Today@Sam Article

Texas Legislature Finalizing SHSU Internships For 86th Session

Sept. 17, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Although Huntsville is more than 150 miles from Austin, Sam Houston State University has an abundance of influence at the state capitol. Countless SHSU grads work for the state, however one opportunity is coming again this spring for current students who wish to learn more about life in the legislature.

With the 86th legislative session in the spring of 2019, students again have the opportunity to apply for Sam Houston’s Austin Internship Program (SHAIP).

Internship600High-achieving students who are selected for this internship will gain experience researching policy issues, assisting constituents, interacting with lobbyists and learning about the legislative process. 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for motivated students,” notes professor Mike Yawn, director of the Sam Houston Austin Internship Program. “The work students do in the internship cuts across policy areas such as criminal justice, law, international relations, transportation, economics, education, finance, agriculture and the arts. It is an opportunity that should interest students from diverse majors.”

With high hopes of recruiting yet another group of top-notch SHSU students for the 2019 legislative session, the LEAP Center recently opened the application process. The application can be found on the LEAP Center website:

Ariel Traub, an intern during the 2015 legislative session, and currently the District director for State Senator Charles Schwertner, explains why he took advantage of the program in the past.

“I’d recommend it to any student interested in law, helping others, or considering working for the government,” Traub said. “It is a great way to learn, to build your resume and to earn academic credit.”

The internships will span the 86th Texas Legislative Session, which begins on January 8 and extends through May.  Student interns work full-time, giving them the opportunity to learn the legislative process, gain professional skills, and maximize their exposure to a professional work environment. Substantial financial aid is provided to students to help defray the costs of such an enterprise.

The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors.  Selection of interns is based on academic performance, responsibility and professionalism, the internship’s connection to the student’s career goals, the student’s fit with specific legislative offices, performance in interviews, and other factors.

While placements will be made on a rolling basis, Yawn encourages students to act now.  Applications are now available online and are due by October 15, at the latest. 

“Most legislative offices have finalized session staffing by the middle of November, so it’s important for students to move quickly,” Yawn said.

Applications and additional information can be found on the LEAP Center website:  

Applications can be emailed to Professor Mike Yawn at

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