Student Programs

**Effective 8/21/15 the new stipend for the 2016 Undergraduate Session Assistants Program is $5,025.**


From the halls of higher-learning to the halls of the State Capitol, New York State Senate Student Programs offers undergraduate and graduate students exciting opportunities to learn about state government and to experience firsthand the legislative process.

Visit this page throughout the year for updates from current participants and alumni. You can also learn more about the program

Updates

Undergraduate Program

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

The Senate Undergraduate Session Assistants Program offers approximately 30 talented undergraduate students an opportunity to experience state government and the legislative process, through their participation in an on-site, academic enriching, and career building work experience. The Program runs about four months, beginning in early January and ending in late April.

August 21, 2015
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In the News: Former Senate Fellow Lands New Role as Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at Touro Law

New Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Announced at Touro Law

Touro Law Center Dean Patricia Salkin is pleased to announce the hiring of Erica Vladimer, Class of 2013 as the new Director of Alumni and Donor Relations. 

"It is a unique opportunity for an institution when one of its own highly qualified graduates accepts an alumni position,” said Dean Salkin. “Erica Vladimer brings a passion and valuable perspective to this job, and the faculty and staff join me in welcoming her to this new role."  

June 16, 2015
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In the News: Student Programs Announces 2015 Margaret J. Hughes Scholarship Award Winner!

Senator Martin Golden congratulates his former Session Assistant, Mitchell Lucas, on receiving the 2015 Margaret J. Hughes Award.  

May 28, 2015
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In the News: Session Assistant Raises Awareness of Water Quality Issues on Skaneateles Lake

In session: Skaneateles native Mitchell Lucas writes mock legislation as state Senate intern

ALBANY | Mitchell Lucas is preparing to introduce a bill in the New York State Senate that he hopes will work toward keeping invasive species out of Skaneateles Lake and maintaining the pristine quality of the water.

No, the Skaneateles native is not a state senator himself. Instead, the Le Moyne College senior is spending his final semester of school interning in the Albany legislative office of Sen. Martin Golden, a Brooklyn Republican.

And, as part of that program, Lucas and his fellow interns spent Friday introducing and debating legislation that they wrote themselves based on issues they gained interest and knowledge in through their work.

April 23, 2015
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Where are they now?: Peter Brodie -- 1990 Session Assistant

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

Session Assistant Program – 1990 

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship?

Senator Ronald B. Stafford (R-46), Deputy Majority Leader for Legislative Operations

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship office placement.

February 9, 2015
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Graduate Program

 

GRADUATE PROGRAM

The Graduate Fellowships offered by the Senate include Legislative Fellowships and Memorial Fellowships.

Legislative Fellowships

Each Legislative Fellow is assigned to a specific Senator’s office, where they will function largely as if they were regular staff.  While duties vary depending on the needs of the member, Legislative Fellows generally perform in-depth policy research, take part in meetings with various interest groups and constituents, and attend legislative sessions.

Memorial Fellowships

January 20, 2015
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Alumni Testimonial: Sydney Gross -- 2014 Session Assistant

Participating in the New York State Senate Session Assistants Program was the best experience of my college education.  As a student at the University at Albany studying public policy with a concentration in education policy, I applied for this internship to learn more about how government works, and more specifically to learn about New York State education policy and the challenges facing education policy on a daily basis. Being placed in Senator Flanagan’s office, who is the chair of the New York State Senate Education Committee, was a dream come true!  

October 16, 2014
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Where are they now?: Jared Newman -- 2013 Session Assistant

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

Session Assistants Program --Spring 2013

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship?

Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship office placement.

October 9, 2014
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Where are they now?: Katy Wallace Vescio -- 2006-07 Legislative Fellow

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

September 2006 – May 2007

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship?

Senator George Maziarz

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship office placement.

September 26, 2014
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Where are they now?: Natalie Peterman -- 2013-14 Legislative Fellow

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

Senate Fellowship -- 2013-2014.

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship/fellowship?

Senator Neil D. Breslin.

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship/fellowship office placement?

August 21, 2014
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Alumni Testimonial: Trevor Bender -- 2014 Session Assistant

As an undergraduate public policy major at the University at Albany, the NYS Senate Session Assistants Program provided me with an opportunity to experience the real inner-workings of New York State government, an experience I could not have had anywhere else.  This internship gave me a wide range of benefits. It gave me the chance to work alongside State Senator Simcha Felder throughout a full legislative session. I was able to attend sessions, work on legislation, host meetings with advocates, and set up legislative committee meetings. These experiences allowed me to meet people from all over the legislature and to gain meaningful insight into all the jobs that are involved in the legislative process.

June 30, 2014
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Alumni Testimonial: Angelica R. Katz -- 2007 Session Assistant

As an undergraduate Political Science major, the NYS Senate Session Assistants Program provided me an opportunity to experience the real inner workings of New York State government – something that cannot be taught in classrooms.  This internship gave me a wide range of benefits. It gave me the chance to work alongside NYS Senator Joseph Griffo (R-Utica) throughout a full legislative session. It offered me a strong network of mentors to put me on the right track to pursue my passion.  And, most important, it gave me a head start in my career and quickly opened doors for me.

July 30, 2013
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In the News: Former Senate Fellow and 'Lost Boy' from Sudan Finds a Home in Public Service

From broken universe to Syracuse, former 'Lost Boy' lands city hall job

Syracuse, NY - When it came time to welcome a group of new United States citizens to Syracuse, Mayor Stephanie Miner’s representative stood up.

He faced a courtroom full of immigrants from Somalia, Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Sudan and other “broken universes,” as he put it.

“Like myself,” he said.

May 14, 2013
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Congress to Campus Visit

In April, two Former Congress Members, Sue Kelly and George Hochbruechner, met with the 2012-13 Legislative Fellows and 2013 Undergraduate Session Assistants.  Students engaged in a lively discussion and received an inside look at the workings of Congress.

May 6, 2013
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In the News: SUNY Albany Students, Cindy Ogando and Erica Akpaka Share Their Internship Experiences

Photo by Mark Schmidt, University at Albany

 

Senate, Assembly Internships a Capital Experience for University at Albany Students

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 8, 2013) – The University at Albany’s legislative program serves as a major pipeline for students wishing to gain practical internship experience in the New York State Assembly and Senate. According to representatives at the Assembly Intern Committee, UAlbany sent more students this spring than any other university or college, which resulted in a record number of acceptances to internships in the New York State Assembly.

April 15, 2013
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Where are they now?: Dave Thoman -- 2010-11 Biggane Fellow

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

2010-2011

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship?

Senate Finance

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your fellowship office placement.

I came into the Finance Committee when the Republicans had retaken control of the Senate. We were staffing up during session, and the low staff numbers required a jack-of-all-trades approach – I would serve as support staff, help reconcile project information, and assist the analyst on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture.

March 13, 2013
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Where are they now?: Lee Hagy -- 2011-12 Senate Fellow

1. When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?

I participated in the Senate Fellowship after graduating from Hofstra University School of Law, in the 2011-2012 fellowship year.

2. Which Senate office were you placed in during your fellowship?

My placement was in the Office of Senator Joseph E. Robach.  I worked with other staff members to serve constituents from the 56th Senate District, which encompasses part of the City of Rochester and nearby towns. 

3. Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship office placement.

March 1, 2013
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