Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Political Science

First Advisor

Lauren Foley

Second Advisor

Jeff Breneman

Third Advisor

Sean McCann


This project will explore the critical role internships play in undergraduate education, with a particular focus on political science, by examining the history and impact of Western Michigan University’s Capital Internship Program. The study aims to shed light on the diverse experiences of past participants and conduct comprehensive research into the significance of internships in shaping the academic and professional trajectories of countless students. By delving into the stories and reflections of former interns, this research will provide testimonials that underscore the value of experiential learning. These personal accounts will highlight how internships bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom and its practical application in real-world settings. The Capital Internship Program offers students an immersive experience in real-world political environments, allowing them to apply their academic knowledge to practical situations. This immersion not only deepens their understanding of political science but also cultivates essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. By placing students at the heart of political processes, it encourages them to become active participants in their communities and fosters a deeper appreciation for public service. The experience helps students to develop a sense of civic responsibility and a commitment to contributing positively to society. As students navigate the complexities of political landscapes, they gain invaluable insights and build networks that can significantly impact their future careers. Through detailed research and compelling narratives from past participants, this study will highlight the program's role in enhancing academic learning, professional development, and civic engagement.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Honors Thesis Presentation.pdf (541 kB)
Defense Presentation