Meet LI’s Spring Interns

February 16, 2012 | By Lauren Levy

Please welcome the Leadership Institute’s spring interns. This is their fifth week on the job.

Patrick Bailey:
Georgia Institute of Technology • Arlington, VA • Development

Patrick comes to LI with extensive experience in database management and design. After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, Patrick worked as a database engineer at Capital IQ in New York City. While an undergraduate, Patrick constructed a 3D virtual campus for the Universitat Oberta de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain.  Last fall Patrick brought his technical skills to Young Americans for Liberty, where he served as an intern in the development department. Patrick also volunteered on the ground with the Ron Paul campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in the weeks leading up to the 2012 primaries.




 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?

As a Development intern I assist the Development Department staff in their routine duties regarding donor relations. I have already been given several important assignments such as drafting personal thank-you letters and mailing letters written from students of our training programs. I’m looking forward to using my technology skills to make the team more effective with development tools such as Raiser’s Edge.

  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?

The most exciting thing about the Leadership Institute’s internship program is the opportunity to meet with and learn from great conservative leaders. This spring, I’m going to meet several influential people doing great things for the conservative movement. The Development Department here at LI is also hugely successful, and I hope to learn as much as possible about donor relations, direct mail, and foundation giving. I have some ideas about how I might be able to apply my background in data analysis to more effectively target our prospects and cultivate our donors, and I hope to get valuable feedback from the staff.

  1. What are your future plans?

I left a budding career in finance to create technology tools for conservative grassroots and campaigns. With my degree and prior work experience, I already have the programming skills necessary to accomplish this goal. With the help of the Leadership Institute, I will gain an understanding of the public policy process to create truly effective technology that will give conservative activists the tools necessary for the battles we face ahead.

Luis Silva-Ball:
Universidad Metropolitana • Caracas, Venezuela • President’s Office

Luis is currently pursuing a degree in Liberal Studies from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas. In conjunction with his studies at the university, Luis is also enrolled in courses through the Mises Academy. He is the president of Estudiantes por la Libertad, a Student’s For Liberty affiliated organization on his campus. Luis has volunteered with many political events in Venezuela, both at the student level as well as the national level and in 2011 he attended the Mount Pelerin Society’s regional meeting in Buenos Aires as a guest scholar. In addition to his political involvement, Luis taught guitar and juggling at a youth camp in Maine and is a member of the Thespis Unimet theater troupe.


 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?

As an intern to the President’s Office, I mostly help out with daily tasks that Morton and his assistant, Cathy, bestow upon me. I sort Morton’s mail, help out with the Adam Smith Attire orders and ensure their delivery, organize brochures and information packets, and occasionally attend events with Morton.

2. What are you most excited about in this internship?

Making acquaintances with principled conservatives, attending the Leadership Institute’s numerous training schools, and most of all learning how to manage a nonprofit organization.

  1. What are your future plans?

My immediate plans are to graduate and grow my organization on campus, Estudiantes por la Libertad, http://www.eslibertad.org.  Later on, I’d like to get into banking and finance the liberty movement.

David Bell:
Rutgers University • Toms River, NJ • Grassroots

David graduated from Rutgers in 2010 with a degree in Criminal Justice/Political Science. In 2009 David was selected to participate in Rutgers' Capital City Internship Program, where he was placed with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce as a Government Relations intern. He then interned with his local congressman in New Jersey’s 3rd district, where he later was offered a position as Congressional Liaison. In 2011 David volunteered on a number of successful local campaigns, including a mayoral race that unseated a 12-year incumbent. In addition to his political experience, David served for four years as manager of Citricos Mediterranean Italian Cuisine and as an events coordinator for Evesham Township, NJ.


 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? 

My tasks and projects as a Grassroots Intern are to maintain the Leadership Institute Database (LID) and aid in the establishment of relations with individuals and conservative-based organizations across the United States.  Furthermore, I will be researching candidates and organizations to facilitate the Leadership Institute’s movement throughout the United States.

  1. What are you most excited about in this internship? 

I am excited to be surrounded by a group of individuals that exemplify leadership and dedication.  Moreover, I am energized to be associated with an organization that will allow me to hone my professional skills and develop new skills that will catapult me into the professional environment.

  1. What are your future plans? 

Some of my career goals include working as a consultant or lobbyist.  I am contemplating running for public office in the future.

