M. Mahoney
Westbury, N.Y.

One undergraduate student will serve in the New York State Senate:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Lisabeth Mendola
Jackson Heights, N.Y.

For further information, please call Professor Ed Rogowsky, Director of The CUNY Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs, at (212) 966-4014.