Internship Spotlight I {Fall 2017}

Rebekah Mauer, Whitworth University

Rebekah Mauer internship

With previous experience in a family law practice, Rebekah was looking forward to exploring a new legal field at the DOJ’s Criminal Division. 

I am excited to be interning at the Department of Justice, specifically in the Human Rights Special Prosecution (HRSP) section of the Criminal Division. As an undergraduate student, most of my tasks are researching historical events (rather than law and statutes as a legal intern would). Nonetheless, this does not make my work any less interesting!

I was worried that my job would be like your stereotypical internship– fetching coffee and doing lunch runs– it has been anything but! My tasks have varied from sitting in the Library of Congress’ reading room to conducting in depth online searches, all of which aid in the prosecution of international human rights violations.

Day to day, I speak with attorneys, historians, librarians, linguists, and specialists in fields that I did not even know existed before I started at HRSP. I have been so blessed with this opportunity and would encourage any future ASP’ers to apply!

 

Shelby Baumgartner, Biola University

Shelby Baumgartner internship

Shelby at a rally organized by her internship site, the Feminist Majority Foundation.

This semester, I am interning with the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), an organization focused on advocating for the empowerment of women through research and activism. My specific departments at FMF are Policy Research and Development and our Feminist Campus program, but all the interns do a little bit of everything around the office. A typical day for me at FMF includes doing research, prepping tweets for the Feminist Campus twitter, writing news stories or blog posts for the various FMF platforms, and attending rallies throughout DC.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started my internship, but it has been such a growing experience for me. FMF is an intergenerational organization– our founder has been at the forefront of the women’s rights movement since the 1960’s and she works alongside women just out of college and with mothers of school-age children. Being in an environment where I am surrounded by so many women at different points in their careers has been a very formative experience for me. Every day is a reminder that it is okay to not know exactly where I am headed, that I am figuring it out as I go, and that I am fighting for the things I believe in the process.

 

Ian Snively, George Fox University

Ian Snively internship

Ian is able to combine both of his passions– political science and journalism– at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal.

I am interning with the Daily Signal, the multimedia news arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank that produces and promotes research on key policy issues. My primary daily tasks are conducting interviews and writing articles on a variety of topics, from politics to natural disasters.

In my time with the Daily Signal, I’ve not only expanded my knowledge of current political issues, but I am also growing in my understanding of public policy from a conservative perspective. I am meeting and speaking with politicians, listening to lectures from policy analysts, and fine-tuning my skills in research and writing. There are so many great learning opportunities and resources you can obtain from working at a think-tank, and there are hundreds in the city from across the political spectrum.

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Want to have your own D.C. internship experience? Click here to start an application!

Not Your Average Classroom {Fall 2017}

One of the distinctives of the ASP curriculum is the opportunity to conduct fieldwork. Instead of receiving instruction solely inside the classroom and gathering material from the campus library (though, the Library of Congress is just a 10 minute walk away!), ASP students collect their research directly from the source: stakeholders in governmental offices, advocacy groups, marketing firms, and more!

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On the roof of the Canadian Embassy with the embassy’s trade and political counsellors.

Using our network from over 40 years in DC, we arrange private briefings and small-group interviews with organizations and professionals all over the city. This fieldwork provides opportunities for ASP students to move beyond the question of “What is your position?” and on to more substantive questions like “Why do you believe your position is preferable to other alternatives?” and “What are the most common misconceptions about your positions and how do you respond to them?” With the floor open for more questions, students are able to dig even deeper into these issues and begin processing what this new information means for when they write their own policy memos.

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Hearing from Carlos Guevara, senior policy advisor at UnidosUS, about several immigration issues we are researching.

This semester, ASP’s public policy students are meeting with policy stakeholders with an interest in influencing the direction of U.S. immigration policy and U.S.-Mexico relations. On September 15, we went to the hearing room of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for a private briefing with Jay Sulzmann, the legislative director in a Senate office, to learn more about researching and writing effective policy memoranda.

