Tori Badawey and Adam Fox of West Virginia Wesleyan College have been awarded the Judith A. Herndon Fellowship of the West Virginia Legislature for the 2015 session. Badawey of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada is a sophomore political science and history major, and Fox of Charleston, WV is a sophomore political science major.
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.
While Fox expects the fellowship to be “hard work,” Badawey, who is on-path to become a lawyer, stated, “My expectation during this fellowship will be to learn about the inner workings of the legislature at the state and, hopefully one day, the Federal level of government and be given the opportunity to gain valuable experience that I can one day bring to the forefront and use in my career as a lawyer.”
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.
Both Badawey and Fox appreciate the education they have received thus far at Wesleyan and how it has prepared them for these types of opportunities.
“Dr. (Robert) Rupp has taught me about how West Virginia politics work, so I am ready,” stated Fox. “I am excited to be able to witness first-hand how everything at the Capitol actually works.”
Badawey commented, “My experience at Wesleyan has been nothing short of amazing. My professors have guided, encouraged, and helped me achieve success in all aspects of my college education. I have been able to reach a standard I did not believe I could reach. I can speak well on issues, adapt to new technologies, and think critically and act logically in all areas thanks to the education, training, and guidance I have received thus far at Wesleyan.”
In their free time, Fox and Badawey are active members of the Wesleyan community. Fox is a member of the men’s soccer team, while Badawey is a sister of Alpha Delta Pi, an executive member of the Pre-Law Society, a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Chapter of Honors Society, and a history tutor.
Both Fox and Badawey understand that the Herndon Fellowship provides an opportunity to enhance their legislative awareness and skills.
“It is a great honor to be selected to this program, and I am extremely excited to learn about the inner workings of the legislative process,” commented Fox.
For Badawey, law is a family business. “For as long as I can remember, my passion has been the law and politics,” she said. “My uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather are or were all politicians in my hometown. The exposure I will receive in this Fellowship will guide me in my future endeavors by allowing me to experience where and how laws are created.”
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.
Located in Buckhannon, West Virginia Wesleyan College offers 47 undergraduate majors along with graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, education, English creative writing, and nursing. During the past eight years, thirteen Wesleyan students have been named Fulbright Scholars, while four others have won international scholarships through the U.S. Department of State.