Windy LyGovernment major Windy Ly has been selected for the Panetta Congressional Internship Program. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Further cementing Sacramento State’s role as California’s capital university, Government major Windy Ly has been selected by President Robert S. Nelsen for the prestigious Panetta Congressional Internship Program, which will give her the opportunity to work, study, and begin building her career in Washington, D.C.

The Panetta Institute, founded in 1997 by Leon and Sylvia Panetta, partners with the California State University system, Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College, and Santa Clara University by offering students a variety of learning opportunities in government, politics, and public policy. As an intern, Ly will get a firsthand look at the legislative process by working in a congressional office.

“With her combination of academic excellence and commitment to public service, Windy exemplifies the best of Sacramento State,” Nelsen said. "I am excited that she is going to represent our campus in our nation’s capital, and I trust that the lessons she learns as part of her internship will leave a lasting impression on her.”

The Congressional Internship Program begins in mid-August with an intensive two-week course at the Panetta Institute and continues through mid-November. Interns are nominated by the president of each participating university, then approved by the Panetta Institute and a representative from the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

“The Panetta internship is a great opportunity for a student at Sac State to have a truly enriching and meaningful experiential learning opportunity in Washington, D.C., the epicenter of federal policy in the nation and the home of the most prominent policy community in the world,” said Orn Bodvarsson, dean of Sacramento State’s College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Panetta Institute, Windy will be able to start building her career as a future leader in the public service milieu. Experiential learning, such as what Windy will be doing, is a highly valuable type of educational experience, and I’m delighted that this opportunity is available to her."

During the summer training session, students will attend class discussions on topics ranging from U.S. foreign and defense policy to cybersecurity issues to fiscal and monetary policy to the practicalities of what interns can expect once they arrive for work on Capitol Hill. Each intern is then assigned to work for 2½ months in the office of a member of the California congressional delegation. In addition to their work, participants attend weekly seminars on policy issues and different aspects of government.

Ly, a native San Franciscan, chose to leave the city and head to Sacramento to follow her political interests. She wanted to be as close to the political action as possible, so she chose Sacramento State. “Sac State means opportunity for immense personal growth, long-lasting friendships, and professional development through the people you meet and clubs/organizations you participate in. It’s home,” said Ly, who aspires to a career in federal or state government with a focus on issues as varied as education, environment conservation, and prison reform.

For more information on the Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program, visit www.panettainstitute.org or the Sacramento State Center for California Studies web page on the program, www.csus.edu/calst/Panetta_Institute_Congressional_Internship.html. – Danielle Higley