Over 400 students invaded Washington, D.C. in early June to begin the 2010 summer institutes. In addition to the four institutes held on the campus of Georgetown University, the Legal Studies Institute has also begun. Over the past few weeks, the students have been immersed in the TFAS experience, attending briefings and lectures, taking courses for academic credit, and gaining first-hand professional experience at their internships.
In the mix of everything are alumni – serving as roundtable discussion leaders, speakers and mentors to the students.
In 2009, IPVS hosted the very first alumni roundtable discussion in honor of its 10th anniversary. Alumni in the Washington, D.C. area were invited to speak to IPVS students about their careers and gave tips on how the students could get their own careers started in D.C. once they graduate.
Inspired by last year’s success, the remaining three U.S. programs started their own roundtables for alumni and students to interact. As of July 1, IBGA, ICPES and IPVS have held roundtables; IPJ is scheduled for July 14.
After each table enjoyed dinner together and alumni discussed how to break into their specific career sector, the alumni introduced themselves and spoke about how TFAS has helped them to achieve their goals.
“Keep in touch with your classmates, with your mentor, with your intern supervisor,” said Jeremy Harrell (E 07). “These are people who may not only help you to get a job if you decide to move back to D.C. after graduation, but will be great people to keep in your life for support and guidance.”
Students and alumni also used the roundtable events to make new contacts and to catch up with old friends. In 2009, current IBGA student Mary Elizabeth Taylor interned at the Senate Republican Cloakroom, where IBGA alumna Loren Streit (B 05) works. During their roundtable on June 25, the two had the chance to catch up and make plans for this summer.
Alumni are also scheduled as speakers during the annual summer lecture series for students.
On July 7, Eric Tanenblatt (E 87) from the Corporation for National and Community Service, spoke to IPVS students on civil engagement while Bob Cupp (E 71), Supreme Court of Ohio Justice, will speak to LSI students on July 15 about Constitutional law.
All alumni are invited to participate in these guest lectures and other events for students during the summer institutes. For more information on what is happening in the month of July, CLICK HERE.
Aside from speaking at special events, over 94 of alumni in the D.C. area are serving as mentors to students this summer – the highest number of alumni mentors ever!
The mentor program, now in its seventh year, allows students to make contacts with local professionals who can offer guidance on how to survive their first summer in D.C. Mentors and students met each other at three different “Meet Your Mentor” breakfasts at Clyde’s Restaurant in Chinatown and at Zola Restaurant located in the International Spy Museum.
Borko Handjiski (A 02), originally from Macedonia and currently working for the World Bank, said that he decided to become a mentor because his experience with TFAS was extremely beneficial for his career and would like to help other students succeed.
Annual receptions, luncheons and dinners are also in full swing this summer.
The Congressional Awards Scholarship Dinner was help on June 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel where Sen. Richard Lugar was honored. CLICK HERE for more on CSAD.
Additionally, IPJ hosted its 15th annual Journalism Awards Ceremony at the National Press Club on June 30.
The award for Excellence in Economic Reporting went to Kathy Chu from USA Today for her series “The Credit Trap” while the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting was awarded to two reporters from the Philadelphia Daily News, Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, for their series “Tainted Justice” about a group of rogue narcotic cops.
IPJ student, Dana Amihere, gave the student testimonial at the Journalism Awards Ceremony.
As an intern at the Houston Chronicle and Hearst newspapers, Amihere has been quite busy this summer but says that this has only increased her “willingness to learn, to write about, and to do anything,” for a story.
“Being in IPJ, I have learned that political journalism gives you the privilege of not only reporting the news, but being a part of it,” said Amihere.
What else is going on this summer with the Institutes? CLICK HERE for a full list of upcoming events for the students. Check out more photos from this summer at www.TFAS.org/photos.