ADA, OK (08/31/2017) Anna Wood aspires to go to law school once she graduates from East Central University in May.
But first, Wood will learn the ins and outs of law on the ultimate stage. She will serve as intern for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe in Washington D.C. Wood is the second recipient of the Dr. John J. Ulrich Fellowship.
By receiving the fellowship award, Wood will spend the spring semester in D.C. as intern as well as earning 15 hours of college credit.
"This is a huge opportunity…an amazing once in a lifetime thing. I'm nervous, but really excited about it," said Wood, an Ada resident and 2014 graduate of Latta High School.
Wood, who is a double-major in legal studies and political science, has some experience in law matters after serving as an intern at the Pontotoc County Courthouse in Ada and working with various judges and sitting and observing in the courtroom.
Hannah Hale, the first recipient of the Ulrich Fellowship, spent last spring in the nation's capital as an intern for Inhofe. Wood and Hale are also Zeta Tau Alpha sisters.
"She said she met a lot of incredible people and got to do some things that other interns didn't get the opportunity to do," Wood said.
Lesa Ulrich, wife of the late John J. Ulrich, told Wood about an exciting honor for Hale.
"Lesa told me that Hannah got to walk a bill to the Senate floor. None of the other interns got to do that," said Wood. "Lesa told me that she is excited to see what I get to do."
She is ready to tackle the learning experience and networking opportunities.
"I want to see how the Senate works and see what life is like in D.C.," Wood said. "I hope to network with some of the people I see there. I'm really looking forward to this. I know it's going to be exciting. I think my excitement far outweighs my nervousness."
Wood heads to D.C. in January.
John Ulrich spent the last six weeks of his life making sure that a sufficient fellowship would be developed for a political science and legal studies major at ECU and it led to success.
He started in ECU's Political Science Department as an assistant professor in 1985, was elevated to associate professor in 1989 and was finally named professor in 1997. He also served as department chair from 1991-96.
Ulrich was a foreign affairs analyst for the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and was involved in the Star Wars Program (Strategic Defense Initiative) before coming to ECU.