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Spring Capital Semester Students Make It Count In D.C.

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Capital Semester Spring 2011 students visit Capitol Hill.
Capital Semester Spring 2011 students visit Capitol Hill.

Thirty-two Capital Semester students have reached the halfway point of their time in Washington, D.C. Already, these 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 respective internship sites.

Representing five countries and 28 colleges and universities, each student is in the midst of an internship, working for government agencies, members of Congress, public relations firms, think tanks, media outlets and nonprofit organizations, including the U.S. Department of the Treasury, The Brookings Institute and the Daily Caller.

In addition to their internships, the students are taking three courses worth 12 academic credits at Georgetown University. Each student takes Economic and Public Policy Issues taught by Brian Blase, policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, and Theories of Constitutional Interpretation led by John Samples, director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. Internship Seminars in public affairs and journalism/public affairs are also offered, facilitated by Karen Czarnecki (E 88), chief of staff for Rep. Mike Kelly (Pa.) and Richard Benedetto, retired White House reporter for USA Today.

Thus far in the semester, the students have visited the National Archives, Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, World Bank and Department of State. Over the next few months they can look forward to site briefings and events at the National Press Club, USA TodayPolitico, the Newseum and the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office.

Heather Caygle, a student from the University of Alabama, has spent her semester interning with The Houston Chronicle, but has her own newsworthy story to share. “In January I was able to attend President Obama’s second State of the Union address,” Caygle recounts. “I sat on the first row of the press gallery directly behind the president. It was an indescribable experience being in the House chamber, sitting among some of the best journalists in the world and reporting on the most important leaders in our country.”

It’s not every day that a D.C. intern is permitted to attend such a historic event, but students participating in the Capital Semester program are getting the most out of their time in the nation’s capital, living learning and interning.

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