NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University Student Government Association President Jacob Ellis of Athens was one of 13 Louisiana college students who spent the summer interning in the administration of Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards.
Students participating in the nine-week Lamar Governor’s Fellows Programs in Louisiana Government were assigned to cabinet-level agencies for a close observation of government in the non-partisan program.
Ellis was assigned the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control where he studied the craft brewery industry and researched how craft breweries can grow and help the state’s economy. He and fellow interns had an audience with the governor earlier this week to describe their experiences and offer ideas on how to improve state operations.
Ellis was selected for the Governor’s Fellows Program because of high academic performance, devotion to the state of Louisiana and his interest in public service.
“I really enjoyed getting to learn first-hand about state government,” Ellis said. “I have a much better understanding about how our state is governed. I also made great contacts that will help me in the future. I really enjoyed the networking aspect. It was a great opportunity to learn and have fun while representing NSU.”
Students were provided housing at LSU and a $1,500 stipend. They also earned three hours of credit through LSU’s Public Administration Institute. Students took field trips to Angola Penitentiary for perspective on criminal justice changes, Southern University to discuss civil rights and the D-Day Museum in New Orleans.
“I truly enjoyed working with an outstanding group of young people,” he said. “It was great to see people my age with the same passion for our state and the dedication to get things done. I will remain friends with each one of these people. They impacted me as much as the program itself did.”
Ellis is starting his senior year at NSU and will graduate in May 2020. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Master’s of Public Administration and stay in Louisiana to help it make the state the best it can be, he said.