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Hobby Fellows head to Austin for legislative internships

Hobby Center for Public Policy program prepares students and recent alumni for professional life of service

Hobby Fellows in front of E-Cullen cougar statue

The Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) has sent its latest class of Hobby Fellows to Austin to work in the 84th regular Texas legislative session that began on January 13.

The Hobby Fellows program is a full-time legislative internship program held in the Texas capital during the spring semester of the legislative session, which convenes every two years in odd-numbered years.

Renée Cross, associate director of the HCPP and director of the center’s Hobby Fellows program, says a legislative session internship offers opportunities to learn and grow, both professionally and personally.

“There is a feeling of ‘all hands on deck’ during the hectic five months of a session,” she said. “Our Hobby Fellows will be immersed in the legislative process through research, writing, hearings and meetings with constituents and lobbyists. These experiences can transform a young adult’s life.”

The eight Hobby Fellows each will work full-time in a legislator’s office.

“I want to work on legislation and policy research,” said Eric Schroeder, who graduated in December with a political science degree and will work in Rep. Garnet Coleman’s office. “I sought out Rep. Coleman because of his work on mental health issues. I had a brother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and committed suicide. That sparked my interest in public policy.” 

Acceptance into the program is based on merit—a combination of grades, experience and writing ability.  Candidates also must have a demonstrated record of public service.

“I’ll be working in Rep. Jim Murphy’s office,” said Roel Benavides Jr., who also graduated in December with a political science degree. “While I’m excited about dealing with legislation and policy issues, I’m just excited to be working in the Capitol.”

For more information on the UH Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Hobby Fellows program, visit

- By Marisa Ramirez

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