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WTAMU Student Heads to Washington, D.C. for Fall Internship

Sept. 4, 2012

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Student Heads to Washington, D.C. for Fall Internship

CANYON, Texas—It took a few semesters for Colton Risinger to find the degree program that suited him best and now, the West Texas A&M University student has found another perfect fit as an intern in the Office of U. S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas.

Risinger, a junior political science major from Morton, is spending the next four months in the nation’s capital learning the ins and outs of how a congressional office works. He will earn six credit hours for his work as an intern, plus he is taking three online classes through WTAMU for a total of 15 hours for the fall semester.
Colton Risinger

“I applied for the internship because it is one of the greatest opportunities that WTAMU has available for its students,” Risinger said. “This experience will be special for me, and I hope the internship broadens my skill set and world view. I am extremely excited to be living and working in the political heart of the United States.”

The Congressional and Public Policy Internship with Thornberry’s office provides student interns a chance to experience the day-to-day operations in the administrative, legislative and communication branches of the office. Risinger also will have the opportunity to participate in the many opportunities available in the city. Students apply for the internships through WTAMU’s Office of Academic Affairs. Fall, spring and summer internships are available.

Dr. David Rausch, Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science, is Risinger’s adviser and knows firsthand the value of internships. He is a former two-time Washington intern.

“Congressional internships are the best way to learn about Congress and American government in general,” he said. “The internship experience makes the lessons learned in class more real and important. An internship also helps the intern discern whether he or she should consider a career in that field.”

Risinger is keeping his options open when it comes to his future career.

“Right now I am dedicated to being the greatest intern I can be,” Risinger said. “My future plans are not set in stone. Depending on how my internship goes, I may seek a job in politics, and if I further my education, I will either attend a graduate school or a school of law. I’m even contemplating enlistment in the U.S. military.”

Risinger is a member of WTAMU’s Attebury Honors Program and traveled with the group to Costa Rica in May 2010. He also traveled to Turkey as a Readership WT Ambassador in 2010. Risinger also is involved with WTAMU Student Government and Phi Delta Theta. He is the son of Mark and Darlene Risinger of Morton.

For more information about internship opportunities available at WTAMU, visit



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