Each year a dozen or so Virginia Tech students undertake internships on Capitol Hill, as participants in the Hokies on the Hill program.
Chris Yianilos, executive director of government relations at Virginia Tech and a 1994 graduate of the Department of Political Science, initiated the program in 2010 with the hope that the students would learn not only how the U.S. government works, but also how rewarding a career in public service can be.
A recent highlight of this semester’s program was a March 7 reception for the interns, along with Tim Sands, president of Virginia Tech; Capitol Hill leaders; and other invited guests.
During the reception, Sands thanked Bob Jones (Political Science ’83) and his law firm, Alston & Bird, for their support of Hokies on the Hill internship program. Jones serves as a member of the Dean’s Roundtable at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Students enrolled in Hokies on the Hill program, which is administrated through the Department of Political Science, receive a full semester of credit hours for the program. The students intern in congressional offices in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as in government relations offices of private companies. In addition to their work, the students meet with government officials and participate in seminars on such topics as health care reform, ethics and integrity in government service, and legislative strategies.