Successful finish for D.C. intern

Sauvage to return to D.C. after graduation

By Allison Price
On January 17, 2014

  • Scott Dykowski, Editor-in-Chief. Ram Page
  • Scott Dykowski, Editor-in-Chief. Ram Page

August is the last month students have to complete their summer bucket list, see friends, spend quality time with family and prepare for the fall semester. For senior Chase Sauvage, August started a whole new chapter in his life.

Sauvage, a political science major, was the first student to receive an $8,000 scholarship to go to Washington D.C. and intern for Congressman Mike Conaway for the entire Fall 2013 semester.

"It was an absolute amazing experience," he said. "I learned a lot and I met quite a few people. It was just one of those things that you think you will never be able to do and then to actually do it and to do well at it makes it more amazing."

Texas Tech University has had this internship available to their students for a while, Dr. Jack Barbour, department head of political science and philosophy, said. ASU was able to establish a scholarship allowing one student to do the same internship.

"I had previously been working on this scholarship for a year and a half to try and get it to come together," Barbour said. "Once Dr. May became university president, the scholarship was approved and it got the ball rolling on the internship."

Sauvage said he lived with 22 other students from Texas Tech in the Texas Tech House which is about two blocks from Capitol Hill.

At the beginning of his internship, Sauvage said he did normal intern duties such as answering phone calls and sorting mail. As the internship moved along, Sauvage was able to work on different projects for Conaway.

"It was really cool how Congressmen Conaway helped us find our edge," he said.

The $8,000 scholarship covered Sauvage's room and board at the Texas Tech House and tuition, Barbour said. It even covered air fare and the leftover money was given to Sauvage to spend freely.

"I didn't have to worry about [money] once," Sauvage said. "I was going to work just to stay busy on the weekends but I knew I was going to be okay."

According to the internship program guidelines, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major and have completed a minimum 60 semester hours before the semester they wish to participate in the internship and be a Political Science major.

"While in D.C., the intern is considered a full-time student and they still receive medical care, etc.," Barbour said.

The intern must be enrolled in a minimum of six hours at ASU while interning in D.C., according to the internship program guidelines. The six credit hours will be earned through the intern's work on Capitol Hill.

Barbour said only seven or eight students applied for the internship and it was a long process to find the best candidate.

"The students have to apply and it is not a very long application," Barbour said. "We select who we think are the top applicants and then we have these people come in and we interview them. We want to talk to them and then we will decide who gets the scholarship. Not everyone can take off a whole semester."

Barbour said the department couldn't have picked a better person than Chase to be the first guinea pig.

"I really did try my hardest to leave the biggest most positive impression that I could," Sauvage said. "You just feel proud of what you did and you hope to set the standards so that the next time a person is in your position, they can continue to exceed."

Getting the chance to intern in D.C. is an amazing opportunity for students, Barbour said. Not only do you get to see how the system operates but working for representatives is great.
"Chase thinks that [Congressman] Conaway is one of the nicest people in the world and he on Cloud 9," he said.

Barbour said 95 percent of the credit for the scholarship has to go to Dr. May because once the president is behind it, things will happen.

"I want to thank Angelo State for everything," Sauvage said. "They gave me the tools to exceed and I wanted to leave a good reputation for not only myself but for the university as well."

Barbour said he wants to work towards being able to send more students to D.C. and have the same experience that Chase had.

"This is really a great thing and we would like to expand it and get another $8,000 scholarship," he said. "For now, this $8,000 scholarship is limited to one student."

As for after graduation, Sauvage already has his mind set on where life will take him next.

"Since the whole internship wrapped up, I decided that D.C. is the place where I want to be and come May I am going to be moving out there," he said.

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