Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- September 28, 2005
CSUB Student Wins Panetta Internship
California State University, Bakersfield senior Tiara Cox has joined 23 other students to
participate in the seventh annual Congressional Internship Program, a public service experience
created and sponsored by the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy.
These students were chosen by university presidents from throughout the CSU system, as well
as Santa Clara and Dominican universities, for their exemplary scholastic achievements as well
as their interest in politics.
"I'm really glad I'm here," Cox said. "I'm constantly being challenged. It's not going to be
easy but I feel like this is my calling." The double political science and communications
major just wrapped up an intensive two-week orientation at the Panetta Institute in Monterey
Bay and has started a 10-week internship with U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, in Washington,
"The purpose of this unique intern program is to give young students the opportunity to
personally see democracy in action in Washington," said Leon Panetta, director of the Panetta
Institute. "The program trains the students for the challenges and assignments of their work
in the Congress."
The two-week orientation provides classes on many topics including the legislative and
administrative structures of a congressional office, the role of an intern, key California
issues, and the role of the press and White House relations with Congress.
The course is taught by the Panettas along with former members of Congress, congressional
legislative and administrative assistants, the House Parliamentarian, former White House staff,
a campaign and communication consultant, national reporters who have covered Washington,
former Panetta Institute interns, and Panetta Institute staff.
In Washington, D.C., the students are assigned to the office of a member of Congress from
California. In addition, they will attend weekly seminars with key administration personnel
on different aspects of government policy, ranging from economics to the environment and
foreign affairs to defense resources. The program concludes in mid-December.
Some CSUB faculty are thrilled Cox will have this experience. "I adore her," said Michael
Flachmann, CSUB English professor and director of the Helen Louise Hawk Honors Program. "She
is one of the brightest students I have ever had. From the moment I met her I knew this lady
would be going places."
Even though Cox doesn't have her future mapped out just yet; she knows where she's headed.
"I know I would like to be a professor eventually," she said. "I want to be a member of an
interest group, a lobbyist, or maybe on some campaign as chief of staff. My passion is for
The Panetta Institute pays for the entire program and provides the interns with a stipend
during their stay in Washington, making the course available to students from all economic
backgrounds. Support for the program was received from both CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
and trustees of the Panetta Institute.
Each student will receive 20 academic credits upon successful completion of the internship
The Panetta Institute for Public Policy was established in 1998 by the Panettas, and serves
as a bipartisan study center to enhance public policy and to attract thoughtful men and women
to lives of public service.
For more information about the Congressional Internship Program, please contact the Panetta
Institute at (831) 582-4200 or log www.panettainstitute.org.
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, email@example.com