Ted Strauss Civic Internship Awards

University of Texas undergraduate students who will not be graduating before December 2020 are invited to apply for The Ted Strauss Civic Internship Award given by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, Moody College of Communication, to supplement their paid or unpaid internship in the fields of public policy, public service, government, or politics for the summer.  Previous award winners have worked for CNN, the U.S. Department of Education, the United States Senate, Defenders of Wildlife, the Muscular Dystrophy Association among other organizations and governmental agencies. The application deadline is Monday, May 25, 2020.

About the Ted Strauss Internship Award

Amount of the stipend: $2,000

Internship Applications

To apply, please email to strauss.institute@austin.utexas.edu:

  • Contact information including name, address, email, and telephone number
  • Major field of study and current overall GPA
  • Resume
  • Letter of acceptance from the office or agency where the internship will take place
  • 250 word description of your reason for applying

Internship Requirements

Internship must be in the area of public policy, public service, government, or politics. Must be an undergraduate and not be graduating before December 2019. Internship must be a minimum of 10 hours a week for 10 weeks. Internship must not include more than 25% clerical work. Course credit is preferred, but not required.

Expectations by the Institute 

The recipients will be expected to write a summary of their experience and to make a brief oral report, if requested, at the Annette Strauss Institute's advisory council meeting following their internship experience. Please contact us with questions.

2018 Strauss Internship Award Recipients

Natalie NehlsNatalie Nehls is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in International Relations and Government, and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. She has experience working with domestic government issues, at the city, state, and national levels as a New Politics Forum Ambassador and a legislative Research Intern with Project Vote Smart. This summer she served as Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s intern in his Austin District Office. After graduating from UT, Natalie plans to attend law school, and eventually work in the State Department.

Jordan ShenharJordan Shenhar is a senior from Westport, Connecticut majoring in Plan II, government, and economics, with minors in Middle East Studies and History. He works as an associate editor and senior columnist at The Daily Texan, as a research associate to Dr. Jeremi Suri in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and as a peer adviser in the Plan II Honors Program. This summer, he served as an intern with ACORE, is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the renewable energy sector through market development, policy changes, and financial innovation. Jordan's research interests and career goals center on how alternative energy production impacts electricity costs, and he spent a month in Costa Rica last spring studying national park financing and geothermal development. He hopes to pursue a graduate degree in energy economics before working as a policymaker or advocate in the renewable sector.

Gabrielle TorresGabrielle Torres is a Rising Senior studying Plan II, Government, and Spanish. She is passionate about international relations and desires to specialize in conflict prevention and crisis management. Torres is particularly interested in the nexus between conflict and human rights, she strives to promote the security of rights in countries facing civil strife, violence, and political instability. This summer she served as an intern with the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict & Stabilization Operations in Washington D.C. where she will work on policy proposals and statistical analysis for countries facing civil strife. This work will contribute to CSO’s annual reports on crisis-response efforts throughout the world.

2015 Strauss Internship Award Recipients

Hirrah Barlas

Hirrah Barlas is a journalism major pursuing a Bridging Disciplines Certificate in Human Rights & Social Justice. Hirrah interned this summer at Workers Defense Project as a Research & Policy intern. Previously, Hirrah enjoyed volunteering at Casa Marianella, an immigrant home that serves individuals who have come to the US seeking political asylum. Hirrah has continued her work with Workers Defense Project and is currently serving as a Development intern.


Madison Cassell

Madison Cassell is double majoring in Rhetoric and Writing & Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures with a specialization in Levantine Arabic. She interned this summer with the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. After graduation Madison hopes to work for the government, either domestically or abroad, and she hopes to combine her talent for writing with her language skills in Arabic to advise and create policies that engender cooperation and understanding between conflicting parties.


Lindsey Pearlstein

Lindsey Pearlstein is a junior majoring in Education and pursuing a certificate in Public Policy through the Bridging Disciplines Program. This summer, Lindsey interned with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked on the compliance team, a team dedicated to working on the most complex and high profile cases in the Northeast region. Lindsey currently serves as the Community Service Chair of Alpha Delta Pi.


Jordan Shenhar

Jordan Shenhar is junior majoring in Government, Economics, and Plan II with minors in Middle East Studies and History. He interned with the Millennial Action Project in DC this past summer as a policy intern. Jordan works as a senior columnist at the Daily Texan, as a research associate in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, as a peer adviser in the Plan II Honors Program, and is now participating in the Next Generation Scholars program at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law.