Webb Interns in Senator Kirk's Office with WIU in D.C. Program
March 15, 2016
MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University continues its successful placement of interns in Washington, D.C., providing undergraduate students the opportunity to live and work in the nation's capital.
WIU senior Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA) major Joshua Webb, of Astoria (IL), a member of the Centennial Honors College, is currently interning in the office of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. Webb is working with multiple office staffers on policies ranging from agriculture to education.
"I have been working very closely with both the judiciary and healthcare legislative staffers editing and drafting various documents and attending multiple committee hearings on their behalf," Webb said.
Webb is also working on bills and policies that impact the criminal justice system, which connects well with his LEJA major. Through the internship, Webb said he is receiving a behind-the-scenes look at "why legislatures pass specific bills and how those bills are amended and ultimately become law."
"I have aided our judicial staffer with different tasks to pinpoint and track how the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is channeling through the system, and exactly how it will change our current criminal justice structure," he said.
Interim Director of the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Professor Jill Myers, said Webb "encompasses exactly what the current law enforcement profession seeks to embody - an enthusiasm and a willingness to engage oneself in activities that will better society." She added, "the opportunity to intern for a full semester in the office of a U.S. senator will enable Josh to develop professional skills and apply the knowledge from his studies in a professional setting. This experience will provide him a broader perspective on law enforcement and justice issues as he applies to graduate school and begins his career."
Webb agrees that the WIU in D.C. internship is helping him prepare for his future career. He said the experience is testing his reading, writing and personal communication skills daily, skills which he knows are important to future employers. During his first month in Kirk's office, Webb said he learned a great deal about the professional world and is enjoying the opportunity to network with a variety of people.
"I have already witnessed spectacular things and met many amazing people," he said. "If any WIU student has this same opportunity, I would encourage them to take it."
The WIU in D.C. program was created by Director of Public Leadership and Outreach, Political Science Professor Janna Deitz. The first intern was placed in Fall 2014.
The new program provides eligible students from any major an opportunity to work in congressional offices, federal government agencies, political organizations or professional associations for a full semester with academic credit. Prior to developing the program, Deitz served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
For more information about the WIU in D.C. program, visit wiu.edu/WIUinDC or email Deitz at JL-Deitz@wiu.edu.