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California Impact

First Cal Poly Scholar Selected for Congressional Internship in D.C.

The newest Panetta intern wears a blue button-down and khaki pants as he smiles for a professional photo.
Written By Keegan Koberl

Ethan Gutterman, a third-year history major and ethics, public policy, science and technology minor from the San Fernando Valley, will serve as Cal Poly’s 2022 representative to the Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program.

After a two-week training period at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, Gutterman will work in the capitol office of a California congressional representative in Washington, D.C., for 11 weeks in the fall.

“I have been interested in politics for a long time, and I am thrilled for this opportunity to work in Congress and be immersed in the experience,” Gutterman said. “I’m also excited to meet and work with so many accomplished students from across the state through the program.”

One of Gutterman’s earliest involvements in politics and government was participating in the YMCA Youth and Government program during his time in high school.

“I was able to go to the State Capitol, serve in a model State Assembly and gain a greater understanding of policy at the state level,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about the federal legislative process and bringing this knowledge back to my work at Cal Poly.”

Gutterman is a Cal Poly Scholar and has performed research through Cal Poly’s BEACoN Research Program. The Cal Poly Scholars program aims to support and retain high-achieving California students who come from low-income backgrounds. Gutterman is the first Cal Poly Scholar to be named a Panetta Intern.

After earning his degree from Cal Poly, he hopes to work in local government with a focus on housing and transit policy.

He is the 22nd Cal Poly student to participate in the Panetta Institute program since 2001. He will join 24 other students, all nominated by the presidents of California State University campuses, as well as Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University. The program is open to all academic majors and is recognized as one of the leading internship courses in the nation because of the rigorous training it provides.

The Panetta Institute covers program costs, including course registration fees, campus services during orientation, air travel and housing in Washington, D.C. By covering these expenses, the institute can make the program available to interns from all socioeconomic levels. Cal Poly awardees are supported in part through the Ed and Jan Slevin Congressional Internship Endowment.