Northwestern senior selected for Civic Education Fellow award for internship at State Capitol

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Northwestern senior selected for Civic Education Fellow award for internship at State Capitol

February 15, 2017

Jack NickelsonNorthwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Social Sciences has selected the recipient for the Civic Education Fellow award for this academic year.

Jack Nickelson, Mooreland senior and political science major, will represent Northwestern at the Oklahoma State Capitol in May. Nickelson will work with Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, during the final weeks of the legislative session.

Nickelson is looking forward to meeting Marlatt and benefiting from the real-world application that will come through the internship.

“It’s exciting, but first of all it was an honor to even be considered for something like this,” he said. “It just made me really appreciate the hard work that I put into my studies and just makes me want to give back.”

Nickelson’s minor is in history with an emphasis in global studies.

“I appreciate the way that politics affects everyone’s lives,” he said. “I appreciate the positive difference that a politician, or someone who works in politics, can make for society as a whole…With the way the world is changing and getting smaller, you need an emphasis on global studies.”

Northwestern’s Department of Social Sciences provides many opportunities for its students to learn and develop skills for their field outside of the classroom with the Civic Education Fellowship Program being a prime example. The program was established six years ago to support departmental students who wish to pursue a career in public service. Each year, qualified applicants may submit a completed application with transcript to Dr. Kay Decker, professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Social Sciences. Applicants are reviewed by departmental faculty, and the selection is determined based on GPA, essay and applicant knowledge of public service.

Civic Education Fellows are provided with a stipend to intern at the Oklahoma State Capitol during the final weeks of the legislative session or may choose to pursue an internship in Congress with one of Oklahoma’s elected officials. Students can spend anywhere from one week to three months working in the Oklahoma State Capitol or the United States Capitol learning about legislative- and budget-setting processes.

After graduating in May, Nickelson plans to continue his education to receive his master’s degree and eventually pursue a doctorate to serve society by becoming a teacher.

For more information on this internship opportunity or the Department of Social Sciences, please contact Decker at (580) 327-8521 or