Campus: CSU, Fresno -- January 29, 2001

Maddy Institute's First Interns Honored Today

Five California State University, Fresno students who have been selected as the first interns sponsored by the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute for Public Affairs were honored by President John D. Welty today.

The interns are Robert Gonzalez of Ivanhoe (International Relations); Steven Graham of Kingsburg (History); Jamie Hernandez of Manteca (Political Science); Jennifer Matzen of Fresno (Political Science); and Melissa Poole of Bakersfield (Political Science).

Placements include the Sacramento and Fresno offices of state legislators Sen. Jim Costa, Sen. Charles Poochigian and Assemblymember Mike Briggs as well as the State Senate Agriculture and Water Resources Committee.

The students were selected based on their work experience, volunteer work, academic standing and letters of reference by faculty, as well as a statement expressing their goals as a Maddy Intern, said Dr. Sharron Herron, executive director of the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute and an assistant professor of public administration.

"This is a great opportunity for these students to enhance their academic work with actual first-hand experience in the public sector," Herron said.

Dr. Mark Somma, associate professor of political science who coordinates the internship program, said the program fulfills one of the primary purposes of the Maddy Institute: providing students with opportunities to develop public leadership skills while gaining practical knowledge of the day-to-day operations of government and the political process.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute, established at Fresno State in September 1999 by the California legislature, honors the late Fresno legislator whose more than 28 years of public service exemplifies the successful application of the principles of personal integrity and bipartisanship in the political process.

The Maddy Institute operates at Fresno State with the Public Administration program of the Political Science Department in the College of Social Sciences.

For more information, contact Herron at 278-4844 or Somma at 278-5413.


Robert Gonzalez of Ivanhoe is a graduate student in International Relations and will work with the Fresno Community College Expo Center. At Fresno State, he was a member of an exchange program of university staff and students in England, was a fund-raiser for the Hispanic Business Student Association and worked in University Outreach Services and the Office of Annual Giving.

Steven Graham of Kingsburg has been assigned to work in the Fresno office of Assemblyman Mike Briggs. He is a History major who has served three terms as a member of Fresno State's Associated Students board of directors and two terms on the university's Executive Committee representing students.

Jamie Hernandez of Manteca is a Political Science student who will be working in Sacramento in the office of Assemblywoman Gloria Romero. She has served on the board of directors of the Fresno State Associated Students, Inc. and the California State Student Association. She also served as chair of the "Bark the Vote" voter information day on campus.

Jennifer Matzen of Fresno will be working in the Fresno office of State Senator Chuck Poochigian. She is a Political Science major with a minor in French Studies. She is also working on a minor in Business Administration. Matzen participated in the university's Studies Abroad Consortium studying in Pau, France.

Melissa Poole of Bakersfield has been assigned to the State Senate Agriculture and Water Resources Committee chaired by State Sen. Jim Costa. State Sen. Chuck Poochigian is the committee's vice chair. A political science major, Poole has served as special assistant to the Fresno Sate Associated Students, Inc. president, is a member of Golden Key Honor Society and has volunteered at Valley Children's Hospital and the Friendship Center for the Blind.

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