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In the hearing room of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for a private briefing with a Senate legislative director.

On September 22, we visited UnidosUS, an advocacy group for the Hispanic community, to meet with senior policy advisor Carlos Guevara (who, previously, was an immigration lawyer and Department of Homeland Security official). Mr. Guevara discussed UnidosUS’ policy positions on several immigration issues we are researching: the H-1B visa, the DREAM Act/Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, and U.S. refugee policy.

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Last week, we went to the Canadian Embassy to meet with Carrie Goodge, the embassy’s trade policy counsellor, and Kevin Tunney, one of the embassy’s political counsellors. This conversation kick-started our foreign policy studies of two issues: the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Merida Initiative, a security agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. The visit ended with a tour of the Canadian Embassy’s famous rooftop deck overlooking the National Mall.

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Looking ahead, we have briefings confirmed with the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. House Speaker’s office. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see the results!

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Ian Snively (right, George Fox University) shakes hands with Kevin Tunney, one of the Canadian Embassy’s political counsellors.


Want to have your own DC experience? Click here to start an application!

 

And We’re Off! The First Two Weeks {Fall 2017}

The ASP Fall 2017 cohort has now been in Washington, DC for two weeks. This semester, we have representatives from Biola University, Bluefield College, George Fox University, Gordon College, John Brown University, Judson University, Northwest University, Olivet Nazarene University, Seattle Pacific University, and Whitworth University.

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Checking out the amazing view from the Dellenback rooftop! [L to R: Rebekah Mauer (Whitworth University), James Selvey and Elizabeth Lanham (Olivet Nazarene University), Shelby Baumgartner (Biola University), and Bethany Maddox and Matt Logan (John Brown University)]

After a few days of orientation, the students were off to explore the city. Their adventures brought them to the top of the Old Post Office Pavilion, a baseball game at Nationals Stadium, and to volunteering at Little Lights (an after-school program). Continuing with the ASP tradition of Bus Day, the students spent their first Saturday meeting their new neighbors in each of DC’s four quadrants.

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ASP Director Dr. Peter Baker and his son, Jackson (ASP Fall 2027), at the Nationals game.

In the classroom, we have been learning about the origin stories of state, law, and government, and why political order and development matter to public policy.  We have also been discussing what it looks like to live and lead when Christ and his kingdom define our identity and images of success at work. And on Monday, the students will show up for the first day of work at their internships!

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Hope Koumentakos (right, Gordon College) speaks with fellow Gordon alumna Townsend McNitt (left, ASP Fall 1987). Townsend led a class discussion on how to have a successful internship.

Check back here for regular updates on what we learn and experience this semester, and keep scrolling for more pictures from the first two weeks:

Old Post Office Clock Tower (FA17)

At the top of the Old Post Office Pavilion. With the Washington Monument closed until 2019, this is the next best view of the city! [back L to R: Matt Logan (John Brown University), Hope Koumentakos (Gordon College), Ian Snively (George Fox University), Luke Atherton (Whitworth University), Dominic Heiden (Seattle Pacific University); front L to R: Nathan Sebranke (Northwest University), Teague Broquard and Bethany Maddox (John Brown University), and Rebekah Mauer (Whitworth University)]

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Shelby Baumgartner (Biola University) and Dagoberto Acevedo (Bluefield College) give a thumbs-up to Eastern Market.

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The Trinity Forum invited the ASP students to an evening event at the National Press Club– a discussion with Ambassador Mark Lagon (not pictured) on the connections between faith-based notions of human dignity and international development efforts.

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An impromptu photo shoot while walking by a Women’s Equality Day event at the Newseum.

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Lincoln Park is only a 15-minute walk from the Dellenback apartments. [L to R: Alex Reinhold (Judson University), Kelby Goudey (Gordon College), Dominic Heiden (Seattle Pacific University), and Nathan Sebranke (Northwest University)]

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Selected “Best Picture” from Bus Day

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Winners of Fall 2017 Bus Day #1: The Filibuster Family! Their matching t-shirts definitely provided an advantage.

