Political Science graduate student Lucas Lothamer heads to Washington, D.C., this summer for the Archer Center Graduate Program in Public Policy.
Lothamer will join fellow graduate students Tharani Krishnakumar (School of Social Work and School of Urban and Public Affairs) and Claire Asher-Ewan (Social Work) as UT Arlington representatives.
The Archer Center graduate program, which runs May 29 through August 16, provides students from The University of Texas System with professional internships in D.C. thereby enhancing their knowledge of public policy and politics. Lothamer, who graduated with his bachelor’s degree in political science in 2013, said his undergraduate research on environmental policies sparked his interest in working with U.S. senators or in a private think tank on these issues.
“I’ve always been a vocal advocate of being conscientious of our actions and aware of the detrimental side-effects they may have on the environment,” Lothamer said. “My research really provoked my interest in environmental law and I am excited at the opportunity of working with a Senator or an organization that seeks to promote positive change for the environment.”
Lothamer said he hopes the experience will help him gain new insight into federal policies regarding clean air and nuclear energy, as well as environmental law. He hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at the university level after completing his master’s degree in 2015.
Additionally, Lothamer said he plans to work on research for this thesis while he is in D.C. for two-and-a-half months. His research will focus on how Congressional members utilize Facebook to connect with constituents during elections.
The Archer Center is named for retired U.S. Representative Bill Archer. The Graduate Program in Public Policy was established by The University of Texas System as a way to bring graduate students pursuing policy and politics to the nation’s capital to learn about the federal government and public service. Students earn nine in-residence credit hours and complete an internship on Capitol Hill, in an Executive Branch agency or other Washington, D.C., governmental or private sector organization.
Dr. Karl Petruso, Dean of the Honors College and longtime UT Arlington representative to the Archer Center, characterizes these as the best internships in Washington and outstanding opportunities in public service. He notes that Archer internships (which are offered at both the graduate and undergraduate levels) frequently launch UT Arlington students on their careers in government, politics, law, and media.
(Story by James Dunning/COLA)