FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2020
Contact: Jason Hogue, Director of Marketing and Communications, 402-872-2429
Lincoln, Nebraska – Jared Koelzer, senior student at Peru State, is working at the Nebraska State Capitol this spring as an intern for Senator Julie Slama of District 1. Koelzer’s internship is paid under the new Senator Floyd and Doris Wagner Vrtiska Nebraska Unicameral Internship.
Koelzer said, “Getting the opportunity to work at the Unicameral is an amazing experience that gives me the ability to learn in ways that I could never experience in a classroom.”
“Working with Senator Slama has made the experience even better, as her commitment to this college and community is incredible. She truly understands the needs of District 1 and works hard to create and support legislation that benefits as many of her constituents as possible.”
Koelzer comes from Corning, Kansas and is a graduate of Central High School. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in political science. He plans to graduate in May of 2021.
Peru State College has offered a paid internship at the State Capitol each legislative session since 2003, with funds provided through a campus work-study program. However, the increases in minimum wage and the demands on the work study program threatened the unicameral internship funding. Former State Senator Floyd Vrtiska stepped forward with a contribution to endow the internship and provide a permanent source of funding for students from Peru State who are seeking experience at the state government level.
Dr. Sara Crook, Professor of History and Political Science, oversees the Unicameral internship program. “The Capitol internship program is important for students who gain valuable first-hand experience in Nebraska’s Unicameral.”
“It is also valuable for Peru State College to have visibility at the capitol building during the legislative session as an institution supported by state funding. It is a win-win for the College and for the students who gain this unique experience.”
Students apply for the Vrtiska Nebraska Unicameral Internship through the social sciences faculty.
Koelzer added, “I am incredibly grateful to the family of Floyd Vritiska for creating this scholarship for students to gain important experience through hands-on work, such as policy research, press release and speech writing, and live session and hearings.”
“Through this internship, I hope to expand my knowledge of the political process and gain first-hand experience that will help me as I pursue my plans of working in government and serving as a civil servant in the future.”
Floyd Vrtiska served in the Nebraska Unicameral as the representative of District 1 from 1992-2004. As a state senator, he was a strong advocate for Peru State College. He secured funding for an expansion of Hoyt Science Building and he served on the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees and the Peru State College Foundation Board of Directors. Vrtiska was also very active on numerous other local, county and state boards.
The Senator Floyd and Doris Wagner Vrtiska Nebraska Unicameral Internship is administered by the Peru State College Foundation. The Peru State College Foundation manages approximately 140 endowed and non-endowed funds that provide scholarships and other support to Peru State College students, faculty and staff.
Quentin Victor contributed to this release.