DOVER, Del. - When you watch Jack Redefer rip a shot on the lacrosse field, you would never guess that he spent his summer away from the game. The Wesley College Men's Lacrosse senior was too busy spending time in the nation's capital as an intern.
Redefer, a Wesley political science major, interned under Congressman Paul Gosar. Congressman Gosar represents the Fourth District of Arizona in the House of Representatives. "It was an amazing opportunity," said Redefer, "Definitely one of the best experiences I've ever been a part of."
During his time serving under Congressman Gosar, Redefer spent his days interacting with constituents, reviewing case studies and other projects, developing briefings for the Congressman which included reviewing and briefing the controversial "Iran Nuke Deal," as well as media relations and note-taking at different meetings on "The Hill."
"It was a 9 to 5 job, technically," said the senior, "But you definitely have to put in more hours than that if you want to be successful." Redefer described his days on Capitol Hill as a life-changing experience, something that he might not have had the chance at had it not been for the Wesley College political science department.
"My professors were supportive and excited for me when I got the internship," he said. "This [political science] program is one of the best. We're five minutes from Delaware's Legislative Hall, it's right here." Redefer said that the location of Wesley College in proximity to the state capital, legislative and judicial buildings have been a major benefit to the program. "We're in a prime area to develop as political science majors. You build your resume yourself, but being this close to the state capital and all that goes on there helps a lot."
As a student-athlete, Redefer has seen his role increase in the Wesley offense as he has developed into a leader of the team. Head Coach Bill Gorrow has seen the growth first-hand and believes that some of it has stemmed directly from Jack's off-the-field experiences.
"I think Jack's time in Washington has helped him to develop his leadership skills," said Gorrow. "It's made him more comfortable speaking in front of and to the team. He's become very good at advocating for the younger players and helping guide them to solutions to their problems."
"The internship clearly has reinforced his confidence on the field," added the head coach. "This year's group of seniors, Jack in particular, have been great examples of leadership, and what it takes to be a great lacrosse player and a great leader."
In his senior season, Redefer has scored in all but two of the Wolverines' games this season and is currently second on the team with 26 goals and 30 points.
Jack faces the same reality as nearly every student-athlete at the Division III level; he won't be going pro in the sport that he loves. Instead, his political science degree could lead him to a career on "The Hill."
"I'd love to get a job in D.C., but it could be anywhere really. I would love to help run a political campaign, or become an advisor for a Congressman," Redefer said, "Maybe, I'd even run for office myself someday."
For now though, Redefer will enjoy running all over the lacrosse field for his final few games.