Evanston Student Interns in Durbin's Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Evanston resident Catherine Rolfe will spend eight weeks interning for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 students intern in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office. Interns process constituent requests, help with legislative duties and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington. During that time, they gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government and develop valuable research skills.

“Forty-five years ago, I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL),” Senator Durbin said. “I will never forget that day in February of 1966 when he agreed to hire me as an intern to work in his office. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever done; a student from East St. Louis, Illinois was going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator. I know what a valuable experience it can be and we strive to make sure all of our students get a glimpse into the workings of the United States Senate.” 


The daughter of Andy Rolfe and Betsy Briner, Rolfe is a rising senior studying political science at Barnard College. Rolfe graduated from New Trier Township High School in 2008. As an intern in Sen. Durbin’s office, she will facilitate communication with constituents and help the press office staff monitor news coverage and draft press releases. Rolfe is one of 24 interns from around the country working in Sen. Durbin’s office during two summer sessions.

“A career in politics was never even on my radar,” Rolfe said. “But through this experience, I have really come to admire Senator Durbin and the work he is doing for Illinois and the rest of the country. The more I learn about the Senator, the more I like him - and the more interested I am in following in his footsteps.”

The internship program is designed to provide interns with experience in the core functions of a Senate office and allow them to gain a better understanding of the federal legislative process. Their responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to various constituent requests, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, observing floor proceedings, and attending meetings related to specific legislation. Internships can range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.