West Virginia University students intern at Capitol

Sam Ollis

PARKERSBURG — Two students from Parkersburg are among 11 at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University interning this semester at the state Legislature.

Lonnie Long and Sam Ollis, selected through a competitive application process, are assisting legislators in their daily business during the session that ends on March 10.

Long, selected in the Rollins-Burk Internship, is a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program. Rollins-Burk Interns conduct research for policy, monitor legislative activity and assist in preparation for floor deliberations.

Long was placed in the Committee on Government Organization.

“Public administration is the study of policy implementation and the practical applications for public servants. My committee is primarily responsible for the regulation and oversight of state bureaucracies,” Long said. “They go together tremendously well to give me new insight as to just how agencies operate, and how the legislature plays a role in directing not only their goals, but also the framework they have to operate in.”

Lonnie Long

Because his father is a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard, Long has aspired to be an active participant in politics since he was a child. In the future, he hopes to work alongside nonprofit organizations and think tanks or help with implementation of successful and accurate legislation.

“I believe this opportunity will let me grow as a person and a West Virginian. I always enjoy meeting new people from new background and beliefs,” Long said. “Working in the Capitol gives me a chance to meet more of my fellow West Virginians and understand their concerns, hopes and struggles.”

Ollis was placed in the Judith A. Herndon Fellowship and assists senators and delegates. He is a junior international studies major with a minor in law and legal studies.

Ollis also was selected to participate as a Frasure-Singleton Intern in the 2017 legislative session.

“The value of the experience and knowledge I am receiving from this internship is immeasurable,” Ollis said. “The inside access to politicians and policy makers is critical to professional networking and genuine understanding of the legislative process.”