FLUSHING, NY, May
30, 2013 – What better place to observe the American political and legislative
process in action than in the nation’s capital?
Three Queens College students and political science majors who are
“passionate about politics” – Katarina
Matic, Joseph Stern, and Andrew Sokolof – have been given that very opportunity
this summer, thanks to the City University of New York’s Edward T. Rogowsky
Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs. All will be interning with
members of Congress.
For over 25 years, this highly competitive, intensive program has provided
12 CUNY students a chance to work full-time for eight weeks each summer in the
offices of U.S.
Representatives and Senators, congressional committees, federal agencies and a
variety of national and international non-governmental organizations. In addition to their office responsibilities,
interns fulfill the academic requirements associated with the program by
maintaining a journal of their daily experiences, submitting written reports to
sponsors, attending weekly colloquia, and producing major research papers for
evaluation by the faculty at their home campuses. In return for their participation in the
program, which runs from early June to the end of July, the interns receive six
credits. All living expenses and housing costs are covered by CUNY.
“Students who are interested in careers
in media, politics or lobbying get to experience first-hand the excitement of
the American democratic system of government,” says Political Science Professor
Michael Krasner, faculty director of the program at QC. “Interested applicants go through a rigorous
screening process for these coveted spots, and only those who are bright, accomplished,
self-motivated, and highly recommended are chosen.”
Joseph Stern, 21, a Bronx resident who also will graduate next year, plans to be an entertainment or corporate lawyer and eventually run for political office. By scheduling his classes in the evening this past semester, Stern was able to volunteer as an assistant researcher for the International Council for Middle East Studies, a think tank, and become actively involved in the Young Democrats of America. He also donated his time to the American Jewish World Service, which included a week in Nicaragua building a vocational school for destitute farmers and lobbying Congress to reform food aid in the farm bill.
Katarina Matic, 21, a Brooklyn resident who emigrated five years ago from Serbia “where employment opportunities after college are limited,” is such a student. Not only does she carry a full course load and commute 1.5 hours each way to QC, but she also works as a hostess/assistant manager at a Manhattan restaurant and volunteers as a reading tutor. Until this past May, she interned for NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (Jackson Heights), who presented Matic with a citation for “outstanding service and deep commitment to improving the lives” of his constituents. Matic, who is also majoring in psychology, hopes to attend law school after her graduation in June 2014.
Matic’s public policy interests lie in education, social services and civil rights. Her current internship assignment is with U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Before enrolling in Queens College two years ago, Stern studied in Jerusalem, Israel, where he immersed himself in a foreign
culture and engaged in political debates that would prove useful for his future
research. At QC his knowledge and love
for politics – specifically economic and banking policy – grew.
Like Matic, Stern has had previous internship experience, having
worked in the offices of Speaker of the NYS Assembly Sheldon Silver and for former
NYC Councilman James Sanders Jr., now a state senator. Stern is currently interning for U.S. Senator
Andrew Sokolof, 23, interning for U.S. Representative
Eliot L. Engel, has an equally busy schedule.
A resident of East Elmhurst, Sokolof
divides his time between his classes and work, supporting himself and his
single mother. Growing up, Sokolof took
many trips to his mother’s native country of Bolivia where he witnessed firsthand
the effects of widespread poverty on the standard of living, infrastructure and
“My time abroad helped shaped my interests in social services and
justice, education, environmental sustainability and immigration reform,” he
Sokolof is also vice president of
the Environmental Club at QC and is actively involved in New York Public
Interest Group (NYPIRG), a student-run political advocacy group. After graduating
next year, Sokolof hopes to get a Master’s degree in urban studies and
participate more in public service.
As it celebrates its 75th
year, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for
its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate
and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship
opportunities, the college helps its over 20,000 students realize their
potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty.
Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing,
the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to
its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low
costs. Learn more at www.qc.cuny.edu