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I remember the day I interviewed for the APSCUF summer internship: It was pouring down rain at Millersville University, and I was running to the Rec Center on campus to get set up for my Zoom with Kathryn and Sean from the government-relations and public-relations department at the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. My boss at the Rec eagerly awaited me, showing me the spot in the office they set up for me to use and then asking me if I had any last, nervous thoughts. The truth was all I had was nervous thoughts. My time in the government department at Millersville wasn’t extensive; at that point, it had only been a month or two since I’d switched majors. It was as if I had spent no time getting situated before deciding to try for an internship. I felt prepared but thought, “What if my résumé isn’t impressive? What if the knowledge I presented wasn’t articulated as well as other candidates?” Nonetheless, nerves settled, and I logged on to meet Kathryn and Sean.

Millersville University student Chloe Kissinger visited the Pennsylvania Capitol as part of her summer internship with APSCUF’s government-and-communication department. Click here to learn more about APSCUF internships.

Immediately I felt that APSCUF was the right place for me. Seeing their advocacy for not only the faculty and coaches they represent but also the students on the state campuses really drew me in and kept me there. Since I am typing my end-of-summer reflections post, obviously the interview went well. I accepted the position here at APSCUF two weeks later.

Since accepting, I have worked side by side with the APSCUF team on various projects. I got to meet three current faculty members and two retired faculty members, all of whom I then wrote about. Getting to know these members and how this union truly worked and is working for them was mesmerizing. As a student of the State System, I never thought I would get the opportunity to look behind closed doors, but APSCUF gave me that chance. Faculty members are constantly advocating for our education, and now I know that APSCUF is fighting just as hard for faculty and coaches.

This internship through the summer has been a hybrid experience, so I work from home most days. I feel as if this structure allowed me to work more freely — and then, when I was to come in person, it was a packed day, full of fun things to do. At home is where I researched bills and projects for Sean, and it was where I interviewed faculty and wrote articles for Kathryn. Being hybrid didn’t diminish my experience; I believe it elevated it, allowing me to see how a hybrid work environment can excel.

I loved exploring the public-relations aspect of this internship; Kathryn Morton was always right there to guide me along the way. Before, I had never written anything besides a research paper. Now, after the experience of learning how to write in other styles — from a former journalist — I am inspired to take a few journalism classes myself. Getting to know how and why pieces get written was so interesting. Kathryn is an astonishing member of the APSCUF state staff and will continue to influence and shape interns’ lives for years to come. Just a tip for those thinking about interning here: You may get the pleasure of experiencing Cork & Fork, which is now a top-five restaurant in my book, and Kathryn will agree.

My passion will always lie with politics and government, and there was no better person to facilitate this than Sean Crampsie. I remember the first day we went to the Capitol. I had visited years prior, when an older brother of mine still worked there as a staffer, but I hadn’t had the chance to return until my first day with Sean. That morning we went to some fundraisers, where I got the chance to meet some representatives and senators. Being able to shake the hands of people I had only read about in the news made the whole experience awe-inspiring. However, I realized elected officials are humans, too, and I remembered why we were there: for the faculty and coaches. I learned how lobbying can positively affect higher-education bills. The experience of working with Sean and getting to meet all sorts of union lobbyists truly made this internship incredible.

With my internship ending on Aug. 4, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on all I have learned and experienced. Meeting the State APSCUF staff was wonderful, and there couldn’t have been a better group of people to learn from. I am incredibly grateful for all that has been provided to me, and I will reminisce about this internship as I start my career.

—Chloe Kissinger,
APSCUF intern