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As One Capital Semester Program Ends, Another Begins 


On Dec. 12, 2014 the Capital Semester Fall students celebrated the completion of their 15-week program with a commencement ceremony at TFAS headquarters. The new graduates received advice on how to be successful leaders from several speakers including, TFAS President Roger Ream (ICPES 76), Professor Richard Benedetto and keynote speaker Chris Ullman, a managing director and the director of global communications at The Carlyle Group.

Ullman, who also serves as a TFAS mentor and member of the ICPES board of visitors, encouraged the graduates to instill confidence in all things they do. Ullman explained that in order to do that you have to do everything in your control to instill confidence. “Finish your work and ask for more. Be innovative. Be provocative. Be brave. Ask the questions that others are afraid to ask,” he said. Ullman assured that the combination of these actions enables someone to be an IC (instill confidence) and not a DIC (doesn’t instill confidence). “Be an IC and not a DIC,” he said.

Keynote speaker, TFAS mentor and member of the ICPES board of visitors Chris Ullman giving his keynote address to students.
Keynote speaker, TFAS mentor and member of the ICPES board of visitors Chris Ullman giving his keynote address to students.

TFAS President Roger Ream officially welcomed the graduates to the TFAS alumni network, now spanning over 14,000. “TFAS alums are all over,” he said. “You are now part of the vast TFAS alumni network. You never know where you will run into someone.” He encouraged the graduates to stay connected with TFAS and tell others about their experience in the Capital Semester program.

Faculty member and journalism seminar professor, Richard Benedetto gave the students some parting advice as they return to their schools or enter the “real world.” Benedetto said, “Be aware of reality. Stay who you are. Value what you have.”

Student graduation speaker Maeghan Roberts (CSF 14) spoke about her memorable experience in Washington, D.C. with the Capital Semester program. “Lessons we learned in the classroom this semester have been applicable outside of the classroom, especially at my internship,” she said. Roberts interned at “CBS This Morning.” She expressed her gratitude to TFAS and her intern sponsors for having confidence in her and believing in her. Roberts has learned, and encourages others, to just go for it. “The only way something is an absolute no is if you don’t put yourself out there,” she said.

Throughout the fall, Capital Semester students interned full time and took economic and public policy courses accredited through George Mason University. Students also attended a variety of events, both social and professional, visited several historic Washington area sites and heard from high profile speakers, including several TFAS alumni.

Congratulations to the following alumni for receiving achievement awards during the commencement ceremony:
Academic Excellence in Public Policy Internship Seminar, Aerial Reese (CSF 14)
Academic Excellence in Journalism Internship Seminar, Landon Hardison (CSF 14)
Overall Academic Excellence, Harold Stutchbury (CSF 14)
Directors Award for Outstanding Participation, Adam Barnett (CSF 14)

Just as one program ends, another begins. On Jan. 17, 2015, a new class of students moved into their Capitol Hill neighborhood apartments to embark on Capital Semester Spring 2015. The program officially kicked off the following day with an orientation and welcome ceremony where students learned more about one another and the exciting semester ahead.

Students started their internships last week and have been attending upper level economics and government classes at the George Mason University campus in Arlington, Virginia.

Already, students have shared their excitement for being in D.C. and getting a feel for the city. For some, this is their first time in the nation’s capital. “I’m really excited to be in D.C. I’ve never been [here] before,” said Nathan Sutterfield (CSS 15). “I am really excited for the future … I am trying to decide if I want to go into state or local politics or if I want to go into law. What better place [to decide] than D.C.”

For more information on the Capital Semester Program, visit www.DCinternships.org/CS.

Find out more about the Capital Semester Spring 2015 students below:

Madison Bryant
Agness Scott College
Intern, Voice of America: Media Lab

Bria Dixon
Xavier University of Louisiana
Intern, The Institute of World Politics

Joseph Florino
Raritan Valley Community College
Intern, The Charles Group

Mayara Garay
Kansas State University
Intern, kglobal

Kaitlin Leddy
Virginia Polytechnic & State University
Intern, Intern, Office of Congressman
Ken Calvert (CA)

Harry Riegel
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Intern, CATO Institute

Justin Sanders
University of South Carolina
Intern, Intern, Office of Senator
Lindsey Graham (SC)

Breanna Santella
Emmanuel College
Intern, Women in Government Foundation, Inc.

Vasanthan Sivarajan Thiruvadi
California State Poly-Technic University, Pomona
Intern, Hewlett Packard Company

Ashley Stewart
Maryville University
Intern, Center for a Secure Free Society

Nathan Sutterfield
Utah State University
Intern, State of Iowa,
Office of State-Federal Relations

Gabrielle Walker
Xavier University of Louisiana
Intern, National Crime Prevention Council

Morgan Williams
Clemson University
Intern, kglobal


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