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A new political science graduate from Central Michigan University is winner of the 2017 Michigan State University’s Daniel Rosenthal Legislative Intern Award.

Daniel Cavins, who hails from Fort Wayne, IN, won the award, graduated from CMU and landed a new job as a legislative aide in Sen. Morris Hood’s office in the same week. “It’s great to have things snowball,” he said.

He worked in Hood’s office as legislative intern for about six months, helping to rewrite Michigan laws and responding to constituents as part of his duties.

He previously interned as a copyrighter a couple of summers ago, but changed his major from advertising to political science in his senior year. “It’s just an incredible honor to receive such a prestigious and meaningful award. It’s something that’s great to start off my career with.”

He plans to save his Rosenthal cash award and apply for a MSU Public Policy Masters degree in 2018.

The Rosenthal Internship Program is co-sponsored by MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and James Madison College.

"We are delighted to extend these awards to interns who serve in the state Capitol,” said James Madison Dean Sherman Garnett.

MSU’s Rosenthal Award is named for the late Daniel Rosenthal. Speakers at Rosenthal AwardsHis family established the honor to encourage interns who valued their legislative experiences as much as Rosenthal had valued his.

Since Rosenthal’s untimely death in 1977, the Rosenthal has increased internship awards and added a series of workshops, featuring speakers and panelists offering tips in internship excellence along with strategies for turning an internship into a career.

The state Capitol experiences and expanded Rosenthal program equip interns with new skills, new networks to tap and knowledge that can lead directly to a rewarding career,” said IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann.

Zachery Karnaz, of Cement City, was named winner of the Vernon Ehlers Intern Award as part of the Daniel Rosenthal Internship Award ceremonies.

Karnaz is a political science student at Jackson College. He interned with state Rep. Martin Howrylak, taking part in constituent contact days and assembling databases to drive communications.

The internship, Karnaz said in his application, gave him the confidence to return to school to earn his associate’s degree in arts. He was also recently elected a Cement City Village Trustee.

The award was established by The Hon. Vernon Ehlers, former Michigan congressman from the state’s third district as an addition to the Rosenthal prize.

Rosenthal runner-up award winners are Stone Kelly, of Saginaw, now residing in Lansing, and Elizabeth Trombley, of Grand Blanc, studying public and nonprofit administration at CMU.

Kelly interned at Michigan House TV for the past two years. He’s graduating this summer and on his way to pursuing a political science degree at MSU.

Trombley interned in state Rep. Patrick Green’s office researching infrastructure, scheduling events and helping re-instate a constituent’s food stamps. “Each accomplishment is a learning opportunity and an experience that will benefit my future,” she said in her application.

Other Rosenthal Award finalists come from across the state, including:

  • Alec D’Annunzio, of Troy, who studies criminal justice and political science at MSU and interned with state Rep. Klint Kesto.

  • Jeoffrey deSpelder, of Lansing, interned in the office of state Rep. Ed McBroom.

  • Steven Else, of Waterford, analyzed reports and potential legislation on complex and technical issues during his internship with Green.

  • Andrew Irons, of Rochester, studies international relations and comparative culture and politics at MSU and interned for state Rep. Sylvia Santana.