1. How To Get A Job In DC – Hamilton Place Strategies Podcast Series

    Mark Rivett posted June 1, 2021

    Listen to Podcast Here

    In the first episode of a special HPS Insights series on how recent college graduates can land jobs in DC, HPS Partner Matt McDonald sits down with Sadie Polen, Program Lead at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School; Lynn Halton, Supervisor of the University of Michigan’s Public Service Intern Program; and Ian Solomon, Dean of the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Each guest shares advice on what campus resources current college students can tap into to prepare them for a post-grad world.

    “The University of Michigan has one of the largest and oldest DC Summer programs.” – Lynn Halton

    Listen to Podcast Here


  2. Pigskin to Policy: How Michigan’s 1970 Rose Bowl Led to Building the Largest DC Summer College Public Service Intern Program

    Mark Rivett posted April 16, 2021

    Author: PSIP Student Coordinator Rahul Rokkam, B.S. Economics ‘21

    Contact: Lynn Halton, PSIP Supervisor
    lhalton@umich.edu
    cell 248 231-5472

    Bo Schembechler’s start as head football coach of the University of Michigan in 1969 launched a dominant era of Michigan football. From 1969 to 1989, he achieved an impressive record of 234-65-8, catapulting Michigan into a national title contender. The first 10 years of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry were characterized as the “ten-year war,” with either Schembechler’s Wolverines or Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes winning or sharing the Big Ten conference championship every season. Along with sparking a dominant tradition of Michigan football, Schembechler’s first year also led to the creation of a massively successful intern program at the University of Michigan – the Public Service Intern Program (PSIP).

    During the fall of 1969 (the first few months of Schembechler’s time at Michigan), two undergraduate students – Mike Posner and Betsy Levine Lassar – hatched an idea to start a Washington DC-based internship program. Seeking to enable students to gain experience in public and legislative policy through public service internships in Washington, D.C., Mike and Betsy proposed a plan for the Washington Internship Program with an estimated budget of $9,000. The two students reached out to campus leaders including Bill Audiss in Career Planning and Placement Services, Barbara Newell in the President’s Office, and President Robben Fleming to request support for the program. They waited patiently, but had not gotten a response by the end of Fall semester. Serendipitously, Mike learned from a January 1970 article in The Michigan Daily about a $9,000 surplus from the Alumni Association’s tour proceeds from Michigan’s Rose Bowl appearance. Mike walked over to the Alumni Association to speak with then-Director Bob Forman, and walked out of that meeting with a check for $9,000 to launch the Washington Internship Program!

    The early years of the Washington Internship Program were marked by small intern cohorts (18-20 students per year), as Mike and Betsy worked part-time to grow the fledgling program. During the summer of 1969 in D.C., Mike started to explore internships for Michigan students on Capitol Hill, think tanks, non-profits, media organizations and other types of public service organizations. With funding in place, they both travelled to Washington in early 1970 to secure the first year’s placements. Back at Michigan, Betsy handled the operations and administration of the program.

    Gerald R. Ford

    1975, July 17 – Rose Garden – The White House – Washington, DC – Gerald R. Ford, Representatives Elford Cederberg & Marvin Esch; University of Michigan Students – standing on steps to Colonnade; students on lawn – Congressional Hour – Greeting University of Michigan Students in Washington, DC as Summer Interns

    Over the next few years, the program was re-named the Public Service Intern Program (PSIP) while Mike and Betsy continued to work with PSIP students to build a strong public service experience for students. This was exemplified by Nia Kraud of the 1974-75 PSIP cohort, who wrote a letter to Michigan alumnus President Gerald Ford, reminding him of the program and students’ presence in Washington, D.C. that summer. As a result of Nia’s letter, the President quickly planned a welcome reception and hosted 64 students in the White House Rose Garden on July 17, 1975, along with Michigan Congressmen Elford A. Cederberg and Marvin L. Esch.

    For the next half a century, sponsored by the University Career Center (UCC) (originally, Career Planning and Placement), PSIPers have combined both passion for public service and determination to demand the best from themselves and their elected leaders. As a non-partisan and public-service oriented group, this UCC program prepares students for successful internships through biweekly meetings, professional development seminars, scheduled office hours, career panels, alumni mentorship and networking opportunities.

