NOVEMBER 16, 2005

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Don Nickles Fellowship Program allows OSU students to intern on Capitol Hill

A fellowship program that honors former Oklahoma senator and Oklahoma State University graduate Don Nickles will make Congressional internships attainable for students at his alma mater, it was announced during the OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting recently.

The Don Nickles Fellowship Program has been established to give OSU scholars the opportunity to experience the political and legislative landscape in Washington, D.C. Fellowship recipients will intern in one of the Oklahoma congressional offices.

“This program has graciously been established through the Don Nickles Fellowship Program to give students the learning experience of a lifetime,” said OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly. “We are extremely proud of what Sen. Nickles has accomplished in his career and what he means to OSU.

“We truly appreciate the leadership and education experience Sen. Nickles is providing our students,” Schmidly said. “It is another opportunity for the world to see the quality students Oklahoma State University is producing everyday.”

In this inaugural year for the program, seven internship positions are offered in the fall, summer and spring semesters. Full-time sophomores and juniors with diverse academic and career interests and a minimum 3.0 GPA are encouraged to apply. In addition to the experience of working on Capitol Hill, fellowship recipients will receive a stipend for travel and living expenses and may earn academic credit.

The program is enthusiastically supported by the OSU administration, and a task force of administrators has been organized to promote the program to students and help identify potential fellows.

The program is an opportunity for students to proudly represent OSU and the state of Oklahoma, according to Joe Alexander, who leads OSU federal initiatives and is director of the Don Nickles Fellowship Program.

“There is no greater place to learn about our nation and our government than in the nation’s capital,” Alexander said. “This program will allow our fellows to see the day-to-day workings of our government and provide them the chance to rub shoulders with America’s leaders. And it is a fabulous way to showcase our students to the rest of the nation.”

The Don Nickles Fellowship Program is funded by the Don Nickles Fellowship Endowment, managed by the Oklahoma State University Foundation. The endowment is funded through generous contributions by friends of former Sen. Nickles and university alumni and supporters.

Fellowship application packets are available at the OSU Center for Innovation and Economic Development in the Wes Watkins Center on OSU’s Stillwater campus. Applicants must have two letters of recommendation, including one from an OSU faculty member. The deadline for the upcoming spring session is Nov. 1.

Former Sen. Nickles, a proud OSU alumnus, served as an Oklahoma senator for 24 years. In that time, he served as the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and as Assistant Republican Leader for eight years. Nickles retired from the Senate in January 2005 and now heads up The Nickles Group, which provides strategic advice, policy development and political execution for clients seeking to engage in the federal legislative or executive process.

Contact: Gary Shutt, OSU director of communications, 405.744.6260