From SUNY Potsdam to the Legislature: Intern Leads Model Senate & Lands Job


SUNY Potsdam political science student Philip Paige ’15 served as president of the Model Legislative Session for the NYS Senate Internship Program.

SUNY Potsdam student Philip Paige '15 didn't just land an internship with the New York State Legislature—he aced it. The North Country native, who was assigned to intern with the office of SUNY Potsdam alumna State Senator Patricia Ritchie '91, was elected by the dozens of other interns in the program to lead the annual Model Legislative Session.

On April 21, Philip served as president of the State Senate on live TV for the model session, as the rest of the student cohort presented their model legislation, practiced the rules of order and voted on each proposal. 

For his legislation, Philip worked closely with SUNY Potsdam alumnus Stephen Acquario '88, the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. The political science major's model bill would shift the local portion of Medicaid funding from the counties to the state budget, to provide property tax relief and allow for a more equitable funding of the program.

New York State Senate Director of Student Programs Nicholas Parrella said, "Philip is in the top 1 percent of interns that I have had the pleasure of supervising… he is the true definition of a leader in every sense of the word."

Following his internship, Philip has already been hired to work for Sen. Ritchie as a legislative aide, while he completes his degree.

"I have hope that more students will take advantage of this internship, as I truly believe it is an incredible opportunity," he said. "I am very fortunate that Senator Ritchie has asked me to come on as her legislative aide. I cannot wait to get back to the North Country, and more specifically, to SUNY Potsdam for my senior year. Our alumni network has already served me so well!"

The SUNY Potsdam Experiential Education Office expands students' horizons with internship opportunities and service learning. For more information, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.