Three Out of 10 Legislative Interns Hail from Concord University

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 06 2005

Three Out of 10 Legislative Interns Hail from Concord University

Athens, W.Va. - Three Concord University students are among ten students from West Virginia institutions selected for the Judith A. Herndon Legislative Fellows Program, a prestigious internship with the West Virginia Legislature. This year, Concord University has more students selected for the program than any other institution.

Anna Bradshaw, a political science major from Mount Nebo; Betty Harrah, a social work major from Beckley; and Amanda Via, a political science major from Princeton were the three students accepted from Concord University for this selective internship.

The students are currently working in the offices of legislators this session, and after the legislative session has ended, they will continue their internship in other state offices.

Bradshaw is working in the office of Delegate David G. Perry from Fayette County, who represents the 29th district. He serves on the education, banking and insurance, industry and labor, and political subdivisions committees. He is chair of the authority committee. Harrah is working in the office of Senator Robert H. Plymale from Wayne County, who represents the fifth district and serves as chair for the education committee. He also serves on the confirmations, economic development, finance, government organization, and pensions and natural resources committees. Via is working in the office of Senator Edwin Bowman from Hancock County, who represents the first district, and serves as the chair for the government organization committee. Bowman also serves on the confirmations, economic development, education, rules and natural resources committees.

“This internship is teaching me the whole process of policy- and law-making,” said Harrah about her experience in Charleston.

Via agrees that it is a beneficial learning experience. “It gives me a broader perspective on legislative activities. The internship allows me to compare textbook and classroom theories with real life experiences. I am gaining a deeper understanding of the political process.”

Bradshaw said that this experience is giving her a new perspective on how state government works. “I’m also gaining a lot of first-hand knowledge that you can't really read about in any text book, such as how the back-room negotiations take place at legislative receptions, all the work that staff members do and what a vital role they and the lobbyists both play.”

Harrah described how this would benefit her in the future. “Why would someone not want to hire a prospective employee who knows how the legislative process works,” she continued.

Bradshaw agreed and said, “Also, the number of contacts you make here is amazing. And, having a letter of recommendation from a state senator or delegate for future employment is a big plus.”

“We were very proud to have three Concord students chosen for the Herndon Legislative Internships this year. Students from across the state apply for a very limited number of slots and we consider it a real compliment that three of our applicants are now in Charleston. Because the Herndon is a semester-long program, the students get a very good feel for what goes on in the state legislature, both on the floor and behind the scenes. It gives them a realistic picture of what life in politics is really like,” said Dr. Sally Campbell, assistant professor of political science, and Concord’s faculty advisor for the internship program.

The Judith A. Herndon Legislative Fellows Program is an internship sponsored by the West Virginia Legislature. The primary goal of the Program is to instruct selected fulltime undergraduates from institutions of higher learning in West Virginia in the theory and operation of legislatures and legislative bodies in their multidimensional aspects and roles. While the general theoretical background encompasses the American legislative process in general, practical application focuses on the process as exemplified by the West Virginia Legislature. Students earn 12 hours of college credit through the program.

Additional interns for the Judith A. Herndon Legislative Fellows Program were Heather Bailey from Marshall University, Monica Bell from Glenville State College, Amy Jo Christy from West Virginia University, Keith Hoover from West Virginia Wesleyan College, Arnetta Morgan from West Virginia University, Heather Ooten from the University of Charleston, and Joseph Pauley from Glenville State College.

For information on attending Concord call 1-888-384-5249 or 1-304-384-5248 or e-mail


PHOTO: Betty Harrah leaves the state capitol after working in Senator Plymale’s office. Harrah is a social work major from Beckley.

CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Jesse Call, a student in Concord University’s political science department, wrote this press release. His hometown is Pocahontas, Va.