1. Public Service Internship Mass Meeting

    Mark Rivett posted September 5, 2019

    PSIP Mass Mtgs flyer 2019Hear from Student Coordinators and students who interned this summer in Washington DC. Learn about application process for the largest and oldest DC summer intern program in the country. If you are committed to working in policy, non-profit, public arena, government, media, then PSIP is a way to gain skills and experience while connecting with alumni.


    Monday, September 16, 2019
    6:00 p.m.
    Ford School of Public Policy 1120 Annenberg Auditorium

    Thursday, September 19, 2019
    7:00 p.m.
    Ford School of Public Policy 1120 Annenberg Auditorium

    Application Deadline: Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 11:59p

  2. Did You Know That Two U-M Students Started PSIP?

    Mark Rivett posted June 3, 2019

    Public Service Internship ProgramBetsy Levine Lassar and Mike Posner had the idea for the Washington Internship Program and met with leaders on campus to propose it for students interested in public service internships. They reached out to key people in senior leadership at the University who supported it, including Bill Audiss in Career Planning & Placement, Barbara Newell in the President’s Office, and U-M President Robben Fleming.

    In Fall 1969, the students created a plan and budget to ask for funds of $9,000 to start it. The U-M football team went to the Rose Bowl and the Michigan Daily had an article in January 1970 that the Alumni Association had a $9,000 surplus from their trip to Pasadena. Mike walked over to the Alumni Association, spoke with Director Bob Forman, and walked out with a check for $9,000 to start the Washington Internship Program!

    In his sophomore year, Mike traveled to DC and scouted out internships on the Hill (Phil Hart and Don Riegel), think tanks, NBC, and other employers. Students were very eager to participate and had 18-20 in the first group. Since then, the program changed its name to the Public Service Intern Program and continued to grow, with approximately 3,000 students participating. We have heard that applicants to the University of Michigan are writing their admission essays about PSIP.

    Mike Posner attended the PSIP Homecoming Reception in Fall 2018 and spoke about how proud he is that the intern program has flourished. He said it was the most impactful thing he participated in during his Michigan days and learned a lot from it. Both he and Betsy have had illustrious careers in the public sector and we are very proud of them!

    “It is so heartening to know that the internship program has influenced so many lives.” – Betsy Levine Lassar, Chicago

  3. My Experience as a PSIP Student in 1972

    Mark Rivett posted May 22, 2019

    Mike Waring, LS&A ‘74

    Director, U-M Washington Office

    Michael WaringAfter two years at Michigan as a journalism major, I heard about and was accepted into the Public Service Intern Program for the summer of 1972. As a resident of the DC suburbs, having a summer internship in DC was very convenient. I would just take the bus into the city each day from home, or drive one of my parents’ cars on occasion. While the commute was usually not too bad, I unfortunately did not get to meet the other PSIPers who were living together, including (unbeknownst to me) my current boss at Michigan. Small world.

    Regardless, my experience working in the newsroom of WTTG-TV was amazing. I was able to help assemble stories for their noon newscast, and also help with things like graphics. I watched a presidential statement and then worked with the technical people to pull off a piece that would be shown on-air. I even got asked to go with a camera crew on two occasions and ask questions of interviewees from off-camera…a practice which halted once the union shop steward found out.

    Anyway, that experience helped confirm my career path in TV/radio news and helped lead to my first job in broadcasting after graduation. There were some big events that occurred that summer, most notably Tropical Storm Agnes which hit the DC area with heavy rain and flooding. There were numerous fatalities and millions of dollars in property damage. One day, I hitched a ride to work with another employee of the station who lived near my family because many of the bridges and roads into the city were blocked. It was an exciting time.

    One of the anchors for the noon news was Maury Povich, the son of the famous Washington Post sportswriter Shirley Povich. He later went on to national syndication with his tabloid shows, but he was a sports and newscaster when I knew him. The news director at the station was Ed Turner, who later became one of the founding editors for CNN in Atlanta. I learned a lot about news from seeing them make decisions and frame their stories. It was a great time for a young person to watch and learn, and besides working at the U-M campus radio station, it was my first real job in the news business.

    While I have since left news and gone on to policy and lobbying, the skills I learned in the news business have served me well. The ability to write quickly and concisely – the ability to become an instant expert on a topic – the ability to speak in front of others and communicate. All of those skills I was able to hone thanks to the initial work I did through the PSIP program.

    I know that PSIP can be a life changer for students who have a good experience. It clearly was for me. Thanks to PSIP for giving me a great start on what has been a fun and exciting career.

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