Brittany Bezick:
University of West Florida • Pensacola, FL • Youth Leadership School

 

In December 2011 Brittany graduated from the University of West Florida (Pensacola) with a degree in political science. Brittany’s passion for the political process began in high school when she was invited to attend Florida’s Girls State. Since then, she interned for Rep. Clay Ingram’s Pensacola office where she assisted with building databases, researching policy issues and contacting area businesses and residents. This past fall, Brittany attended Florida’s Presidency 5, serving as a delegate for Escambia County, Florida. While president of UWF’s College Republicans, Brittany planned a 9/11 memorial service and invited local veterans to speak to students and area residents.



 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? 

My duties consist of compiling the folders and packets for each Youth Leadership School (YLS) class, uploading information onto the Leadership Institute Database about each student and class per YLS, and assisting in recruitment for each YLS.

  1. What are you most excited about in this internship? 

I am most excited about the working environment and the networking opportunities I will encounter during this internship, along with expanding my knowledge of the working environment and the strategic planning, development, and workings within a large nonprofit organization.

  1. What are your future plans? 

I plan on working as a campaign manager for local, state, and national campaigns.

Taylor Bricker:
Clarion University • Karns City, PA • Campus Leadership Program

Taylor graduated this December from Clarion University with degrees in Political Science and Business Administration. While at Clarion, Taylor was an active member of the Clarion College Conservatives and served as Vice Chair of Elections. He was also elected to serve as Alumni Relations Officer for the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. In both positions, Taylor planned campus activities for fellow students, including arranging events with local candidates. In addition to his campus activities, Taylor frequently volunteered on area campaigns, and he has interned for the Social Security Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. Most recently, Taylor interned with Americans For Prosperity Foundation in their Marketing Department.

 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?

My duties as a member of the Campus Leadership Programs department are to assist in the outreach to conservative/libertarian student organizations on college campuses, the provision and coordination of grassroots organizational/activism training, and in part providing content for the Campus Reform website.

  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?

I am most excited to be a part of LI’s efforts to help conservative and libertarian groups fight leftwing bias on campuses and to help counter liberal attempts to indoctrinate students.

  1. What are your future plans?

In the future, I hope to work with the Leadership Institute or a similar group to help educate Americans of all ages on the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens to play a role in their government and to promote freedom and liberty to keep our country strong.

Kelly Cassara:
University of California, Los Angeles • Glendale, CA • Employment Placement Services

A California native, Kelly graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. As the co-founder and president of the Glendale Community College Conservative Club, Kelly arranged numerous campus events and film screenings for her fellow students. She also served as Internal Vice President for Live Action UCLA, a youth-led, pro-life activist organization. After graduation, Kelly worked as the media/field intern for Concerned Women for America where she developed marketing materials for CWA’s new Young Women for America initiative. In addition to her political activities, Kelly spent a semester abroad studying Italian in Florence, Italy.

 

 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? 

I am responsible for making sure new jobs and internships are posted every day on ConservativeJobs.com. I always look for a variety of jobs that will appeal to different interests and work-experience levels. I also use Twitter and Facebook to promote the website and spread awareness about the latest job listings. My other duties include providing jobseekers with feedback on their résumés and cover letters. I also helped with the Job Fair at CPAC that LI hosted.

  1. What are you most excited about in this internship? 

I am most excited to be learning the ins-and-outs of job hunting, especially because it will help me in my own pursuit of employment following this internship. I am now aware of all these new job search sites, and it’s amazing to discover what's out there. It's also very rewarding to help people find the jobs!

  1. What are your future plans? 

My plans are to return to California and seek a full-time job there. Ideally, I would like to remain working on behalf of the conservative cause, particularly the pro-life movement.

Mike Fincher:
University of California, Merced • Atwater, CA • Campus Reform Online

Mike will formally graduate from UC Merced with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History in 2012. While at UC Merced, Mike has been extensively involved with the campus community. He served as both a senator and associate justice for ASUCM, UC Merced’s student governing body; as a student trustee for the Collegiate Alumni Foundation; and as an events staffer for the university’s Recreation and Athletics department. Mike was the co-founder of the College Republicans at UC Merced and The Right Side publication, where he also served as executive editor. Mike achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2008.

