Promise of a new generation of political leaders on display at Rebovich Institute conference

Annual statewide conference connects nearly 100 students
Adam Grybowski
The 3rd annual Rebovich Statewide Intern Conference on July 19 attracted 97 summer interns currently working in politics, government and public policy.

Representing the next generation of political leaders, the interns participated in sessions that analyzed the new state budget and a preview of the fall mid-term elections in New Jersey. They also took part in several networking activities during the free conference.

"The strong response this conference receives each year is an encouraging indication that the up and coming generation is focused on providing political leadership in the state for years to come," said Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. "I'm particularly gratified that Rider takes a broad view of the Institute's mission to educate the next generation of New Jersey's political leaders, no matter where they attend school."

Interns hailed from 41 schools, including 34 universities and colleges and seven high schools. Of the attendees, more than 90 percent were new to the event. Fifteen Rider students took advantage of the opportunity, as well as 12 high school students. During the conference, all of them had the chance to spend time with each of the speakers and ask them questions, as well as network and socialize with each other.

President of Marathon Public Affairs Jeanette Hoffman and Managing Director of Archer Public Affairs William J. Caruso provided a campaign preview, assessing how the fall mid-term elections in New Jersey are taking shape in each Congressional District, with a particular focus on the most competitive races.  

Former State Treasurer David Rousseau and former Deputy State Treasurer Tom Neff provided an analysis of the new state budget, with a focus on the major sticking points and resolutions, as well as implications for future relations between Governor Phil Murphy and the Legislature.  

All four speakers were named visiting associates of the Rebovich Institute.

"After attending the Rebovich Institute's 3rd Annual Intern Conference, I believe I can speak for everyone when I say that we were able to gain insight on the issues that we face both on the state and federal level that few to no students can gain outside of the Rebovich Institute," said Joshua Aminov, who will be a junior in September.

The Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics is dedicated to public service and scholarly analysis of government, public policy, campaigns and elections in New Jersey. Founded in 2001 by the late Professor David Rebovich (1949–2007), the Institute is a dynamic and creative home where students can network, study and gain practical experience in New Jersey politics.

One of the biggest challenges for students seeking valuable internships is that most of the opportunities are unpaid. The Rebovich Intern Scholarship Fund allows select Rider students to receive a scholarship toward tuition for successfully completing an approved internship in politics, government, public policy or political advocacy. For more information about supporting The Rebovich Intern Scholarship Fund, please contact Micah Rasmussen at 609-896-7760 or [email protected].

Following the event, Hoffman congratulated the Rebovich Institute on a great event and wrote on Twitter that she "had a great time talking politics" with Caruso and "to this group of politically-engaged young people. The future is bright!"