 


Want to have your own DC experience? Click here to start an application!

 

Choose Your Track, Part II: Strategic Communication

(Note: Last month, we posted the first of a two-part blog series on the ASP Study Tracks. Read about the Public Policy Track here. Continue to read below for the second post of the series.)

Students in the Strategic Communication Track are on the forefront of the converging fields of public relations and marketing communication. In addition to discussion-style class lectures, our students gain first-hand experience through DC-based fieldwork activities and client work. We compare how different types of national organizations— such as private companies, global non-profits, government agencies, and congressional offices— develop strategic goals and objectives, choose appropriate communication channels and tactics, and measure the impact of their work.

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Students directly engage with these organizations and the communication professionals who work in them to gain first-hand exposure to the best communication practices through formative research, strategic planning, message formation and storytelling, and more. Students explore these learning objectives further in their communications internships. Recent internship sites have included multiple House and Senate offices, The ONE Campaign, the Clapham Group, National Immigration Forum, the Borenstein Group, the American Enterprise Institute, Philanthropy Magazine, and even the business development department of the Washington Redskins!

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Group presentations on how a client organization could effectively respond to a possible crisis scenario.

In our “Advocacy and Development” course, we work collaboratively in small teams for a real-world client to research and propose a communications plan. Previous clients have included Bread for the World and the Accord Network. In “Case Studies in Strategic Communication,” students design two graduate school-style case studies, both supported by original interviews and research. This semester, the first case study—a group exercise— focused on the immigration debate in light of the 2016 Presidential Election. By interviewing four different organizations who are stakeholders in this issue, we compared how different organizations practice strategic communication in a crisis and the processes they use to document and respond to lessons learned from the experience. In our second case study—an individual project— each student focuses on a specific communication situation at their internship office or organization.

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The students hear from the public relations and social media team at Honest Tea.

In addition to our communication proposals and case studies, we also discuss and explore how biblical teachings inform our use of strategic communication, primarily through conversations with Christian professionals who excel both in the quality of their work and in the “faithful practice” of their jobs.

If you are a major in Communication, Public Relations, Business Administration, International Business, or Marketing, we encourage you to consider joining this study track! To learn more, click here.

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The Strategic Communication students met Austin Graff (front right), a Talent Acquisition & Branding Specialist at The Washington Post.

See below for more pictures of the Strategic Communication Track at work, both in the classroom and in the field.

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The Strategic Communication Track joins the Public Policy students for a briefing at the National Transportation Safety Board.

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Sharlene Oong (Messiah College) presents her research on a communication plan used by her internship site, The Clapham Group.

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For more information on the immigration debate, the students hear from Dr. Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center.

Internship Spotlight II {Spring 2017}

Andrew Ramirez, Olivet Nazarene University

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Andrew is pursuing his passion for federal law enforcement with an internship at the U.S. Department of Treasury. 

I have the honor of interning in the Office of Enterprise Business Solutions (EBS) at the U.S. Department of Treasury. This office deals with the creation of website products, development, and data analytics. Because of the sensitive nature of my work, I actually can’t share specific details about it with anyone outside of my department! But I can say this— I am learning how to balance a serious workload and how to perform under the pressure of the professional world. Two highlights of my internship have been: First, I get to regularly meet with high-ranking officials from all across the Treasury, including individuals in financial crimes and terrorism; I even met the Secretary of the Treasury and shook his hand! Second, as an intern at the Treasury Department, I have access to the Main Treasury building which means I get to walk the historic golden hall where Hamilton once walked (presumably) and I get to be surrounded everyday by the amazing history of our country at work. And if those weren’t enough, I also have access to the west side of the White House and can walk that side of the lawn in the morning before work!

