Chancellor’s Mayoral Internship Program Caps Off Elevated Second Year

Rutgers University in Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis was joined by Mayor of Camden Victor G. Carstarphen and six exceptional Rutgers–Camden students for the concluding luncheon of the 2023 Chancellor’s Mayoral Internship Program on Tuesday, July 25. The event brought together Rutgers–Camden community members and officials from Camden City Hall to celebrate the contributions of the six interns, who learned from municipal leaders as they took on a variety of specialized roles. Chancellor Tillis founded the internship program as part of his “15 in 5” slate of initiatives to introduce Rutgers–Camden students to the wide range of ways they can make a difference in public-service careers.

“I want our students to be aware of the multiple opportunities for employment that exist within municipal government irrespective of their major,” Chancellor Tillis said from the podium. “You are the next generation of lawyers, mayors, public defenders, and community builders. We are hopeful that the experience you have gained will catapult you as you move on in your professions.”

Mayor Carstarphen expressed that the internships were incredible opportunities not just for the students, but also for Camden City Hall staff. He stressed city leaders’ commitment to helping student interns add valuable experience to their resumes.

“This has been, by all means, a success for the City of Camden, for Rutgers, and for all the interns who have come through and learned about what local government takes,” Mayor Carstarphen said in his remarks. “You are impacting the quality of life for our residents in Camden with every little thing that goes on in each department. You are what ‘Camden Strong’ embodies: working together every day to make our city better.”

Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis makes remarks and the concluding luncheon event.

Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis makes remarks and the concluding luncheon event.

Beginning each June, participating Rutgers–Camden students serve eight-week summer internships. At the luncheon, each of the following interns from the second annual class of the Chancellor’s Mayoral Internship Program gave brief presentations on what they learned while working in areas vital to the improvement of Camden:

Victoria Alexander (City Council): Worked in polling places, records retrieval, and updated an anti-bullying resource booklet to aid children facing harassment

Eva Chen (Planning and Development): Worked on outreach materials regarding wildlife preservation and air quality in Camden

Jacob Honesty (Law Department): Conducted research for attorneys and worked on ordinances related to the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Camden

Emily Konell (Law Department): Observed legal arguments and depositions; drafted motions and memos for city attorneys

Yanan Li (Planning and Development): Performed mapping and geocoding related to city zoning and code enforcement

Lelah Tekhna (Special Projects and Events): Contributed to City of Camden’s Juneteenth celebration and events for the Rutgers Future Scholars program.

Both Chancellor Tillis and Mayor Carstarphen expressed their excitement for future editions of the program, which will continue next year as part of a five-year agreement between the university and the City of Camden.

“I want to thank the interns for being amazing representatives of Rutgers University in Camden,” Chancellor Tillis said in his closing remarks. “You are what Rutgers excellence looks like!” 

Creative Design: Karaamat Abdullah
Photographer: Ron Downes, Jr.