Senior Alyssa Michnick of Darnestown, Md., spent the spring 2011 semester in the Hokies on the Hill internship program. In this recently introduced program, interns receive six credit hours for working four days a week on Capitol Hill and an additional six credits for attending seminars where they discuss current events and political topics such as the federal budget, health care reform, and legislative strategy. Students can earn additional credits through online courses or independent study.

Michnick’s internship with the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture focused on a range of issues, including conservation, energy, forestry, general farm commodities, nutrition, horticulture, rural development, and biotechnology. “I was completely immersed in the policy making, participating in all of the committee’s hearings, daily ongoings, and administrative work,” she reported. The urban forestry major thoroughly enjoyed the committee hearings with the U.S. Forest Service. “During one hearing, I actually got to sit behind the dais with the committee members as I witnessed the processes behind how forestry plans come to be,” she noted.