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Eighteen Students Begin The Semester Of A Lifetime: Meet The Capital Semester Fall Class Of 2015


On Aug. 26, Washington, D.C. gained 18 bright and eager students as they began their TFAS journey and the Capital Semester Fall program. For the next four months, these students will “Live. Learn. Intern.” in the nation’s capital as they grow professionally and personally in their internship and academic careers.

The students were welcomed to D.C. by TFAS staff, board members and alumni during the orientation welcome ceremony on Aug. 27. Capital Semester alumna, Colby Hochmuth (CSF 12), associate producer at News Channel 8 and WJLA, welcomed the students and offered practical advice on the ins and outs of living and interning in D.C.

Hochmuth encouraged the new D.C. interns to: speak up and take chances; to be thoughtful and meaningful in their networking connections; and – most importantly – to work hard, but not take themselves too seriously. “Show some personality at the office,” she advised.

The students took part in guided tours of D.C. during their first weekend in the nation’s capital. They’ve participated in professional development workshops on networking and attended an “ECON Boot Camp” – a workshop where students who hadn’t yet studied economics got a crash course in the subject with Dr. Anne Bradley, vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

Bradley’s introductory workshop set the pace for her semester-long class on International Economic Policy. Other courses this semester include Constitutional Interpretation with Dr. John Samples of the Cato Institute, and Internship Seminar courses led by alumna Karen Czarnecki (ICPES 88) of George Mason University’s School of Law and retired USA Today journalist Richard Benedetto.

In their first month, students also attended State Department site briefings, professional development seminars and guest lectures, social events like touring Mount Vernon and cheering on the Washington Nationals at a baseball game and met with their mentors at the TFAS customary “Meet Your Mentor Breakfast.” TFAS is thankful for the 18 alumni volunteers who are serving as mentors to each of the CSF students this semester.

This year’s Capital Semester Fall students, representing 14 states and four countries, are an enthusiastic, close-knit group who will soon grow to become responsible leaders in their professions and the world.


Miriam Amchin, University of Louisville

Archit Baskaran, Northwestern University

Annelise Blair, Rhodes College

Sierra Blanchard-Hodge, Xavier University of LA

Kalina Gardiner, Community College of Allegheny County

Isabela Gontijo Campos Christo, IBMEC – Minas Gerais

Whitney Hall, McNeese State University

Kara Morgan, Northeastern University

Ciara Mould, Wichita State University

Phillip Nguyen, University of California, Irvine

Mbaye Niane, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Daniel Rockey, Texas A&M University, College Station

Sean Ruff, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Robert Sekuloski, Broward College

Thomas Sudul, Rochester Institute of Technology

Daphne Thompson, Arizona State University

Katie Ullmann, South Louisiana Community College

Robert Walker, Northern Arizona University

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