Dr. David Houghton
Time at Western Michigan University: 1974–2018
Dr. Houghton began working in the Department of Political Science in the 1974. He took his role as professor seriously and was always willing to help students succeed. He served as department chair from 1997-2004. His academic research specialized in state and local government. He taught courses in urban politics, national, state, and local politics.
His greatest accomplishment was designing and creating undergraduate internship programs. Since 1978, Dr. Houghton has placed more than a 1,000 interns. An avid newspaper reader, Dr. Houghton paid attention to possible intern sites and made personal calls to ask if potential preceptor was interested. He had a long contact list; many of whom were/are prominent figures in government, law, and business. He received the Distinguished Service Award for designing and directing two internship programs.
His dream for the internship program was to send more students to Washington D.C. He has raised funds from various alumni and community members to create the endowment that bears his name. Funds from the endowment will support the current internship program and expand its scope.
Dr. Houghton mentored each intern through their experience and the corresponding seminar class enhanced the interns with skills needed to be successful in their futures. The students talk about their experiences with each other, learn about career building and networking, and create a life-long supporter in the process, Dr. Houghton. This esteemed internship has landed many students their first careers and more importantly connections in the real world. He keeps in contact with his interns and enjoys reading about their successes.
“The biggest reward has been getting to know the students.” Dave Houghton, College of Arts and Science magazine, 2017.
The David Houghton Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for interns to work in Washington D.C. and Lansing.