MC senior selected as U.S. Supreme Court judicial intern

July 17, 2002

Christopher R. Hixon, a rising senior at Maryville College, has been selected as one of two undergraduates in the nation to participate in the Judicial Internship Program at the Supreme Court of the United States this fall.

As a judicial intern, Hixon will work in the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice. His responsibilities will include conducting background research for speeches and reviewing legislation on the federal judicial system. Hixon will be responsible for summarizing news articles and preparing memoranda and correspondence. He will also gather and assemble information on pre-determined research initiatives unrelated to the casework of the Supreme Court. (Interns do not work on cases pending before the Court.)

"This program strives to offer its participants an experience which transcends that of other opportunities available to undergraduates," states a description of the Judicial Internship Program on the program's website. "Working at the Supreme Court immerses an individual in the charged atmosphere of America's most exalted domain of justice. Judicial interns benefit from opportunities which cannot be matched elsewhere.

"While in the majority of government offices an intern is only a face among countless other interns, this program enjoys the intimacy of having only two judicial interns," the description continues. "Such an atmosphere engenders a working environment of substantial responsibility, learning and collegiality."

Hixon, a native of Clearwater, Fla., and the son of Sharon and Terry Parmelee of Clearwater, is double majoring in political science and economics at the College. His post-Maryville College plans include law school and a career in criminal prosecution law.

"I think I made that decision [to be an attorney] when I was 5 or 6 years-old," Hixon said. "I want to be in court to make a difference in people's lives."

Hixon said he feels prepared for the Supreme Court experience - but also awed by the opportunity.

"I've taken a course on constitutional law, in which we studied different Supreme Court cases, and I've read several books about the Court," Hixon said. "I think everything I've studied at the College thus far has made me more knowledgeable about the world and will help me interact with people of this magnitude and level of intelligence.

"But to work in the Supreme Court will be amazing," he added. "I will feel so honored to be there."

Hixon's additional - and extracurricular - experience includes an administrative clerk position at the Knoxville law office of Ritchie, Fels & Dillard; a research assistant position with Capital Formation Counselors Inc. in Belleair Bluffs, Fla.; and a legal intern position at the Office of the State Attorney in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Involved in the campus life of Maryville College, Hixon was elected chief justice of the Maryville College Judicial System in May and was elected secretary-general of the 2002 Maryville College Model United Nations Conference. He acted as head delegate to the 2002 National Model United Nations Conference.

The internship begins Aug. 26 and concludes Dec. 20. In that time, Hixon said he plans to "soak everything up" and gain as much knowledge as he can.

Dr. Sherry Kasper, chairperson for the College's Division of Social Sciences and Hixon's advisor, said the application process for the Judicial Internship Program is stringent and that the competition is keen, with individuals from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States applying.

"We are excited that the selection committee recognized the special talents that Chris could bring to this position," Kasper said. "Moreover, we are thrilled that he will have this opportunity to participate in the daily functioning of the Supreme Court - an experience that should serve him well in his desired career of prosecutor."

She added: "We are immensely pleased to have an individual of Chris's character represent Maryville College in an institution so vital to the functioning of American society."


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.