Tuesday February 8, 2011

BENNINGTON -- A recent graduate of Bennington College will serve this spring as a White House intern in the Office of Presidential Personnel.

Brian Morrice, who graduated from the college in December, began his stint in the program last month with about 140 other students and recent graduates. Interns must show a commitment to public service and the mission of the Obama administration and demonstrate leadership in the community.

Morrice took a term off at Bennington College to work on President Obama’s presidential campaign. He then sought to be a part of the administration.

"After working so hard on the campaign to get him the nomination and through the general election, I naturally wanted to serve the administration as well. I believe in the accomplishments and mission of this administration and wanted to contribute to that," Morrice wrote in an e-mail.

As part of the application process Morrice said he wrote two essays -- one on public service and another "on why it made moral, political, and strategic sense" to repeal the military’s "Don’t ask, don’t tell" policy.

Morrice said the internship program, for him, is about contributing. But he is also hoping to learn from the experience for future endeavors.

"I’m willing to risk sounding cheesy when I say I hope to give more than I gain in this internship, because public service was the ultimate calling for doing this.


Advertisement

But, of course, I hope to gain valuable insight into the inner workings of government, and the executive branch in particular, and gain a pretty solid experience," he wrote.

Morrice was assigned to the Office of President Personnel, which oversees the selection process of presidential appointments. Staff members recruit qualified candidates to serve in various departments and agencies. Morrice said his task is to assist those staff members.

Morrice is a veteran campaign hand, having worked in Vermont on behalf of Obama, and on behalf of Bennington state Rep. Brian Campion in November. Now he is working for someone already in office for the first time. He said it’s too soon to determine which one he prefers.

Public service is part of his future plan, Morrice said, but whether that service means running as a candidate himself is still in question.

"I absolutely want to work in government in the future. I see public service as a meaningful higher calling. I think my skin is probably too thin at this point to consider running for public service myself, but maybe that will change as I get older," Morrice wrote.

Contact Neal P. Goswami at ngoswami@benningtonbanner.com