 

 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    I work within Campus Reform Online (CRO).  I write blogs, interact with students online, and help spread our message and programs through social media outlets.  I also help with production of videos in our department, which we use to promote and report on student activism.  As CRO and the Campus Leadership Programs (CLP) work closely together, my duties also include traveling with Regional Field Coordinators, and compilation of information for Conservatism101 and other CLP programs.
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?What drew me to this internship was not just the fact that most expenses were covered, but also that LI stresses networking and gives interns the opportunity to attend trainings and events, as well as meet influential speakers at our dinners.  I am also excited to work with CRO, which is more of a hobby for me and less of a job, making each day enjoyable.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    I plan on attending law school in the fall.  I would like to serve as a legal counsel for non-profits/foundations within the conservative movement after law school and to stay involved in politics.
     

Meghan Gray:
Columbia College Chicago • Beach Park, IL • Events

Meghan is currently working toward degrees in Journalism and Public Relations at Columbia College Chicago. She is a dedicated member of the Lake County Republican Federation, where she has supported numerous fundraising efforts. Meghan organized several golf outings for the Federation, securing sponsorships for the event and prizes for a silent auction held in conjunction with the tournament. Meghan has also written news articles and developed content for Chicago area publications. In addition to her political and journalistic involvement, Meghan is a member of the Delta Zeta National Sorority and has actively volunteered her time with area non-profits.



 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    I will work to prepare Leadership Institute staff and guests for the Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfasts, happy hours, upcoming trainings and schools, and the Fourth of July Soirée.  The most exciting aspect of my position is being able to collaborate on CPAC 2012, which is the largest conservative gathering in the nation.  
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    I am most enthusiastic about growing as a professional within the conservative movement.  I feel fortunate to have been granted an internship that provides invaluable networking opportunities and hands-on experience, while furthering my passion and understanding of the public policy process. 
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    I am currently a senior at Columbia College Chicago, pursuing a degree in journalism and public relations.  Ultimately, I aspire to work on Capitol Hill or in the nonprofit sector.  I look forward to establishing a name for myself in D.C., and am confident the knowledge and life lessons acquired from the Leadership Institute will follow me in the years to come.
     

Lauren Levy:
University of Florida, Gainesville • Miami, FL • Recruitment

Lauren holds degrees in Journalism and Jewish Studies from the University of Florida, Gainesville, where she graduated in 2011. An active writer, Lauren’s work has been published on Townhall, GOPRockstars.com, and UF’s publication The Independent Florida Alligator. Lauren interned with The Real Proposal magazine from 2006 to 2011 where she served as a research assistant, co-editor and social media administrator. Most recently, Lauren interned with Concerned Women for America under Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse. Lauren wrote biweekly blog posts, prepared presentations, and edited copy for Dr. Crouse’s upcoming book. Lauren is an active member of the DC Young Republicans, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and has studied abroad in Jerusalem.

 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?

    Essentially, our department is the communications branch for the Leadership Institute. I am responsible for writing stories about faculty, events, trainings, schools and workshops that promote LI to the general public. I also keep track of events in the area hosted by conservative organizations and post them to our intranet calendar to encourage networking on behalf of LI.  I will also be keeping track of conservative organizations and our congressional advisory board, which consists of members of the House and Senate who support LI’s mission and conservative ideals. Finally, throughout the course of my internship, I will be participating in Capitol Hill walks to visit congressional offices, distribute marketing materials, and network on behalf of LI.
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    I am excited to have the opportunity to network with current and future movers and shakers in the conservative movement who are positioning themselves for careers in politics, media and public policy. I am also excited to participate in several of the schools, trainings and workshops, all of which are free of charge for LI interns.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    Through this internship, I hope to gain the tools I need to launch a career path advancing the conservative movement. I want to be involved with a public policy organization that is actively engaged in topical sociopolitical and legislative debates and initiatives that reinforce conservative values. I am also interested in opportunities that lead to writing syndicated columns and other works that explore my personal philosophy on sociopolitical and cultural issues at a national and international scale.
     

Elizabeth Morrison:
Regent University • Hollywood Beach, MD • Online Programs

Elizabeth is currently studying Communications and American Government and Politics at Regent University. She has actively campaigned for multiple Virginia races, including Scott Rigell’s congressional campaign and Ron Villenueva’s campaign for Virginia House of Delegates. Elizabeth’s campus involvement includes serving as the Secretary and Undergraduate Republican Liaison of Regent’s College Republicans. For the past three years Elizabeth has participated in Young America’s Foundation seminars and conferences, in addition to attending a Journalism Camp at Patrick Henry College.




