Austin Hughes ’23 — This summer, I am serving as a research intern with the Pegasus Institute out of Louisville, Kentucky. I am extremely grateful to Wabash College and its Wabash Public Policy Project initiative that provided both funding and access to additional speakers for this summer internship. It is a great honor to be a beneficiary of this program, and opportunities like these are what reaffirm my decision to attend Wabash every summer. I would also like to give special thanks to Dr. Lewis McCrary, the director of the WPPP program. Dr. McCrary was extremely influential in guiding my search for a summer internship as well as specifically arranging a connection between the Pegasus Institute and myself. Without him, I would not have been able to land such a rewarding position.
The Pegasus Institute is a center-right think tank based in Louisville, Kentucky. Pegasus was founded by two millennial brothers, Josh and Jared Crawford, and the Institute’s mission is to provide policy recommendations for the city and state that encourage free-market economies, fair and effective judiciary systems, and a safe living environment that encourages strong family units and quality school performances. Pegasus Institute produces has access to a wide variety of data banks and statistical sources that it uses to craft accurate pictures of the city. With this data, we produce many forms of media from white paper essays to podcasts that encourage certain policy actions on behalf of local and state officials. In addition to policy recommendations, Pegasus Institute serves as a coordinator for other local and national actors in the public policy scene. Whether it is hosting monthly city meetings or attending national conferences, Pegasus works frequently with other think tanks, NGOs, and government officials to encourage dialogue and collaboration among the community’s leading agents.
As a research intern, my responsibilities mainly lie in preparing documents and fact sheets for Jared and Josh who then use that data to produce Pegasus’ media content. I also serve as a logistics intern when it comes to coordinating/producing the local conference meetings we host in the city. We focus our research on 4 key areas: the economy, crime, education, and government. Within the umbrella of these concentrations, our work varies greatly. Every day I will get assigned to a new project, either in collaboration with other interns in the office or as an individual effort, and I will receive a new assignment upon completion of the previous. So far I have created fact sheets and chart documents for data about homicides
numbers, coronavirus policy comparisons, schoolboard profiles, sports gambling, and cigar lounge hazards among others. This detailed research work has been extremely educational for me on many fronts because I have gotten practical experience working with databases and translating my findings into Microsoft suite apps in order to increase my literacy with those programs. Aside from that, the research has given me a new perspective on many realities in my home city that I was not aware of previously. There are many problems that our city of Louisville is facing and the true extent of some problems is not pretty, however, it is very rewarding knowing that my research work translates directly to published work that in turn helps improve the city we call home.