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Kentucky’s political process framework for AIKCU internships

February 22, 2016 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Five UPIKE students are getting a close look at the workings of state government this spring through internships in the Association of Independent Kentucky College and Universities (AIKCU) Frankfort Semester Internship Program.

The interns were selected through a competitive process and work approximately 30 hours per week in legislative offices, state agencies or carefully selected organizations tied to the Kentucky political process.

Kaitlyn Abdon, a senior business sports management major from Florence, Ky., is interning with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; David Azcunaga, a junior from San Salvador, is majoring in business sports management and is interning with Rep. Johnny Bell; Mona Branham of Shelbiana, Ky., a senior majoring in business and communication, is interning in the office of the Kentucky House Republican Leadership; Michaela Hydon, a senior business administration major from Alexandria, Ky., is interning with the Kentucky Retail Federation; and Aleshia Sykes, a senior communication major from Elkhorn City, Ky., is interning with the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Two students from Campbellsville University, Kidada Dowell and Aylissa Mattingly, are also part of this year’s intern class.

The AIKCU internship program, now in its 17th year, is designed to give valuable on-the-job experience to students interested in public affairs and expose them to public service as a career option.

A number of former AIKCU interns have gone on to careers in public service, including former interns currently working in U.S. Congressional offices, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and in various branches of Kentucky state government.

Interns are supervised and guided throughout the semester by program coordinator Richard Wilson, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. In addition to their work experience, they complete two upper-division academic seminars focused on public administration and Kentucky government and politics. Interns may qualify for up to a full semester of academic credit from their home institution upon completion of the program. Interns also receive a stipend to partially cover their living expenses for the semester.

More information about the AIKCU Frankfort Semester Internship program is available at


Pictured, from left, The 2016 AIKCU Frankfort Interns: Michaela Hydon from UPIKE, Alyssa Mattingly from Campbellsville University, David Azcunaga from UPIKE, Kadada Dowell from Campbellsville University, Kaitlyn Abdon from UPIKE, Aleshia Sykes from UPIKE, and Mona Branham from UPIKE.
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