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Political Science Student Sees Science of Politics Up Close at GOP Convention


Brianna BurnsBrianna Bruns has always watched the news on CNN. Now, as an intern for the network, she’s getting a behind-the-scenes look into how the news comes together at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Bruns, a junior political science major at LMU. “Politics has always been fascinating to me. I grew up watching CNN, so it’s so rewarding to now be interning for them.”

Bruns was placed with CNN through her participation in The Washington Center’s Academic Seminar. The seminar is a two-week course that examines the role of national political conventions in the process of nominating and electing a party’s candidate. Students spend the first week taking courses on the history of politics and presidential elections in the United States, and the second week doing fieldwork in various positions related to the convention.

“I’m getting an understanding of the convention from an insider’s perspective,” Bruns said. “It’s so interesting to see all of the work that goes into producing a major event like this.”

Bruns received a tour of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and many of the media rooms as well as the private rooms for the politicians. During the convention, she will serve as a runner for the CNN political desk. Her responsibilities include assisting with rehearsals with CNN anchors, collecting news footage and helping set up CNN correspondent booths.

After the convention, Bruns will travel to London as a Hansard Fellow with LMU’s Institute for Leadership Studies, which is headed by Political Science Professor Michael Genovese. She’ll spend the semester studying British politics and public policy at the London School of Economics, and interning in the office of Graham Allen, member of the House of Commons in the British Parliament. The fellowship is awarded to one LMU student each semester.

“I’m very excited to represent LMU as a Hansard Fellow,” Bruns said. “I hope the experience will help me gain a better understanding of British politics and about political science on a global level.”