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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch selected six college students from around the state of Idaho to serve as fall interns in his Senate offices. The interns have had the opportunity to engage at the national level of government while assisting with constituent services and legislative research.

“Interning in the U.S. Senate is an excellent way to learn about the legislative branch of government and to see where much of our nation’s early history took place,” said Risch. “This group of interns is qualified, serve Idaho well and show great promise.”

The interns are:

Washington, D.C.

Amanda Niehenke is a senior at the University of Idaho and native of Moscow. Amanda is studying Political Science, International Studies and Spanish. She is the daughter of Dennis and Jill Niehenke. Amanda has worked previously as an administrative assistant at Siemens Industries and as a resident assistant at the U of I. She loves the outdoors and is the eldest of her parents’ five daughters.

Gabriel Osterhout, a native of Boise, is a sophomore at The College of Idaho studying Political Economy and Asian Studies with a pre-law focus. He is the son of Darin and Barb Osterhout. He has worked previously on Governor Otter’s 2010 campaign and he served as a page for the Idaho House of Representatives. Gabe’s favorite president is Abraham Lincoln and his dream is to become the governor of Idaho someday.

Nathan Neeley is a junior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and a native of Idaho Falls, majoring in Political Science with a focus on American Government. He is the son of Carolyn Sue and Michael Earl Neeley. Nathan has worked previously as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho Falls and is also a certified nursing assistant. He enjoys the outdoors and is learning to play the mandolin.

Jarom Robertson, a native of Rexburg, is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Political Science with a Foreign Affairs emphasis. He is the son of Blaine and Lori Robertson. Jarom has worked previously as graduation advisor and a potato harvester.

Idaho Falls

Lance Empey is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and a native of Idaho Falls. Lance is pursuing a degree in Political Science with a Foreign Affairs Emphasis. He is married to Jennifer Empey. The couple has a 2-year-old son.  After graduating from BYU-Idaho in 2014, Lance plans to pursue a master’s degree in Political Science at Utah State.  He is the son on Craig and Sherri Empey. 

Benjamin Rhodes is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Communications, Business and Political Science. He is married to Jordyn Rhodes and they have a 5-month-old son named Carter. Ben is currently working with the city of Rexburg and is planning on attending law school in the fall of 2014. His two favorite things are music and his wife’s homemade chicken enchiladas.