    Betsy aptly describes the program’s purpose: “If anything, I came away feeling, as I believe now, that it’s important to stay in the game, to respect those with whom we disagree and try to understand their perspectives, to work to bridge our differences; keeping our shared values and the larger public interest as our guideposts, and to continue working for the ideals we believe in.”

    PSIP is home to students, alumni, donors, and employers of all political affiliations and fosters an environment of inclusion. With the help of the D.C. Alumni Club, the PSIP Endowed Scholarship was created during PSIP’s 50th anniversary celebration. PSIP staff aim to fully fund this scholarship so that all students who aspire to intern in Washington, D.C. will be able to do so, regardless of their financial status.

    PSIP students with Senator Carl Levin

    PSIP students with Senator Carl Levin

    Currently in its 52nd year of preparing students for public service focused internships in Washington, D.C., PSIP has grown into a 3,000+ strong community of diverse and successful alumni. Distinguished alumni include three current U.S. Representatives (Congressman Ted Deutch of Florida, Congresswoman Grace Meng of New York, and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois), two-time daytime Emmy award winner (Dan Solomon, PSIP 1980), and Assistant Secretary of State (Michael Posner, PSIP 1970), among thousands of others.

    In addition to successful alumni, PSIP has created thousands of lasting bonds and even marriages!

    Meredith Westerlund (PSIP 2012) shared that “PSIP gave me the opportunity to explore Washington, DC, which I now call home. My internship opened my eyes to new experiences and greatly impacted my career path. Not only did I meet some of my closest friends that summer, but PSIP was how I met my fiance! I’m forever grateful to the program.”
    Meredith’s fiance, Matt Schneider, mentions how PSIP kick-started his professional life: “The program helped me secure my first job out of college and discover my career. It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to learn professional skills and build a foundation for their future.”
    2017 Senator Peters & PSIPers

    2017 Senator Peters & PSIPers

    Just as Michigan football fans eagerly await another appearance in the Rose Bowl, PSIP’s 52nd cohort looks forward to another successful summer of public service internships. This summer, similar to last, most students will intern remotely with their Washington, D.C. internship sites due to covid-19. UCC continues to offer students the educational pillars of the program and alumni offer their support and expertise through mentorship and career panel discussions. The program is strong and continues to evolve, but the commitment to encouraging students to pursue careers in public service remains the underlying thread.


  3. PSIP Wraps up 50th year

    Mark Rivett posted November 15, 2019

    It has been a fabulous 50th year of our intern program!

    Please check out the news below on ways you can be engaged with PSIP!

    Attend the Welcome Reception

    Attend this annual event held in early June in DC! Welcome the new student intern cohort, meet scholarship recipients, and connect with other U-M alumni and friends.

    Become an Alumni Mentor

    Serve as a summer mentor to PSIP students while they are interning in DC. Share professional advice, offer a tour of your workplace, and share your tips about living in the city over coffee or a meal.

    Email Lynn Halton (lhalton@umich.edu) to be added to the mentor interest list for Summer 2020

    Contribute to the Endowed PSIP Scholarship

    As part of its 50th year celebration, alumni and staff created the PSIP Endowed Scholarship to enable future students a transformative PSIP experience in DC.

    Our new 1st Gen Group offers students who are first-generation college students extra support and resources.

    Donate by contacting Lynn Halton (lhalton@umich.edu) or Kyle Nowels (knowels@umich.edu) or online at www.giving.umich.edu/give/700531

    Serve as a Speaker

    PSIP students love hearing from alumni! Offer to speak on a panel in DC or Ann Arbor (if you are planning a trip back to campus).

    Share Internship Openings

    Inform PSIP staff about summer internship opportunities in your DC offices, so you can showcase the caliber of U-M students to your organization.

    Send to Lynn Halton (lhalton@umich.edu)

    Participate in Informational Interviews

    Sign up for the University Career Alumni Network (UCAN) to share insights about your field, career path, education and advice for new professionals. Students initiate the interaction for a phone or skype call. Time commitment is minimal.

    Go to: http://myumi.ch/qg2oA

    Join us on Social Media

    Link up with PSIP alumni and learn about our students’ achievements at:
    Instagram: @psip_umich
    Facebook: Public Service Intern Program
    Twitter: @psip_umich

    Alumni Spotlight: fill out this form if you are interested in being featured on the PSIP Instagram page.

    Again, we thank you for your support of PSIP and look forward to your continued involvement.
    Go Blue!

    Lynn Halton, PSIP Supervisor


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