A New Legislative Session: A New Day for SHSU Students

A group of a dozen SHSU interns spent the day in Austin in preparation for their internships.  The students, 10 of whom will be stationed in Austin and two of whom will be in DC, posed for professional photos, explored international food, and enjoyed the rush of simulated skydiving.


The morning temperatures hovered in the mid-20s for much of the photo-shoot.  Although this didn’t stop the photo-shoot, it did lead to much self-pity.


Nonetheless, much progress was made, with Paul Olle in charge of photographs (His photographs, which are much better than those here, will be posted later).


The students were in the pleasant situation of knowing their way around the capitol, and all areas were explored and photographed, from the Rotunda (above), to the outdoor rotunda…


…the statue of Sam Houston at the south entrance…


…to the Senate floor…


…to the capitol steps…



For lunch, the students opted for Serbian fare offered at the wonderful Balkans Cafe and Grill.  The staff at the restaurant are professional, and the food is great.

More important, lunch was a chance for former Austin interns to join the current Austin interns for lunch and networking.  Of the eight SHSU students who interned at the Capittol building last session, five have been hired full-time for this session, and many of them joined this year’s group.  It was also a great and rare opportunity for Professor Yawn to enjoy the company of multiple cohorts of students simultaneously.


Of course, the most fun activity of the day was at iFLY, where students had the chance to “skydive” without any real chance of dying.  Some took to it quicker than others (Spencer Copeland was an expert), but all did well.

Karla Rosales Enjoying iFLY
Karla Rosales Enjoying iFLY

All of the students ended up signing on for the “High  Fly,” which is when the instructor flies with the student flyer 20-30 feet into the tunnel.  It is the most exciting part of the flight and also, interestingly, the easiest.  The instructor does all the work!


Concluding Thoughts

Of course, the real exhilaration will be the students’ experiences in Austin and Washington, DC this semester.  Full of long days, interesting sites, and, we hope, bright futures.


Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to news stories, having contributed more than 50 pieces in the past year. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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