Simpson University Graduate Earns National Internship

REDDING, Calif.—A recent Simpson University graduate and Redding native has been accepted into a prestigious internship program run by The Heritage Foundation.

Austin Avery, who graduated in spring 2018 with a degree in history, heads to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7 for a three-month paid internship through The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

The Heritage Foundation is a research and education-based think tank that seeks to help influence public policy through research and analysis. The foundation consists of four institutes that deal with a variety of topics. Avery will be working as a policy analyst at The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy through Dec. 10.

“My job itself will consist of conducting research on policy issues including terrorism, democracy and governance, refugees, and foreign aid and development,” he said.

Following his internship, Avery plans to stay in the D.C. area and start work toward a master’s degree in international relations at Liberty University.

“My main career goal is to work as a counterterrorism analyst with an emphasis on Africa and the Middle East,” he said.

Avery grew up in Redding and was homeschooled through high school. While attending Simpson, he also worked for several organizations in the Redding area. He served as a legislative analyst at Redding Electric Utility, where he assessed how proposed state legislation could impact Shasta County; and as a paid analyst for Shasta County, working to help alleviate the community stress suffered as a result of the Carr Fire.

He also volunteered for an anti-drug narcotics taskforce and has spent the past five years on the board of the nonprofit Youth Violence Prevention Council.

“As a board member I was able to help develop programs aimed at keeping kids out of juvenile hall and served in a mentorship capacity for troubled youth,” he said. “Simpson’s ethos of being a ‘gateway to world service’ helped me reach out in ways that helped me grow as a young Christian.”

Avery credits his Simpson professors with helping him develop the confidence to take on those roles, as well as providing him with a quality education.

“The faculty at Simpson University not only provided me with an education which helped me outperform other candidates during the interview for The Heritage Foundation, but also helped me mature in my faith,” he said. “I have confidence in the path the Lord is leading me in because of the encouragement I have received from Simpson faculty.”

Learn more about Simpson University’s History & Political Science Department at


Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit