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Dean’s Mayoral Internship Program Gives Students Hands-On Experience in Houston City Government

By Toni Money Smith 713-743-9303

July 10, 2019

This summer, five students in the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) will get the chance to work alongside some of the city’s decision-makers. This unique opportunity is made possible through a new partnership between CLASS Dean Antonio D. Tillis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a graduate of CLASS.

The Dean’s Mayoral Internship Program will provide students with valuable service-learning experience in city government. Students will explore career possibilities, gain familiarity with important community initiatives, develop marketable skills and build professional networks.

“We are extremely excited to enter into this partnership with the Office of the Mayor,” Dean Tillis said. “We understand that internships are invaluable in today’s hyper-competitive job market and produce a more capable workforce. Through this internship program, CLASS students can take their first steps toward challenging, difference-making careers in public service.”

The selected students are majors in psychology, economics, political science, finance and journalism. They emerged from a highly competitive selection process to join the inaugural class of the Dean’s Mayoral Internship Program. They will work on the following initiatives vital to the improvement of Houston:

  • Homelessness: Students will work with local government officials to  develop innovative and proactive approaches to solving homelessness.
  • Education: Students will work on programs, events, and conferences that provide high-school students and families with resources to plan for higher education and careers.
  • Cultural Affairs: Students will work on initiatives and partnerships that expand access to artistic and cultural programs in the community.
  • Economic Development: Students will assist with projects that encourage innovation, attract growth, and cultivate new business development in Houston.
  • Internationalism/Global Initiatives: Students will learn about global Houston and work on projects that encourage harmonious international relations and spur foreign investment.

“This unique internship will provide CLASS students with an in-depth look at life inside city government,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I believe students become more motivated in the classroom when they witness the real-world impacts of their fields of study. I welcome the chance to introduce future leaders to government in action.”

Partial funding for this project was made possible through a grant from the University of Houston’s Cougar Initiative to Engage (CITE), whose mission is dedicated to providing “opportunities for student learning, discovery, and engagement…in a real-world setting.”

The internships will run from June 3 to August 6.

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