January 13, 2015

Brione Lockett named Alexander Lane intern

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale student Brione Lockett is the 2015 Alexander Lane Intern and will serve on the House Democratic Issues/Communication staff for the Illinois House of Representatives this year. 

Lockett, from Rolling Meadows, will earn his bachelor’s degree in History and Africana Studies in May. His work with the House Democratic staff will include assisting representatives in communicating with constituents and researching and analyzing proposed legislation.  Linda Baker, a university professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, mentors the interns in Springfield. 

The institute established the Alexander Lane Internship program in 2011 to honor Lane, the first African-American male student at the institution that would become SIU Carbondale. The paid internship allows at least one student each spring to work with a minority member of the Illinois General Assembly toward the goal of carrying on Lane’s legacy of high achievement and public service. Lane rose from meager beginnings in pre-Civil War Mississippi to become a school principal, physician, and an Illinois state legislator, serving in 1906 and 1908. He died in 1911 in Chicago. 

In applying for the internship program, Lockett has already demonstrated his commitment to and passion for government service. Last spring, he joined students from SIU in visiting the Illinois state capitol and meeting with state officials and served as SIU student speaker. He worked with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, in talking with college students and with Illinois state Rep. Arthur Turner, Jr., D-Chicago, addressing East St. Louis youth during the annual Leadership Weekend at SIU Carbondale. Lockett earned the Vince Demuzio Internship last fall, handling projects involving constituents needing assistance with government agencies in the Marion office of state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion. 

“The Lane Internship is invaluable to students truly wanting to experience state government and politics up-close,” David Yepsen, institute director, said. “Brione will not only be a positive asset for the legislative staff, with his experience and desire to learn and work hard, but he will also gain extraordinary skill sets in understanding first-hand how government works and policies are made.” 

Private donations from individuals and corporations fund the Lane Internship program. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/donate/ or sent to the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Mail Code 4429, 1231 Lincoln Dr., Carbondale, Illinois 62901. Checks should be made payable to SIU Foundation. For more information, contact Delio Calzolari, associate director, at 618-453-4001 or email Delio@siu.edu.