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TFAS Alumni Featured in Local Newspapers for Successful Semester in Washington

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Two recent alumni of the Capital Semester Spring 2022 program, Colleen Goggin ’22 and Jonathan Reuss ’22, were featured in separate newspaper articles for their accomplishments in Washington, D.C., with TFAS. Goggin and Reuss shared about their experience and highlighted the opportunities they encountered and the challenges they overcame.

Goggin asks a question during a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill.

Goggin, a student at Texas A&M, was featured in her university newspaper, The Battalion. Majoring in international studies and political science, she is heading into her senior year. With her sights set on a future in D.C., Goggin knew she had to get out to the east coast during college. She reflected on the application process and the excitement she felt when preparing to venture to the nation’s capital.

Reminiscing about her experience, Goggin highlighted a few of her favorite opportunities. One was the mentor program, and another was the lineup of unique and intelligent guest speakers. Another element she enjoyed was the opportunity to learn and grow. Though she faced some challenges with adjusting to the rapid culture of D.C. and managing her time, she transformed the obstacle into a powerful learning experience that became an important skill.

Overall, she thought the semester was “phenomenal” and it solidified her desire to return to Washington after graduation. She shared a word of advice for students wishing to participate in a TFAS program: be open-minded and have a strong work ethic. Goggin encouraged other students from her university to give TFAS a try too, especially because there’s such a strong community of A&M alumni in D.C.

Reuss (left) listens to a lecture in the TFAS classroom.

“‘I think it would benefit a lot of people to just spend a semester, or even a summer up here in D.C. with TFAS because you will definitely learn a lot and you’ll make a lot of lifetime friends,’” she said.

Reuss, on the other hand, had interned in D.C. before and was excited to return. He was featured in his hometown newspaper, the Cape Coral Breeze. Reuss recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida Gulf Coast University and will pursue his master’s at Arizona State University this fall.

Reuss (far right) and the spring 2022 class met with TFAS Senior Scholar Don Devine following a Constitutional Leadership Seminar.

Before moving across the country though, this alumnus will spend his summer completing a second TFAS program. Reuss decided to apply for the D.C. Academic Internship Program on the Leadership + the American Presidency track, so he’ll be staying in D.C. this summer living, learning, interning and connecting with TFAS.

Reuss said one of the skills he gained that he hadn’t anticipated was customer service, which plays a major role in political careers. He was able to put these skills to practice during networking and professional development opportunities like the congressional briefing, which was a highlight of the semester. Reuss said he gained good connections, great experiences and renewed excitement to pursue his dreams of serving his country in public office.

Read more about these alumni in The Battalion and the Cape Coral Breeze.

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