Panetta Institute chooses CSUSB student for Washington, D.C. internship


Edgar Lopez, a junior at Cal State San Bernardino, has been selected by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy to serve in its prestigious congressional internship program this summer and fall.

Edgar Lopez

Edgar Lopez

“It is a great honor,” said Lopez, 19, a political science major who lives in Beaumont. “I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to serve through this internship, and I look forward to using the experience I gain to affect positive change in the world around me.”

Students in the Panetta Congressional Internship Program, which is considered one of the most prestigious and valuable in the country, will learn about policy, practice and procedures of the United States Congress.

Lopez, who graduated with honors in 2011 from Beaumont High School, initially enrolled at CSUSB as a business major, but after taking a class on political science, he became intrigued by public policy and changed his major to political science. He plans on graduating in 2015.

“I hope to learn and gain hands-on experience in public policy,” Lopez said. “I want to be able to take what I have learned in my classes and apply it in a professional environment so that I can be a more effective leader.”

Lopez, who is the youngest in his family, plans on going to law school and ultimately work as a public servant.

“I don’t just want to be another member of society going through the motions, but be a catalyst for change and impact people’s lives in a positive way,” Lopez said.

The internship is part of the Panetta Institute, housed at Cal State Monterrey Bay. It was founded in 1997 by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and his wife Sylvia, and it serves the entire California State University System and several other schools.

Under the direction of Sylvia Panetta, the institute provides a variety of study opportunities in government, politics and public policy, and it sponsors a range of other activities to benefit the surrounding communities.

Lopez will join one student from each of the 23 California State University campuses, the Dominican University of California and Santa Clara University, for two weeks of intern training in August at the Panetta Institute.

The students will then be flown to Washington, D.C., for an 11-week internship working closely with a designated member of the California congressional delegation. While there, the students will attend seminars with government leaders, journalists and policy experts. In addition, the interns may earn up to 20 academic credits after they submit a research paper and a journal of their experiences.

Visit the Panetta Institute for Public Policy website for more information.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit