by Public Relations Office
Cedarville, OhioRubbing elbows with Senator Trent Lott and hearing presentations by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft made for an interesting summer for Cedarville University senior Matt Stephens. The Bellbrook, Ohio, native obtained an eye-opening United States Senate internship through the Cedarville Career Services Office, which works with several Cedarville graduates in Washington, D.C. to coordinate such experiences. For two months, Stephens served in the office of Senator George V. Voinovich (Ohio), where he attended hearings and meetings and gained a firsthand look at how senate offices function. In particular, he assisted the senator`s financial legislative aide on topics such as tax, trade, budget, and financial services. One of Stephens` assignments involved contacting all senate offices to solicit senators` signatures on a Voinovich letter regarding steel tariffs. The letter was later sent to the U.S. trade representative and the head of a visiting European Union delegation. The highlight of Stephens` experience was attending a session of the Homeland Security Hearings. Stephens found himself seated next to senators for the historic meeting. "It was humbling," he said, "but at the same time it was an amazing learning experience. We had the best possible seats. We were even on C-SPAN!" The internship helped Stephens gain a clearer picture of politics, law, and D.C. life. "D.C. is a busy place, but yet it`s spiritually dead," he remarked. "It`s an overwhelming place at times, because people have so many different perspectives." A finance major with a minor in political science, Stephens is praying about what direction to take after college: law school or business school. Whichever he chooses, he hopes to find a job where he can have a passion for his employer`s mission and goals. Reflecting on his education at Cedarville, Stephens shared, "I appreciate the biblical perspective here. Working in D.C. reminded me that we won`t always be working in a Christian environment. That makes me appreciate Cedarville even moreit`s a great environment in which to grow." Stephens is the son of Cedarville alumni Mike and Debby Stephens of Bellbrook, Ohio.