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Capital Semester Check In: The Exciting Lives Of D.C. Interns!


Thirteen students arrived in Washington, D.C. in early January to begin the 2016 Capital Semester Spring program.

For three busy months, the students have been fully immersed in the TFAS experience. They’re attending site briefings and lectures, taking courses for academic credit and gaining professional experience at their internships.

Students in this semester’s class are interning at a wide variety of internships sites including nonprofits, news outlets, trade associations, congressional offices and more.

Aaron Nelson (CSS 16) writes a note at Lincoln’s desk during a tour of Lincoln’s Cottage.

In class, the students are studying economics, government and journalism at the George Mason University campus in Arlington, Virginia with returning TFAS professors Dr. John Samples of the Cato Institute, alumna Karen Czarnecki (ICPES 88) of George Mason University’s School of Law, retired USA Today journalist Richard Benedetto and Dr. Anne Bradley, vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

With graduation approaching and their time in Washington quickly coming to an end, we spoke with a few of this semester’s students about their TFAS experience so far. Here’s what they had to say:




Many of this semester’s students are participating in a pilot program of Leadership and The American Presidency (LTAP) – our new program developed in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. In addition to their Capital Semester programming, these students are participating in hands-on simulations and case studies that examine some of the greatest leadership challenges in the history of our country.


Thanks to this partnership, many new events and site briefing locations were added to the students’ TFAS experience.


Here’s a look at what the students have taken part in so far:
*Indicates first time Capital Semester event

Haley Britzky (CSS 16) asks a question at the students’ State Department site briefing.

Leadership and the American Presidency Pilot Class Meetings and Site Visits:
Lincoln Cottage Briefing*
Mount Vernon Day Trip
Lincoln Symposium at Ford’s Theatre*
Guest Lecture: “Presidential Leadership Journey: The First 100 Days” with Rachna Choudhry, chief marketing officer of POPVOX *
Guest Lecture: “President Reagan and Leadership” with Joanne Drake, chief administrative officer, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation *

Professional Development Seminars:
Networking Tips to Get Ahead
Leadership & Communication
Resume & Interviewing Workshop

Capital Semester Social and Educational Events:
Meet Your Professors Orientation Panel*
U.S. Capitol Building Tour
Ice Skating in the Sculpture Garden
Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt*
Air & Space Museum/ IMAX Theater Visit
Library of Congress Tour
GOP and Democratic Primary Debate Watch Parties
Mentor Breakfast
ECON Boot Camp
U.S. Institute of Peace Briefing*
Capitol Hill Lecture Series with Fred Barnes*
TFAS Alumni Roundtable
Guest Lecture: Millenials & Foreign Policy with Dr. Trevor Thrall*
Small Group visit to Brunswick Group
DC Central Kitchen Service Project

With only one month until Capital Semester graduation, the students will pack in many more social and educational events including embassy briefings, professional development seminars and a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

We are also excited to welcome TFAS alumnus Ken Klatt (ICPES 70), recently retired assistant general counsel for Delta Air Lines, as the keynote speaker for the students’ closing ceremony. Klatt has been an active TFAS alumnus for many years, and he currently serves as chair of the Alumni Council and is a member of the Board of Regents. The ceremony and reception will be held at 10 a.m. on April 29 at TFAS Headquarters. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Matt Phister atmphister@TFAS.org by noon on Friday, April 22.

To see more of the Capital Semester students’ journey in D.C., follow TFAS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and visit www.TFAS.org/photos.


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