Joint Staff Offices

Legislative Internship Program

7th Floor, Rachel Jackson Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37243-0186
Phone (615) 741-3299

Christy Behnke - Director

The Tennessee Legislative Intern Program was established in 1972 to provide Tennessee College and University students with an opportunity to work and learn in a hands on legislative environment. Each year 70 to 80 students from around the state participate in this program to learn about leadership responsibilities as well as develop legislative process skills. The interns assist legislative offices with their Legislative activities and work functions.

Who is Eligible?

Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students in law, political science, history, administration, social work, economics, sociology, journalism, and related fields are eligible for this program.

Selection is based upon academic qualifications (including a 3.0 and above GPA), each applicant's expected potential for professional research and a variety of other job assignments in connection with the work of the General Assembly, and for successful personal interrelationships in the environment of a legislative session.

When?

Interns will be appointed for the 2015 session to serve from January 12 until May 1, 2015. The appointment period will not be the same as the quarter or semester calendar. Any student applying for the program must be willing to commit for the entire time of the internship.

***NOTE - The Tennessee General Assembly does not currently have a summer internship program. Our program is for the Legislative Session only.

Benefits

A stipend of $350 per week will be paid to each intern, plus reimbursement for travel at the rate of .47 per mile of authorized travel between the intern's home institution and Nashville, limited to one round trip per month. A one-time advance payment of $350 will also be granted for each intern for relocation or adjustment purposes. If there is any change in the amount of the stipend paid to each intern, as a result of the meeting of the Sponsoring Committee, the students will be notified prior to their arrival.

Academic Credit

The number of hours of academic credit granted to each student differs. To find out how many hours of credit you may obtain by participating in this program, please contact your faculty representative ( see list below)

Duties

Interns will be assigned to legislative leadership offices and committees and will be expected to devote full time to their legislative duties during the term of their appointments, adapting to the legislative schedule. Duties will vary from office to office, but will include bill analysis, constituent work, research and general office work.

Other Requirements

Interns will be expected to attend weekly meetings usually held on Mondays or Fridays.

Projects, Tours and Guest Speakers

The intern class participates in various projects and tours. Some samples of tours are, a maximum-security prison, the State Capitol, the Bicentennial Mall and The Tennessee Supreme Court. Past projects included the Great Strides Project for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and collecting food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Some of the guest speakers included Chief Justice Gary Wade and TBI Director Mark Gwyn.

Each year the intern class plays the Legislators in a game of basketball.

How to Apply

Interested students should contact the official faculty representative on their campus ( see list of faculty reps.) to get application materials. October 24, 2014 is the deadline for receipt of completed applications for 2015. Final decisions are made before Thanksgiving.

State Universities - Faculty Representatives

School Faculty Contact E-mail
Austin Peay State University Dr. Chris Tecklenburg (931) 221-6082 tecklenburgh@apsu.edu
East Tennessee State University Andrew Battista (423) 439-6628 BATTISTA@mail.etsu.edu
University of Memphis Ebony Dawkins (901) 678-2342 endawkns@memphis.edu
Middle Tennessee State University Dr. Mark Byrnes (615) 898-2351 mbyrnes@mtsu.edu
Tennessee State University Dr. Brian Russell (615) 963-4930 brussell7@tnstate.edu
Tennessee Technological University Dr. Lauren Harding (931) 372-3817 LHarding@tntech.edu
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Dr. Christopher Horne (423) 425-1709 christopher-horne@utc.edu
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Dr. David Folz (865) 974-0802 dfolz@utk.edu
University of Tennessee, Martin Dr. Christopher Baxter (731) 881-7367 cbaxter@utm.edu

Private Colleges and Universities - Faculty Representatives

School Faculty Contact E-mail
Belmont University Dr. Vaughn May (615) 460-6151 vaughn.may@belmont.edu
Bethel University Heather Stone (731) 352-4246 stoneh@bethelu.edu
Bryan College Marica Merck,
Dir. of Marketing and Career
(423) 775-7312 marica.merck@bryan.edu
Carson-Newman College
Dr. Kara E. Stooksbury
(865) 471-3556 kstooksbury@cn.edu
Christian Brothers College Neal Palmer (901) 321-3249 npalmer@cbu.edu
Cumberland University Dr. Russ Cheatham (615) 547-1276 rcheatham@cumberland.edu
  Ronie McPeak (615) 547-1357 rmcpeak@cumberland.edu
Lipscomb University Dr. Marc Schwerdt   marc.schwerdt@lipscomb.edu
Fisk University Dr. Alexander Arthur (615) 329-8661  
Freed-Hardeman University Dr. Stephen H. Morris (731) 989-6080 shmorris@fhu.edu
King College Donna Felty (423) 652-4752  
Knoxville College Dr. Marry H. Whaley    
Lane College Virginia Crump (731) 410-6709 vcrump@lanecollege.edu
Lane College Dr. Linda J. Theus (731) 868-2221 ltheus@lanecollege.edu
Lee University Dr. Ana Alves   (423) 614-8057 aalves@leeuniversity.edu
LeMoyne-Owen College Dr. Denita Hedgeman (901) 774-9090 denita.hedgeman@loc.edu
Lincoln Memorial University Larry Thacker (423) 869-6433 larry.thacker@lmunet.edu
Martin Methodist College Bill Rutherford (931) 363-9801 brutherford@martinmethodist.edu
Maryville College Dr. Rusty Winchester
Christy McDonald
(865) 981-8216
(865) 273-8851
rusty.winchester@maryvillecollege.edu,
christy.mcdonald@maryvillecollege.edu
Meharry Medical College Nikki Ballentine (615) 327-5897 nballentine@mmc.edu
Milligan College Dr. Robert Hall    
Peabody College/Vanderbilt University Dr. Vera Chatman (615) 343-1924 vera.a.chatman@vanderbilt.edu
Rhodes College Anna Smith (901) 843-3818 smitha@rhodes.edu
Southern College Dr. Kris Erskine (423) 236-2419 kerskine@southern.edu
Tennessee Wesleyan College Dr. Chris Schutz   cschutz@twcnet.edu
Trevecca Nazarene University Dr. Leroy Pepper (615) 248-1415 lpepper@trevecca.edu
Tusculum College Mr. Leonard K. Bradley (423) 636-7498  
Union University Dr. Sean Evans (731) 661-5237 sevans@uu.edu
The University of the South Andrea C. Hatcher (931) 598-1652 ahatcher@sewanee.edu
Vanderbilt University Dr. Yollette Jones (615) 343-3141 yollette.t.jones@vanderbilt.edu