Q: Where are you from and what school do you attend?
A: I am from Louisville, KY and I just graduated from the University of Louisville.
Q: What do you study?
A: I graduated with a degree in Philosophy with a concentration on Social Sciences and a minor in Political Science.
Q: What made you want to intern at Project Vote Smart?
A: I was fairly familiar with PVS after using the website's database for research throughout my undergraduate career. In my senior year a professor of mine, who is on the board of advisors for PVS, asked me if I would like to be nominated to become a National Intern. After looking up the details of the internship, I knew that working with like-minded individuals in an incredibly beautiful natural surrounding would be the perfect way to spend my summer. I enjoy learning and growing my passion for politics while at the same time working toward the all too important goal of providing American voters with unbiased, factual information on candidates and elections.
Q: What do you do in your free time on the ranch?
A: In the short time (2 weeks) that I've been here, I have already gotten the chance to hike up mountains, swim and canoe on Moose Lake, join a softball league, play 3-on-3 basketball, compete in a volleyball tournament, and sharpen my ping-pong and pool skills. I do this all while spending time with and befriending an incredibly diverse group of fellow interns and staff from all over the country and world. What is there not to do here?!
Q: What special projects are you working on?
A: Right now, as a researcher in the Political Courage Test and VoteEasy departments, I'm researching the public statements of candidates who are challengers to Congressional seats that did not demonstrate enough courage to inform voters on where they stand on major issues. Through this research, I'm able to infer the candidates' positions on issues and compile my research all in one place so voters have easy access to it and know where their candidates stand. This then enables voters to be fully informed and confident of their decisions as they mark their ballots.
Q: Why do you feel Project Vote Smart is important?
A: The work that PVS does is important because year after year, voters are bombarded with political ads and partisan media coverage full of half-stories and half-truths. These ads and news stories seem like they are more aimed at perpetuating partisan division rather than actually informing voters of anything useful. PVS works to reverse this trend by providing factual, non-partisan information to voters which then allows them to see past the partisan rhetoric and make informed decisions in November.
Q: How does your work benefit Project Vote Smart?
A: The VoteEasy tool on the PVS website is a new, innovative way for voters to find out which Presidential candidate they most closely align with by determining what issues are most important to them and by comparing stances on those issues. Through researching Congressional candidates, I am working towards expanding the reach of the VoteEasy tool to allow voters to do the same comparing and contrasting with candidates in their Congressional districts, furthering Project Vote Smart's goal of creating well-informed, confident voters across the country.
For more information on internship opportunities with Project Vote Smart, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-888-VOTESMART.