In 1978 the chairperson of Western Michigan University’s Department of Political Science, David G. Houghton, started helping students secure internships with local government offices. Through his efforts, students gained valuable, real life experience across Southwest Michigan. Houghton dreamed of placing more students directly in Lansing through a Capital Internship Program.
Twelve years later, his dream became a reality when he secured a University van and a partnership with the Lee Honors College. Every year since 1990, Houghton has loaded up a van with selected interns bound for the state’s capital twice a week during the spring semester. As of spring 2012, the Capital and Local Internship program has helped more than 880 student interns earn practical work experience in state and local government.
Dr. Houghton’s new dream is to place students in internships throughout Washington, DC. The David G. Houghton Internship Endowment has been established to support the current internship program and expand its scope.
With your gift, new opportunities will be available for students to experience the legislative process and make important professional contacts in our nation’s capital.
"Dr. Houghton's guidance and the opportunity he provided me with my internship in the State Capitol had a tremendous impact on my pursuit of a career in public policy. The internship allowed me to see first-hand how our legislative process works and play a small role in the process. That experience gave my studies context and improved my college experience while preparing me for the future." –Jason Cabel Roe (BA '93)
“Dr. Houghton's program helped me really explore my career interests in politics with real experience outside of the classroom. He helped guide and mentor me through the program and always had a genuine interest in my internship experience. Most importantly, my internship allowed me to prove my capabilities and, as a result, I was offered a paid position with Congressman Upton's office at the end of the semester. I started my "real" job after my last final exam - the day before I walked on the stage at Miller Auditorium to receive my diploma. That's what I call a successful internship program and Dr. Houghton deserves all the credit!” – Jeffrey Breneman (BA '91)