Mariana Diaz, Fresno Pacific University

Mariana Diaz, NIF

Mariana (left) enjoys hands-on experience with immigration advocacy at the NIF.

This semester, I am interning at the National Immigration Forum. The Forum advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation. Their work is centered on immigration reform, integration and citizenship, and state and local developments. I specifically work with the Fields and Constituencies team, where we analyze how immigration is taking place around the country. For our weekly newsletters, I research stories of immigrants who are being affected by the recent executive orders. In addition, I am in charge of posting to the Twitter account of G92, an initiative to inform college-age students and young adults about immigration. I also attend meetings with our partners and briefings on the Hill. My tasks vary every day and I am always learning. I am very thankful for this experience and it has definitely reassured me that advocacy in immigration is a career I want to pursue.

Randy Lohman, Messiah College

Randy Lohman, Rep. Barletta's Office

Randy stands with his member, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) in the Rayburn House Office Building.

I have the amazing opportunity of interning in the office of Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11). I am experiencing first-hand the daily operations of a Congressional office. On a regular basis, I work on projects for staff members, communicate with our constituents, and attend hearings—one I specifically enjoyed was a subcommittee hearing on religious liberty. I have also been trained to lead constituents on tours of the Capitol building. One time, during a tour, I was able to see Vice President Mike Pence walk through the Capitol on his way to a luncheon. Every day, I work with the staffers of Congressman Barletta’s office to help make the office operate smoothly so that we can best serve our constituents.

Choose Your Track, Part I: Public Policy

The Public Policy Track— one of two tracks offered by the American Studies Program— places you in the middle of current, pressing public policy issues under debate on Capitol Hill.

We focus on the political difficulties that policymakers face when economic, humanitarian, and rule-of-law or national security priorities come into conflict with one another. In order to effectively clarify and compare the moral reasoning behind competing policy positions, we directly engage Washington, DC policy professionals working on all sides of the issue.DHS

For example, in Public Policy’s 5-week group study of immigration policy, we visited with the Pew Research Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn about historic trends in immigration flows and policy. We visited the National Council of La Raza and NumbersUSA to hear two very different perspectives on what good immigration policy looks like. We visited the Republican Chief Counsel and Democratic Chief Counsel on the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. And we concluded our fieldwork by meeting with the Deputy Assistant Director of Service Center Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (who is also a proud ASP alum). Students will present their findings and policy recommendations at a conference we hold in a Congressional hearing room in April.

Citizenship & Immigration, DHS

James McCament (far right), an ASP alumnus, is the Deputy Assistant Director of Service Center Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

This type of direct engagement is what makes ASP’s experiential education stand apart from on-campus learning. Instead of researching immigration policy by checking out books from your campus library, you will be interviewing the stakeholders themselves. You collect your research straight from the source!

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Students await the arrival of the presenter at the National Council of La Raza.

If you are a major in Political Science, Government, History, International Relations, Criminal Justice, Pre-Law, or Public Policy, we encourage you to consider joining this study track! To learn more, click here.

See below for more pictures of the Public Policy Track at work, both in the classroom and in the field.

World Vision

For research on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA-UAC), this group interviewed a senior advisor at World Vision. [L to R: Kelsey Munroe (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), Ryan Bolton (Friends University), Ashley Fisher (Vanguard University), and Carlye Poff (Wheaton College). Not pictured: Jillian Pascua (Vanguard University)]

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Discussing policy advocacy and diplomacy in the ASP Classroom.

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Ann Morse, Program Director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures, explains the role of state and local governments in federal immigration policy.

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For another perspective on immigration policy, the students hear from Eric Ruark, the Director of Research at NumbersUSA.

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(L to R) Randy Lohman (Messiah College), Aundrea Piacentini (Fresno Pacific University), Daulton DePatis (Olivet Nazarene University), and Alex Ruple (Mount Vernon Nazarene University) discuss sanctuary cities with policy advocates at the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

Internship Spotlight I {Spring 2017}

Rolaine Castro, Fresno Pacific University

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With a passion for civil rights, Rolaine feels right at home with her internship.

