4 RIC Students to Embark on Congressional Internships in Washington D.C.

Four Interns

“Congratulations to our 2023 interns. We cannot wait to hear about your experiences upon your return and to watch what you do next.” — Asst. Prof. Leviss

Over the next two weeks, four RIC students will get an up-close look at national politics through the Washington Week/Congressional Internship.

(From left in photo) interns Jason Melise, Kamar Gure, Lorraine Quintero and Arianna Arias will work in the Washington D.C. offices of Rhode Island Congressional leaders and gain an overview of Congress, have a first-hand look at how the federal government works and serve as ambassadors for Rhode Island College.

During the week of May 15, Gure and Quintero will intern in the office of U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, while Jason Melise will intern in the office of U.S. Rep. Seth Magaziner and Rep. David Cicilline. During the week of May 22, Arianna Arias will be assigned to the office of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Their alternate is Gianna Del Monico, who, along with Mateo Efstathopulos, received Honorable Mentions in this competitive internship.

Funded by Student Community Government, Inc. and administered by the Department of Political Science, the Washington Week/Congressional Internship has a long history at Rhode Island College. Due to COVID, the program was suspended in 2019.

“It’s revival this year is great news for the student body,” says Sgt. James Torres, president of Student Community Government, Inc. “Washington Week gives students the opportunity to see how this great country operates and makes them aware of the behind-the-scenes work that goes on every day that the average American is not privy to.”

Assistant Professor of Political Science Perri Leviss, who coordinates this program, also sat on the selection committee. She says, “We believe that Jason, Arianna, Kamar and Lorraine are representative of the Rhode Island College community. They are diverse, committed, community-oriented and hardworking people.”

Arias is a graduating senior majoring in social work who is continuing her education in the School of Social Work’s B.S.W.-to-M.S.W. program. She intends to work with refugees on a local and national level.

Gure is a psychology major, with minors in political science and global studies, who hopes to make a career working for UNICEF.

A returning adult student, Melise has held leadership positions for over 15 years in both the banking and health-care sectors. He is also among the first cohort of students enrolled in RIC’s new Bachelor of Professional Studies Program. Melise is majoring in organizational leadership.

And Lorraine Quintero is a graduating senior majoring in political science and public administration, with a minor in international nongovernmental organization studies. Quintero was president of the Latin American Student Organization at RIC and has been a strong advocate for the Latinx community both on campus and at the local level.

Quintero notes that being raised in Central Falls and witnessing first-hand the inequities experienced by marginalized communities ignited a fire and passion in her for public policy and advocacy.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to represent Rhode Island College at the Washington Week/Congressional Internship and I’m excited to experience all that Washington D.C. has to offer,” she says.

Though this is not a paid internship, each student will receive a stipend of $1,500 to pay for living expenses and to travel to and from D.C. 

“Student Community Government, Inc. is proud to be a part of this initiative,” says Torres, “and we look forward to many more years of supporting the Washington internship and its recipients.”