Alumna Jaz Buckley Selected for Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Summer Internship

Jaz Buckley

MACON – Mercer University alumna Jaz Buckley was recently selected for a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Internship this summer in Washington, D.C.

Buckley, from Columbus, received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a double-major in political science and women’s and gender studies and a minor in French, during Saturday’s Macon commencement.

As a CBCF intern, she will learn about the legislative process, leadership and careers in the policymaking process by working in Congressional Black Caucus member offices, attending professional development events and participating in leadership development projects.

“This internship is a great opportunity for someone like Jaz who is a deep thinker, a true intellectual, who also desires to make a concrete difference in the world on issues she cares deeply about,” said Dr. Lori A. Johnson, professor of political science and director of the Law and Public Policy Program.

Buckley, who served as this year’s student commencement speaker, has been captain of the Mercer debate team for three years and recently completed her collegiate debate career as the most decorated debater in the University’s history.

As a freshman, she was the first freshman and first African-American to be named top speaker at the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) tournament, the nation’s largest parliamentary debate championship. In March, she and fellow senior Kyle Bligen became the first African-American team to win the NPDA national championship.

Additionally, she has volunteered as a debate coach in the local Macon community and in South Africa as part of a Mercer On Mission trip and served as a Student Government Association student correspondent, Pilgrimage to Penfield speaker, preceptor and member of several academic honor societies.

“I’m really excited to be a part of such an incredible internship and I look forward to learning more about policymaking,” said Buckley, who will attend UCLA School of Law in the fall. “This is the perfect primer for law school, and I could not be more thrilled.”

CBCF’s internship programs prepare college students and young professionals to become principled leaders, skilled policy analysts and informed advocates by exposing them to the processes that develop national policies and implement them – from Capitol Hill to federal field offices. For more information, visit