PSIA Students at the White House
Two of our students, Taylor Mullikin, a senior political science major with a pre-law concentration from Jefferson High School, and Aaliyah Tabor, a senior political science major with a Chinese minor from Johnson High School were recently accepted as White House interns for the Spring of 2023.
As stated on the White House’s website, the Program is a “public service leadership and development program that provides emerging leaders with an opportunity to gain valuable skills while supporting the work of the White House and furthering the priorities of the [Administration].”
Taylor found out about this internship through an email that was sent out from the PSIA department and immediately jumped on this unique opportunity. Taylor said that “even though I knew my odds of being selected were slim, I also knew that they would be nonexistent if I didn’t at least apply. I have always been inspired by the White House and was driven further to apply for the position in hopes of furthering my chances of attending a quality law school and one day creating real change in the world.”
Taylor attributes some of her success to UNG and said that “UNG has aided me greatly in my current and future ventures. The funding offered to student-led organizations such as the speech and debate team and the political science student association has allowed me to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The professors at UNG in the PSIA department are especially integral to my success. All of them are incredibly dedicated and caring individuals that work with students to ensure their success”
While in Washington D.C., Taylor will be working in the Office of Presidental Correspondence which is the office that responds to letters, emails, and gifts, and works across digital channels and with White House speechwriting, policy, and communications teams to help tell the story of the Administration’s impact on the lives of people across the nation.
Like Taylor, Aaliyah, decided to apply for this internship “because the worst they [the White House Internship Program team] could say is no.” With the encouragement of one of our professors, Dr Wilk, who was teaching Aaliyah’s research methods class at the time, Aaliyah decided to apply. “Not only did UNG’s PSIA department make me aware of the internship, but it also prepared and provided support during the application process. My courses and time at UNG have provided me with the research methods, critical thinking skills, and confidence to engage in the political sphere.”
Aaliyah said that over the next couple of months “I will be interning within the Office of Administration which provides support to the Executive Office of the President. During my time in D.C. I plan to get out of my comfort zone, network with others in the program, gain government work experience, and connect with individuals from all over the nation.” Aaliyah hopes to use the skills she gains while in Washington D.C. to pursue a career in diplomacy in the future.
When talking with Dr. Cavalli, a professor in our department and the internship coordinator for political science students, he said “I was very surprised that we had two WH interns in one semester. This is such an exclusive national internship opportunity that we are lucky to get one every few years. I think that speaks well of the increasing quality of our program.”
This is a huge accomplishment, and we are very proud of Taylor and Aaliyah! We wish them the best of luck and continued success.
[Editor’s Note: As further evidence of Taylor’s exceptional credentials, we are pleased to point out that this past fall, she had been selected to participate in the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) during the Spring 2023 semester. One of four UNG students honored by selection, she decided to trade in working at the Gold Dome for working at the White House.
[Author: By Orla Fennell, IA ‘23]