 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    My job duties as the Online Programs intern are to help get ready for our webinars that occur every other Wednesday. This includes many different tasks from running errands to writing scripts. Tasks can vary from simple to difficult.  One of the main projects I’ll be working on is finishing up and polishing any writing that has to be done for our webinar videos in addition to assisting in the production of the videos.
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    I am most excited for the people I’ll get to meet and the experiences I’ll get to have with them. Arlington is full of opportunities and things to see and do. I try to live life so that I will never be short on experiences to share. At the Leadership Institute, I know I am being given the very best internship available in a place that simply cannot be beat. I am also excited that I am advancing my career in politics and setting myself up for success by participating in the intern program.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    My future plans change often as I understand myself and my interests more. However, as of now, I plan to graduate college and then get a master’s degree, possibly in business. After that I would like to be a lobbyist and work to advance conservative ideas or do public relations for a large corporation. Eventually, I would like to run for office and take everything I’ve learned here and put it to good use.

     

Marta Ponikowska:
University of Warsaw • Lukow, Poland • LI Studios/Technology


Marta is a fifth-year student of law at the Univeristy of Warsaw. She holds MA in Political Sciences (University of Warsaw, University of Maastricht- Erasmus Scholarship). During her studies, Marta interned at the Polish Ministry of Justice and the European Parliament (Brussels). Marta was involved in many projects at the Center for Citizenship Education and the ‘Everyday law’ project of the Polish Human Rights Defender Office.  She is also a legal assistant at an international law firm.




 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    I assist the LI Studios with day-to-day work. The studio is a television studio, post production house and media agency all in one, so interning here is something really exciting as I can learn a lot about all the phases of media production. This semester I will write scripts, assist with production of webinars, edit and produce videos, work on web development and learn about new media. My intern project is to produce an advocacy video.
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    The Leadership Institute internship is a great opportunity to learn about the American political system, society and management. It is also probably the best place in the Washington, DC, area to gain successful leadership skills. The Institute organizes weekly informal meetings with professionals from the fields of politics and law, so all the interns have a chance to speak with influential conservatives who share their personal experiences.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    After completing my internship, I will travel to France to attend the European Advocacy Academy. Later on, I will most likely start studying for the Warsaw Bar entrance exam. I will definitely try to utilize everything that I have learned over the course of the internship.
     

Harmony Shields:
Patrick Henry College • Palmer, AK • Department of Political Training

Harmony Shields completed a certificate in Constitutional Law through Patrick Henry College in 2011. She is a dedicated pro-life advocate, and has served in many capacities at HeartReach Pregnancy Center in Wasilla, Alaska. Harmony is active in her local Republican organization and has served as treasurer for the Valley Republican Women’s Club. Harmony volunteered extensively on a number of Alaskan campaigns, including Joe Miller’s Senate race where she worked as candidate scheduler and event coordinator. Most recently, Harmony was the Alaska state director for Herman Cain’s presidential campaign.




 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    Most recently, my project has been to sort and update contact lists, and prepare for CPAC trainings. Some of my responsibilities will also be to help assist in the political trainings, such as the Campaign Management School.
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    I am so excited to be involved in an organization like LI that helps make such an impact in conservative politics.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    In the future, I would like to help better the conservative cause in any way that I can. Some of my tentative plans include working on campaigns for principled conservative candidates, possibly running for office, and training other young people to get involved in the movement. I think that it is very important that every person gets a taste of working in politics sometime in his or her life. For years, politics has had a very negative connation, and I want to help change the tide and make it positive again.
     

Chris Vari: 
Thomas Edison State College, Regent University • Perry Hall, MD • Development

Chris received his JD from Regent University School of Law in 2011 after completing an undergraduate degree in History at Thomas Edison State College. While a student at Regent, Chris was the staff editor for the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy and also served as president of Regent College Republicans. Chris has interned with Ohio State Representative Diana Fessler, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and served as treasurer for Ron Hood’s 2008 congressional campaign. In 2010 Chris also completed an externship with the American Center for Law and Justice where he performed legal research for ACLJ attorneys.



 

  1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?
    I am responsible for assisting Development Department staff as they raise the money necessary to fund LI training. Typical tasks include data entry and donor research. As far as major projects, I am hoping to help turn LI’s Planned Giving newsletter into a quarterly publication.  
     
  1. What are you most excited about in this internship?
    I am really excited about being close to DC networking opportunities and having access to LI’s training opportunities and connections within the conservative movement.
     
  1. What are your future plans?
    I would eventually like to work as a legislative staff member on Capitol Hill or as a policy/legislative analyst or lobbyist for a conservative political organization.