This semester, I am interning for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Our office is a federal organization that is in charge of investigating civil rights issues. I work with civil rights analysts, and we are currently evaluating the effect that excessive municipal court fines and fees have on the poor and minority population. The office is also preparing for the big Statutory Enforcement Briefing that will take place in a few weeks; this is when the commissioners will evaluate the Department of Justice and their progress toward providing a remedy for the excessive fines and fees. I have always had an interest in our criminal justice system and a passion for civil rights issues, so getting to work in an office where both are the primary areas of focus is like a dream come true.

Carlye Poff, Wheaton College

I have the pleasure of interning this semester with Jubilee USA, an economic justice non-profit organization. Every morning, as I walk up the street to work, I get a full view of the Capitol building at the end of the street. The internship has been the perfect mix of faith-based non-profit work and politics. I am one of four interns in a small office of only three permanent staff members, so everyone knows everyone well.  It is a friendly environment where I am able to develop my professional skills while also getting to know people who have worked in the non-profit world for many years. So far, I have lobbied in the Senate buildings, researched advocacy issues, attended meetings with Jubilee’s partners, and participated in conference calls, and wrote/edited informational documents for Jubilee’s supporters.

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Carlye’s office is located inside a Lutheran church on the famous East Capitol Street.

Rachel Pelletier, Malone University

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Rachel (second from right) and the rest of the office interns stand with CNN Commentator Van Jones (third from right).

My internship with the office of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has been everything I had hoped it would be.  My responsibilities as an intern vary each week. I often interact with Ohio constituents in different ways, whether that means speaking to them over the phone regarding their concerns or guiding them around the Capitol Building for a tour. I’ve also attended Congressional briefings on topics ranging from child welfare to an Advancing Rare Disease Treatment/Health Care Reform briefing. One of my most memorable briefings was the Russian Intelligence Committee Hearing, which featured testimony by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers, and FBI Director James Comey. My office staff has made every effort to invest in each intern. We are encouraged and given opportunities that will enhance our experience and contribute to our professional development. Senator Brown has personally taken the time to meet and speak with us. Every Monday and Friday, our office sets up a lunch between one staff member and the interns, which allows us to get to know them and ask questions. I feel blessed to have been given this experience as it has pushed me to grow as an individual and a professional! An internship on the Hill, specifically within a Senate office, is worth considering!

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Want to have your own D.C. internship experience? Click here to start an application!

 

 

20 Reasons to Spend a Semester in D.C.

The reasons to spend a semester in D.C. are too many to count. But here are twenty memorable experiences highlighted by this semester’s students during their first month here in Washington, D.C.:

Connecting with the City

  1. I love how I feel like I am a part of something important everywhere I go.
    • Andrew Ramirez, Olivet Nazarene University
  2. The connectivity in D.C.— with diverse organization and movements— really builds an overall picture of the body of Christ.
    • Sharlene Oong, Messiah College
  3. I knew it was fast-paced, especially in government work…but you don’t really know until you know. That surprised me.
    • Rachel Pelletier, Malone University
  4. I love how much is happening each day in this city.
    • Caleb Mathena, Whitworth University
  5. Being able to witness history in the making.
    • Ashley Fisher, Vanguard University
  6. I love the fast-paced environment here in D.C. It keeps me on my toes!
    • Karina Reyes, Fresno Pacific University

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Getting Around

  1. I love how everything is walking distance; it makes impromptu adventures easier.
    • Debora Timmer, Olivet Nazarene University
  2. I’ve been surprised at how accustomed I’ve gotten to walking. I laugh when I think about how I took an Uber to places that were only a 20 minute walk away!
    • Ashlyn Rollins, Corban University
  3. I was surprised that I didn’t take the wrong bus on the first day of my internship.
    • Rolaine Castro, Fresno Pacific University

