An Internship with Impact

Mary Wurtz, a sophomore at Bellarmine University, gives her insight on WAC’s student internship program.


I’ve been working as an intern in the WAC’s International Visitors Program for about two months now, and I can definitely say that this is not your typical internship. Sure, like at any office, there are always phone calls to be made and copies to be printed, but what I was not expecting were the opportunities to network with community leaders, perform service, and constantly interact with new visitors from all across the globe.

From February 13–17, the World Affairs Council sponsored four visitors from Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories for a program titled Corporate Social Responsibility. Starting with a meeting at Humana that I was able to sit in on, our visitors spent the week visiting other local organizations, including Facilities Management Services, Greater Louisville Inc., and Heine Brothers Coffee to learn about these companies’ commitment to the Louisville Metro community.

Easily my favorite part of the week was the chance to put these concepts into practice through a service project at The Table. The Table is a non-profit restaurant that serves locally grown food and operates under a pay-what-you-can model. Customers may pay the listed price, pay more, or help out in the kitchen if they cannot afford their meal.

After attending a panel discussion and networking session about ethical business practices, I stayed behind with our visitors to help the restaurant set up for the day by moving furniture, cleaning, and preparing food. Once the Table opened, we ran food and drinks to different tables and greeted customers as they walked in. At the end of a busy morning, we were treated to a delicious lunch and the opportunity to get to know each other better. We talked about everything from the meetings they had attended to questions they had about American politics and culture.

My internship this semester has provided me with so many opportunities to interact with and learn from people from other countries. I will always value the skills I have learned and the memories I have made from my internship here!


If you’re interested in working with us as an intern, head over to our Internship Opportunities page for more information on each of our intern focus area or to fill out an application. 

WAC board member and veteran signs letter in defense of diplomacy

This week more than 1,200 veterans signed an open letter opposing cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid in the federal budget. Among the veteran signatories is World Affairs Council board member Brian Easley, who in the past has also served as our Visitor Programs Manager. The letter outlines the essential nature of diplomacy in preserving national security and America’s position as a global leader.

The full text of the letter is below, and the full list of signatories can be found here.


The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer,

We write as veterans of all branches of America’s Armed Forces to share how our service in uniform has convinced us that diplomacy and development are critical tools alongside the military to keep America safe. We believe that with today’s escalating global crises, America must strengthen, not weaken, our leadership around the world.

As members of the military, many of us served on the frontlines alongside America’s diplomats and development professionals. We saw firsthand how our civilian forces must continue to be part and parcel of a comprehensive national security strategy. With the recent military progress against ISIS, we know that strategic investments in the State Department and USAID will be essential if we are to solidify our hard-fought gains and prevent other bad actors from filling the void.

As Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis testified, “America has two fundamental powers, the power of intimidation…America’s awesome determination to defend herself, and the power of inspiration which is heavily conveyed overseas by our Department of State.” Yet America’s critical civilian international affairs programs saw proposals that would have drawn down our presence around the world. As you and your colleagues look ahead to the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2019, we hope you will support strong resources for America’s global leadership.

Thank you for your commitment to America’s safety, security, and prosperity. We ask you to stay vigilant and ensure that our country makes the commitments necessary to prevent conflict so that we only send our brothers and sisters in uniform into harm’s way as a last resort.

Thank you for your consideration.

Manual wins local Academic WorldQuest

This Saturday we hosted our local Academic WorldQuest at the Main library on York Street. Over the weekend  nine Kentuckiana schools participated in hopes of winning, to move forward to the national level in Washington D.C. AWQ gives opportunities to high school students to learn geography, world history, and world affairs. It is a national competition that approximately 4,000 students across the country participate in.

The competition was intense as students participated in rounds of questions pertaining to current topics: America’s diplomats, Saudi Arabia, and much more!  It was a close competition but Manual High school was able beat out their opponents to win 1st and 2nd place, with Brown coming in 3rd. We will be cheering on Manual as they continue on to the national level in the spring to compete in Washington D.C. It was awesome to see such a great turnout with so many local high schools competing. It was a great day filled with fun, friendly competition, and great prizes! We are already looking forward to Academic WorldQuest 2018.

A huge thanks to DD Williamson, The Color House for sponsoring their trip, The Louisville Free Public Library for providing a space, and to Heine Brothers Coffee, Carmichael’s Bookstore and Dairy Queen for their donations.