When Arkansas Tech University history and political science student Zachary Sellers returns to the classroom to begin his senior year later this month, he will do so with new first-hand knowledge of the political process.
Sellers (photographed, right) served as an intern in the Washington, D.C., office of Arkansas Senator John Boozman (photographed, left) this summer. He was one of 12 college students from Arkansas who had the opportunity to answer phone calls, research legislative issues and give Arkansans tours of the U.S. Capitol on behalf of Sen. Boozman during the month of June.
“My perceptions of the process did not change,” said Sellers. “It more reaffirmed what I have learned through my course work. We are taught a lot of theories, but when you actually witness what is happening you understand perfection is unattainable. When you get two or more human beings in a room, they are going to disagree about something. You find that the process is more complicated than the rhetoric.”
One particular guest speaker made a large impression on Sellers.
“My most memorable experience came when they put all of the interns together on the House of Representatives floor and in the gallery to hear Colin Powell speak,” said Sellers. “He was the best speaker we had because he actually just talked to us instead of reading a written speech line for line. He told stories and took questions. He didn’t need any notes. He just knew it.”
The internship was more than just an educational experience in the inner workings of Washington, D.C., for Sellers. It was also filled with lessons about life in the big city.
“It was overwhelming when I first got there,” said Sellers. “I am from Russellville and I graduated from Dover High School, so that is what I am used to. After the first week or so, I got used to the fact that you can’t drive everywhere in Washington, D.C., and you have to walk most places. I think the place I visited the most was the American History Museum. The Library of Congress was also beautiful, but you can’t check anything out there.”
A 2008 graduate of Dover High School, Sellers is on pace to graduate from Arkansas Tech in May 2012. He plans on attending law school after graduation.]]>