Stewart interns at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research
August 06, 2009

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Tori (right) with TCPR office manager Suzanne Michel, 1981 Bryan alum
Senior Tori Stewart is spending her summer in Nashville, TN, working as a policy intern at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR).

Tori relates her internship experience to her high school and college debate team days when she often used research from think tanks to support her positions. She said that “it has been an experience to learn how that information is collected and put together” and that she has come to “appreciate the work that think tanks like TCPR do in providing the information and materials necessary for Christians to understand policy and be able to effect change in their world.”

While seeking to effect change, Tori drew upon her debate, writing, and research skills to craft an excellent article, “Charter Schools Are Labs for Education Solutions,” that was published earlier this week in The Tennessean.

During her time at TCPR, Tori has focused on two major projects:
Tori researching the
Nashville legal codes
  • Gathering, organizing, and refining data on the income and expenditures of all Tennessee counties. She explained that "the data will ultimately be posted on a searchable transparency website where it can be freely accessed by citizens, news reporters, politicians, and anyone else who wants to know what their local government spends and how it compares, for example, to the counties in their surrounding area or counties of a similar size."
  • Writing a report on the regulatory burden placed on small business owners in Tennessee, with a focus on the Nashville and Memphis areas. The purpose of the report is to expose the confusing and complicated requirements that are often placed on those who have the least ability to navigate the system small business owners. While making known the stories of average people who have had to bear this burden, TCPR hopes that the requirements will be simplified and lessened in the future.

Working with TCPR Director of Legal Policy Justin Owen on regulation of street vendors
Summing up her summer experience, Tori said that “this internship has really broadened my understanding of the different types of careers that are available in the world of ideas and policy and has provided me with some great connections and resources as I look to where I'm heading after I graduate from Bryan in May.”

TCPR staff attended the 4th of July Tea Party Protest in Nashville