The Teri Leigh Olson Scholarship Endowment was established in 2013 in memory of Teri Olson, wife of Mackinac Center founding board member D. Joseph Olson. Each year, the Olson Scholarship Endowment provides a Hillsdale College student with the opportunity to complete a 10-week internship at the Mackinac Center. Our 2021 Olson Scholar was Jacob Gudmundsen, a Brigham Young University student who spent his summer as an environmental policy intern. Below, Gudmundsen reflects on his time with the Center.
When thinking about internships, making coffee runs and delivering reports come to mind.
Not at Mackinac, however. From the first day I entered the office, I was treated just the same as the other staff. This first impression stayed with me — the sense of camaraderie and support that I immediately felt at Mackinac.
As an environmental policy intern, I spent time reading environmental reports, digging up data on species populations, reviewing policy evaluations from other think tanks, and sorting through environmental regulation, both within and outside of Michigan.
The freedom I was given to investigate topics that interested me was one of my favorite parts of Mackinac. Some of the specific topics of my research included the implicit costs of alternative energy and wolf management in Michigan. Three of my articles were published on the Center’s blog.
Another favorite aspect of interning with Mackinac was the wide variety of policy issues I was introduced to. Through the Intern University program, I participated in discussions on familiar topics, such as economics, but also unfamiliar ones, including the Prohibition period.
If you are a prospective intern or know of college students looking for an experience that will further their knowledge in their own field, while also exposing them to new and relevant information in other fields, the Mackinac Center is the place to be.
If you would like to support the Teri Leigh Olson Scholarship Endowment at the Mackinac Center, please send your gift today to:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Attn: Teri Leigh Olson Scholarship
140 West Main Street
Midland, MI 48640
We’ll be sure that your contribution is used to support future Olson scholars.