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Sen. Begich Welcomes Fall Interns


Young Alaskans in DC, Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks offices

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today announced he will welcome a group of Fall interns to his offices in Washington, D.C., Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks. Nine Alaskans will start their internship today and work through the December recess.

"Bringing the ideas and energy of young Alaskans into the work of the day is one of the great aspects of our Senate offices," Sen. Begich said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know another fine group of young people looking to learn more about politics and work with our staff to better serve Alaskans."

The interns working for Sen. Begich in the D.C. office include:

Stef Claus
Born in Eagle River, Claus's family followed her father's job as an Alaska State Trooper around the state living in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka and Klawock/Craig. A graduate of Craig High School, Claus moved to Washington, D.C. in September of 2005 to attend Georgetown University. She graduated from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown in May.

Rachel Kaplan
Kaplan is a 2009 graduate of West Valley High School in Fairbanks. After taking a year off from school, she will be anthropology major at Brown University. Kaplan was an intern with the Obama campaign in 2008, won the Youth Activist Scholarship from the ACLU, and served on the Alaska State ACLU's board as the student representative.  Kaplan is a 2009 University of Alaska Scholar.

Mathew Mund
A native of Fairbanks and graduate of West Valley High School, Mund is a 2008 cum laude graduate in Political Science from Dickinson State University in Dickinson, N.D.  While at Dickinson, Mund was awarded six scholarships. Currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Administration program at American University, Mund has worked as a tour guide on the Alaska Railroad and as an intern for Senator Byron Dorgan.

Michael Murali
Murali is a 2009 graduate in Political Science and Biochemistry (double major) of Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont.  A 2005 graduate of Service High School in Anchorage, he also spent a semester at the University College in London.  Last summer, Murali worked as an intern at Defenders of Wildlife in Anchorage where he gained a background on Alaska legislative issues and grassroots campaign measures.

Alex Ronchetti
A cum laude graduate of Anchorage's South High School, Ronchetti is now on a double major track of Business Administration and International Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.  Ronchetti is on the Dean's list, is a member of the National Honor Society, and won 1st Prize in Latin at the Alaska Statewide Language Declamation.  He has also traveled to Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Greece, and Antarctica as a member of the People to People Ambassador Program started by President Eisenhower.


Clare Bryant
Bryant is following up on a call from Sen. Begich when he was Mayor of Anchorage to her class in the 49th State Fellows Program at UAA to get involved in her community. She has volunteered at more than ten Alaska organizations, which has given her a variety of experiences in many areas important to Alaskans. Bryant is currently working on a degree in history from UAA She is interested in working on issues that help diversify Alaska's economy.

Samantha Englishoe
After growing up in Anchorage, Englishoe graduated from Seattle University in December as a merit scholarship recipient with a degree in Political Science.  She recently worked as a First Alaskans intern at Shell Alaska and also worked at the Alaska State Community Service Commission. She is a shareholder of Doyon and Sealaska and is interested in working on Alaska Native economic development issues. Englishoe plans to enter law school in the fall of 2010.


Scott Karnitz
Karnitz came to Anchorage from Kansas on a UAA track and field scholarship. After being active in campus governance, Karnitz graduated recently with a degree in Political Science. One of his summer jobs was with an air transport company which took him to many villages, giving him a familiarity with rural Alaska. Karnitz is pursuing a career in public service. He also holds the record at UAA for the hammer toss.


Edward Mertz
Born and raised in Juneau, Mertz is a 2008 Willamette University graduate with a degree in mathematics and computer science.  Mertz is interested in politics and wants to work for an elected official where he can make a difference in people's lives.  He will join the Juneau office after spending the summer working for a tourism company in Juneau.
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