Gene Callahan Internship

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The Gene Callahan Internship program provides a paid internship for a SIU student. The intern works in the field of public policy, public service, or government. The internship takes place in Springfield, Illinois and internship placement is determined by the student's interest.


Undergraduate and graduate students from all academic backgrounds are eligible to apply. Applicants must have at least junior status (56 hours of coursework completed). Students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA. A preference is given to students majoring in political science, history, or journalism.


The Gene Callahan Internship requires students to live in Springfield, Illinois from the start of the spring semester through May 31. Callahan Interns will be chosen by a selection committee. The endowment fund provides students with a stipend for living expenses, transportation costs, and other necessities during the internship. Interns will be required to enroll in an internship course during the spring semester and are expected to work on average 20 hours a week.

Application Process

  • Internship applications open February 1st
  • Complete the internship application by May 31st
  • Submit resume
  • Submit two letters of recommendation

Apply now!

gene-callahan.jpgAbout Gene Callahan

Gene Callahan was born in Milford, Illinois, the last of four children, and grew up on his family's hog farm outside the small town near the Indiana border. His father was a Democratic Party county official in heavily Republican Iroquois County and served in the Illinois House. Callahan graduated in 1955 from Illinois College in Jacksonville, where he majored in English. He then served two years in the U.S. Army.

For over 40 years, Gene Callahan worked in the political arena, first as a journalist with the (Springfield) Illinois State Register from 1957 to 1967, then as assistant press secretary for Gov. Sam Shapiro, and later as Lt. Gov. Paul Simon's press secretary until 1972. In 1974, he began his long association with Alan Dixon when Dixon served as Illinois State Treasurer, and later as Illinois Secretary of State. When Dixon moved to the U.S. Senate in 1981, Callahan became his chief of staff and most trusted political advisor. After Dixon lost a re-election bid to Carol Mosley Braun in 1992, Callahan worked for several years as the chief lobbyist for Major League Baseball, fighting to preserve its exemption from the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Jerry Mileur was a southern Illinois native who held two degrees from SIU Carbondale. A lifelong educator with a passion for teaching, politics, and baseball, Jerry retired as chairman of the political science department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also owned a minor-league baseball team for many years. Jerry served on the Board of Counselors for the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and was an author of books on the St. Louis Cardinals. He also endowed the Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture Series at SIU. Mileur passed away in September 2017.

The Gene Callahan Internship was renamed by Jerry Mileur in early 2015 to honor the late Gene Callahan, who passed in August 2014.