by Suzanne Pritzker, Associate Professor and coordinator of the Austin Legislative Internship Program
Today, the Texas Legislature kicks off its 85th Regular Session, and a new group of 15 University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work students has moved to Austin, Texas to start their internships at the legislature. This is the College’s largest group of interns to ever participate in our Austin Legislative Internship Program – 15 MSW students excited to immerse themselves in the world of state politics and policy-making!
Our new interns – bios and photos are posted here – are an incredible group of Clinical and Macro concentration social work students committed to developing skills and knowledge to effectively advocate and develop policies that support vulnerable populations. Each of these students has been competitively selected for this internship program, in which they will immerse themselves in the legislature as full-time staffers throughout the entire 85th legislative session.
Over the course of the legislative session (January-May, 2017), each intern will be posting posts on this blog, sharing their unique experiences in a variety of different placements: policy analysts with the Texas Legislative Study Group chaired by Rep. Garnet Coleman, legislative staff in the offices of Rep. Jessica Farrar, Rep. Gene Wu, Sen. Sylvia Garcia and the House Committee on County Affairs, and staff in the University of Houston Office of Governmental Relations.
We hope that you will check in weekly (and sometimes even more frequently!) to read new posts about our interns’ unique experiences, their insights into the legislative process, observations about legislation of interest to the social work profession, and tips for how social workers can become involved in policy-making based on our students’ observations and experiences in the legislature.
I encourage you to comment on our blog posts and to engage in conversation with our interns about their posts. Feel free to also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about the GCSW Austin Legislative Internship Program or our students’ experiences.