Columbus Program in State Issues

Kent State University's Columbus Program in State Issues (CPSI) helps tomorrow's leaders understand public policy development at the state level.

A select group of student leaders from a variety of academic majors will be given the opportunity to serve as interns in Columbus, Ohio. As an intern you will:

  • Study practical aspects of public policy-making firsthand

  • Have the opportunity to establish career-long professional contacts

  • Gain valuable pre-career knowledge and skills

  • Enjoy the cultural amenities of Ohio's capitol city

CPSI Director Wendy Patton

Photo of a smiling woman

Wendy Patton joins the Kent State University political science department after a career in public service at the national, state, and local levels. She served as an executive assistant for economic development in the Governor’s office, as a deputy director in the State Department of Development, and as Vice President for Industrial Development for the Columbus Urban Growth Corporation. She worked on tax and budget policy for AFSCME International, serving locals and councils in 13 states, and, most recently, for Policy Matters Ohio, writing about state tax and budget policies and programs. Her expertise lies in public finance and equity planning, with a focus on policy implementation. She has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a Master of City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

If interested in the CPSI program, contact Wendy at

CPSI Founder Senator Vernon Sykes

Dr. Vernon Sykes was the founder and director of the Columbus Program in State Issues and a professor of political science at Kent State University for 17 years. He served as a councilman for the city of Akron and as a senator for the 28th district of Ohio. Dr. Sykes is now retired.