Two Students Awarded Prestigious Judith A. Herndon Fellowship

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Jessicah Cross and La'Tiyah Stone

West Virginia Wesleyan College students Jessicah Cross of Buckhannon and La’Tiyah Stone of Rockford, IL, have been awarded the Judith A. Herndon Fellowship of the West Virginia Legislature for the 2014 session.

Herndon Fellowship is an internship sponsored by the Legislature to instruct undergraduate students in the theory and operation of legislative bodies. Only 10 students are selected for fellowships each legislature session. A highly competitive program, full-time students of all majors and disciplines from both public and private institutions of higher learning in West Virginia may apply.

“I hoping to gain a better understanding of state government by being a Herndon Fellow,” said Cross, a junior political science major. “I look forward to this rewarding opportunity working one-on-one with the Legislature.”

“I am very thankful that my education here at Wesleyan has prepared me for an opportunity such as this,” continued Cross. “I have great professors, and I am appreciative that Professor Rupp encouraged me to apply for the fellowship.  I applied the day of the deadline just in time for my application to be submitted. Throughout the experience, I had Dr. Rupp in my corner being the ‘voice of reason.’

Stone continued, “I am excited, and I look forward to the experience as a Herndon intern. The hands-on work will be the building blocks of the skills that I will need in the near future after graduation. This sets some ease in my mind knowing that I have the advantage of actually working and doing what I came to Wesleyan to learn about.”

Undergraduates are selected to participate in the 60-day session as Herndon Fellows and are assigned to assist a sole legislator from either the Senate or the House of Delegates. The interns are required to perform research and various staff functions. Among other job-related responsibilities, participants are introduced to and develop an understanding of the politics of legislation, legislative research, bill drafting, the role and function of committees and the executive-legislative liaison.

Herndon (1941-1980) was a native of Wheeling and practiced law with her father’s firm. During 10 years of legislative service, she was appointed to terms in both the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. She was known for her voice of moderation and leadership in issues such as tax reform, sunset legislation, and the protection of civil liberties.

West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private, residential college located in Buckhannon.  The institution is listed as a first-tier college and university in the South for the third consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guide. In addition, Wesleyan is the only West Virginia college or university to be included in the U.S. News’ Great Schools at Great Prices category for two consecutive years.