Board of Regents student intern

Essence BoydOnline Editor

With the class of 2021’s journey at the university coming to an end, many seniors have found opportunities to receive real life, hands-on experience in their fields.

Interdisciplinary studies major, Aidan Coleman is one of those many students. With the help of Associate Dean of Graduate studies Johnathan Warton, Coleman has been given the opportunity to intern with Sean Bradbury, director of government relations and external affairs for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, this spring semester.

“It’s mainly helping him with the legislative board,” said Coleman, a senior. “Just kind of the behind the scenes work of what goes into supporting the forefront year and assessing community colleges at the legislative level.”

As a former professor and now ally, Warton has been able to see Coleman take his classroom knowledge and apply it to the real world.

“He is very intelligent, I never doubted that,” said Warton. “He is a very effective writer — I would probably put him in one of the best categories of writers. He is very passionate about a variety of things, especially public policy.”

Throughout his time on campus, Coleman has been a familiar face to his peers. Coleman previously served as a Student Government Association Representative, and now works at the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Adanti Student Center. No matter what he is doing on campus, his peers say he is a great person to know.

“Aidan has been nothing short of a stand-up guy,” said business administration major Enrique Cruz, a sophomore. “As my roommate this semester, I can say for sure that he has one of the friendliest and most welcoming personalities on campus.”

Although this opportunity is a great one, it can also be intimidating at times, according to Coleman.

“Ultimately, if my supervisor believes that it was a good experience, he might go on to conduct further internships — and if it’s not a good experience, that can negatively impact an internship program like this,” said Coleman. “Which is really a stellular opportunity for our students to be involved in the legislative process.”

Although the fear of leaving a bad impression is always on Coleman’s mind while completing his task, the feeling of pride is also present.

“I’m a bit proud, I’m not afraid to admit,” said Coleman. “It’s not so ‘much ‘look what I did,’ it feels like a good accomplishment for me. Being here for five years, I can look back like ‘yeah I did that and that feels really cool.’”

While Coleman has been assisting Warton at the State Legislature, Warton has been reciprocating the gesture, and assisting Coleman in his work back on campus.

“Many people tend to forget that although I seemed to be tagged as a political scientist, I do more policy — which is very different than political science,” said Warton. “[Coleman] has leaned on me a lot for that. Whether it is SGA, whether it is the classroom, we share that common interest and bond together of the public policy drafting.”

As a former SGA Representative to the Faculty Senate, according to Coleman, the student government started his interest in politics and even encouraged him to change his career path.

“My whole interest in higher education and politics started and is defiantly owed to the student government,” said Coleman. “It was where I got my first involvement on campus freshman year. Before this I was an education major. I then tailored my major into something in the career. I found my home here at Southern.”

Photo credit: Aidan Coleman

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