Honors student shadows state representative

Meaghan Lynch, right, shadowed state representative David Rutledge, left, for a day.

Meaghan Lynch was awarded the opportunity to shadow David Rutledge, a state representative for the 54th House District, Wednesday in Lansing as part of a program hosted by The Honors College.

The sophomore, a double major in political science and public and nonprofit administration, won the second annual “A Day in the Life” competition.

“I learned a lot,” Lynch said. “And the visit gave me my first real look into what a career in public service is going to look like. It really reminded me of why I wanted to get into this field in the first place.”

After a meet and greet and lunch, Lynch sat in on the Government Committee Meeting and was announced to the Full House.

Rutledge said he originally became involved in the program because he appreciated what Eastern Michigan University was doing with its undergraduate population and the support it gave to The Honors College program.

Last year, he shadowed now junior public relations and communications major Andrea Mellendorf on EMU’s campus.

The application process included an essay explaining why the applicant believed himself or herself to be the best representative of The Honors College.

Lynch said she applied for the opportunity because of her interest in state government and the functioning of legislature.

“I learned a lot about how legislatures function on a day-to-day basis, what kinds of things Michigan representatives do, the structure of debate and what kind of arguments are discussed at the state level,” she said.

Lynch said she wanted to meet someone who was an integral part of the legislature process. She said Rutledge was supportive of EMU and her education.

“If I learned anything from him, it would be to keep in touch with your roots, to care about the people around you and to work hard and take initiative— good things will come your way,” Lynch said.

Rutledge said the program is special and “speaks to the quality of EMU.” He said he hopes that he can add to Lynch’s academic experience by participating in the program.

He said he was impressed with Lynch’s interest in public service.

“I was also impressed with her enthusiasm, the way she could articulate what her goals are, her vision and why she wanted to participate in this particular day at the capitol,” Rutledge said.


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