Student Selected as Press Intern for the U.S. Senate
From New York’s Capitol to the U.S. Capitol, Marist Junior Emily Stellakis '24 has been strengthening her skills in American politics. Accomplished and driven, Stellakis has been spending the current semester studying and working in Washington, D.C. as a press intern for the U.S. Senate.
A political science major with a minor in communications and a concentration in journalism, Stellakis is an avid consumer of American politics with aspirations to work in political communications. A native of Wyckoff, New Jersey, Stellakis’ political efforts are rooted in her love of local politics. She worked on a reelection campaign for her hometown congressman, calling voters, rallying volunteers, and building her campaigning skills from the ground up.
Before making her way to D.C., Stellakis spent the previous summer interning in Albany through Marist’s Albany Summer Internship Program. During her time in Albany, Stellakis immersed herself in the legislative process and gained substantive experience tracking bill progress, writing, conducting research, and witnessing the passage of several landmark bills.
“I landed a terrific placement in the New York State Senate thanks to Dr. Martin Shaffer and Dr. Krista Applebee, who led the Albany program and connected students with internship sites tailored to their career interests,” said Stellakis. “In just six weeks, I gained extensive insight into state government operations, a heightened sense of confidence in my future career path, and serious experience that was pivotal in helping me land my current role in D.C.”
Stellakis covering a President Biden event for the Marist Circle. Photos courtesy of Emily Stellakis.
In her current role with the U.S. Senate, Stellakis supports New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press and communications team while also attending classes through American University’s Washington Semester Program, thanks to Marist’s long-standing partnership with the school. The program presents a unique opportunity for students to gain substantial internship experience in D.C. while taking classes and earning credits.
“Emily was an excellent candidate for the Washington Semester Program because she was so excited about the opportunity to learn ‘on the job’ and took steps to prepare for it,” said Dr. Melissa Gaeke, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership and Senior Professional Lecturer in Political Science. “Emily is curious, humble and a very hard worker and I am not at all surprised that she is having as much success as she is.”
Stellakis at the White House (left) and the Library of Congress (right). Photos courtesy of Emily Stellakis.
Stellakis was awarded the Marist Peter P. O’Keefe, PhD Endowed Scholarship, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Certificate in opinion writing for an article she wrote about voting laws, and was chosen to represent Marist as the delegate to the 2022 Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She also got the rare opportunity to cover a recent visit from President Biden to Poughkeepsie last year as a student news editor for the Marist Circle.
“Interning on the Hill has been the most exciting and fulfilling experience, and it’s solidified that this is exactly where I want to land after Marist,” said Stellakis. “D.C. has always been the backdrop of my career ambitions; working on the Hill is my ultimate goal, so I knew interning here as an undergrad could be instrumental in helping me land my dream job.”
When Stellakis isn’t at her internship on Capitol Hill or in class, she can be found with her sketchpad drawing at some of D.C.’s most picturesque spots like the U.S. Botanic Garden, Portrait Gallery, or Tidal Basin. After graduation next year, Stellakis plans to move to D.C. full-time to continue working towards her dream job as a congressional press secretary.