Not all politics are partisan

July 03, 2014

RJonesRobert Jones, a recent graduate of Stetson’s 2014 class and the student director of the university’s Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate for the past two years, is a prime example of non-partisan politics. A registered Republican, Jones has been mentored by T. Wayne Bailey, Ph.D., professor for more than 50 years, founder of the Political Science Department at Stetson, co-founder of Stetson’s Model U.S. Senate, and a 10-time Florida delegate to the Democratic National Convention, beginning in 1972.

“Over the course of my four years at Stetson, I really learned that what we need in politics is people who can see all sides of an issue and can understand that not all solutions are partisan,” said Jones. “I really learned the importance of researching and understanding all sides of an issue before forming an opinion. Stetson students are some of the most politically active students around. That is due, in no small part, to Dr. T. Wayne Bailey. He has helped place hundreds, if not thousands, of students in internships spanning from the local courthouse to the halls of Congress. A quick glance at state and federal legislatures will produce a long list of Dr. Bailey’s former students.”

Jones, who has shown a strong interest in congressional affairs throughout his studies, has worked at the office of Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.) by assisting the district director in event staffing and constituent involvement.

“My internship experience at the office of Congressman John Mica has allowed me to grow professionally,” said Jones. “From the campaign trail to the congressional office, I got to see and do it all. Congressman Mica is such a huge advocate for our veterans and those in need. Working with him showed me the good that can be done with our political system. This internship really helped hone my passion.”

Political science students at Stetson University are constantly encouraged to pursue internship opportunities to engage in local, state, and national politics. “Internships have long been an integral part of a political science education at Stetson,” said Eugene Huskey, Ph.D., professor and chair of Stetson’s Department of Political Science. “Internships are often difference-makers in student careers. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, hundreds of political science majors have been placed in internships in campaigns, local governments and courts, non-profit organizations, and federal agencies in Central Florida.  And all Stetson students studying on the Washington Semester are placed in internships, which range from work in congressional offices to ‘think-tanks’ like the American Enterprise Institute.”

Jones plans to gain some additional work experience and apply to law school in the coming year. During his senior year at Stetson, he was awarded the Political Science Outstanding Senior Award and the William Amory Underhill Award as the senior most likely to make an impact on government through public service.

“Robbie Jones exemplifies the integrity, discipline, and public-spiritedness of William Amory Underhill, the distinguished public servant from Volusia County after whom the award was named,” said Huskey. “There is much talk these days about the importance of teams in the business world, but it is rare to speak of a graduating senior as a member of a department’s team in the academic world. This was the case with Robbie Jones, who in his role as student assistant, teaching apprentice, and director of Model Senate, made an invaluable contribution to the life of the Department of Political Science at Stetson during his four years as a student,” said Huskey.

by Michael van Oppen


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