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Tammy Zimmerman, left, with First Lady Laura Bush. Zimmerman, a senior at WSU, spent time as an intern in the White House.

White House internship, WSU staff highlight of senior Zimmerman's time on campus

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 | Share

It was just another day at the office for Wichita State University senior Tammy Zimmerman to look out the window and see President Bush taking a stroll on the White House lawn. Zimmerman, 24, completed classes in December and will graduate in May. She considers herself lucky to have served a semester-long internship at the White House in 2007, an opportunity she described as incredible.

“It was a good learning experience, and it opened my eyes. A lot of people think negatively of politics, but it put politics in more of a positive light for me,” she said. “It definitely strengthened my desire to get more involved at a local level.”

Zimmerman said the most memorable part of her internship was getting out of her comfort zone.

“Living in D.C. was such a different experience. Living my whole life in Kansas, it was good to see another part of the world with new people,” she said.

Zimmerman began college at Bob Jones University in South Carolina, where she remained for one year. She came to WSU as a sophomore.

Zimmerman majored in history and minored in political science. She said she chose these areas of emphasis because her mother encouraged her to pursue something she enjoyed.

Aside from her internship, another highlight from her time at WSU was being under the instruction of dedicated and talented educators. History professor John Dreifort was one of her favorite teachers.

“He didn’t just spill the facts. He made the class come alive,” she said.

Coming to WSU from home-school, Zimmerman said she believed she had the self-discipline necessary for the level of academics.

“I had always planned on getting my degree from a good school. But, other than receiving a good education, I did not plan on anything more (i.e. extracurricular activities, the typical college life of parties),” she said.

“I liked WSU better than a larger school because I didn’t feel lost in the crowd. You have more teachers that genuinely care about you and how well you do. There were a lot of opportunities and good teachers in a variety of [academic] areas, and it was close to home. It’s a good school,” Zimmerman said.

Among the many role models in her life, the most significant are her parents, Darrell and Barb Zimmerman, for their encouragement, President Bush for his perseverance, and Jesus Christ for giving her hope, a perspective and a deeper meaning to life.

Zimmerman works as a sales assistant at Cooper Malone McClain Inc. In the future she hopes to support politicians on an active volunteer basis.

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Created on Wednesday, January 30, 2008; Last modified on Friday, February 15, 2008