In his first week interning with Representative Pat Tiberi in the Capitol complex in Washington D.C., Colin Phillips got lost searching for the House Parking Authority. Quick to learn and eager to make an impact, the junior history and political science major at Waynesburg University knew the Capitol well enough to give tours by the end of the summer.
“While in the office, I had a multitude of tasks including answering constituent calls, sorting constituent mail, taking things to other offices or the House Republican Cloak Room and completing projects for other staffers,” Phillips said. “But one of my favorite things to do was give tours because it allowed me to directly talk to constituents and get to know them on a personal level.”
As an intern for Tiberi, a Republican from Ohio’s 12th District, Phillips said his favorite summer experience was taking part in a GOP press conference about student loans.
“GOP Representatives, including the speaker John Boehner, walked down the steps right next to me and talked about how they wished to avoid the doubling of student loan interest rates,” Phillips said. “This was my favorite moment because I was able to be part of something important and because I am directly impacted by what they were talking about.”
Looking to add even more to his resume, Phillips applied for the internship based on the one he completed prior to his sophomore year. In the summer of 2012, he interned with the Ohio Board of Regents, which is the state agency for higher education in Ohio.
“Because I worked with state government in 2012, I wanted a new perspective and decided to look into a national government internship,” Phillips said. “Through both positions, I have seen myself become more independent and more open about my political thought.”
Phillips began both internships with a strong base of political knowledge as a result of his history and political science courses at Waynesburg University, as well as his involvement with the University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.
“Mr. Phillips stands out among his peers for his steady determination, positive attitude and high standards of integrity,” said Dr. Larry Stratton, the director of the Stover Center. “When he gently speaks, everyone listens. I expect that he will flourish in law school and as a political leader thereafter.”
As a Stover Scholar, Phillips regularly meets with cultural, religious and political leaders from across the nation.
“The Stover Scholarship and the opportunities that it has afforded me as well as the people I’ve met is something that could only have happened at Waynesburg University,” Phillips said.
Phillips, who keeps busy as a member of the men’s tennis team, an officer in the Waynesburg University Young Republicans Club, a member in concert choir, the football team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, says his extracurricular activities prepared him for the internship in many ways.
“My campus activities have made me think about what is coming next, which allowed me to do things before the Congressman and staffers asked me to do them,” Phillips said. “I really care about the work I do. Instead of the work being boring and tedious and me putting little into it, I try to do what is expected and then some. Those are things that Waynesburg University has helped me to appreciate.”