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Favorite Things to Do & See

  1. I love the rush you feel when you’re surrounded by amazing history, beautiful buildings, and my version of celebrities—Congress!
    • Kaitlyn Fehderau, Fresno Pacific University
  2. My most memorable experience so far has been going to the Newseum!
    • Alyssa Burlingame, Azusa Pacific University
  3. I’ve been surprised about how easy it is to find people you see on TV!
    • Alexander Hamann, Messiah College
  4. Learning to give tours of the Capitol as a part of my internship has been the most memorable.
    • Katherine Jeffreys, Gordon College
  5. Visiting Lincoln at night has been the most memorable.
    • Amanda Enzenauer, Vanguard University
  6. The Women’s March on Washington was a formational event for me. I am so thankful to have been here for this monumental event.
    • Julia Baslé, John Brown University
  7. I hope I never forget the chilling excitement of seeing the Washington Monument at night.
    • Lydia Deatherage, Corban University

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Living in Community

  1. The most memorable part of D.C. has been getting to know each person in the program and connecting with them on academics, music, politics, and internships.
    • Jillian Pascua, Vanguard University
  2. I love how easy it is to adjust to the city-life because of how accommodating DC residents are.
    • Ryan Bolton, Friends University
  3. Getting to know the city through adventures with new friends has been most memorable.
    • Carlye Poff, Wheaton College
  4. I love the diversity of the people in D.C. Every day is a new opportunity to meet a different person, with a different background, experiences, and stories.
    • Daulton DePatis, Olivet Nazarene University

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      And in case you need Reason #21: Yes, we do have Chick-fil-A!

 

First Two Weeks (in Pictures!) {Spring 2017}

The ASP Spring 2017 Cohort have taken buses through some of the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, cheered on the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center, volunteered at an after-school program, explored a few museums, and attended the Presidential Inauguration— and that’s just in the first two weeks! This morning, the students are off to the first day at their internships. Check back for updates on what they learn and experience this semester.

Keep scrolling for a view of the first two weeks from the students’ perspective:

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(L to R) Rolaine Castro (Fresno Pacific University), Caleb Mathena (Whitworth University), Julia Baslé (John Brown University), Alyssa Burlingame (Azusa Pacific University), and Jillian Pascua (Vanguard University) are ready to start their semester in Washington, D.C.!

 

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(L to R) Jillian Pascua, Ashley Fisher, and Amanda Enzenauer (all of Vanguard University) at the 58th Presidential Inauguration. (PC: Jillian Pascua)

 

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Debora Timmer (Olivet Nazarene University) snaps a picture of her ticket to the Inauguration Ceremony.

 

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(L to R) Kaitlyn Fehderau (Fresno Pacific University), Katherine Jeffreys (Gordon College), and Lydia Deatherage (Corban University) pose in front of a street-art mural in the Navy Yard neighborhood. (PC: Katherine Jeffreys)

 

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Tasting the many delicious options at the Eastern Market! (PC: Ashley Fisher)

 

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At the Washington Wizards Game!

 

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Alex Hamann, Randy Lohman (both of Messiah College), and Carlye Poff (Wheaton College) stand outside of the United States Botanic Garden. (D.C. Pro Tip: This is a great place to thaw out after you have been exploring the city in cold!)

 

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One of the first things ASP students like to do is apply for an official reader card at the Library of Congress. There isn’t a better place to do homework!

 

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(L to R) Karina Reyes (Fresno Pacific University), Daulton DePatis (Olivet Nazarene University), and Alex Ruple (Mount Vernon Nazarene University) visit the National Museum of American History.

 

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(L to R) Ryan Bolton (Friends University), Lydia Deatherage (Corban University), and Kaitlyn Fehderau (Fresno Pacific University) are pleasantly surprised by what is within walking distance of the ASP Dellenback Center!

 

 

Internship Spotlight II {Fall 2016}

Hannah Wardell, Gordon College

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As a Values & Capitalism intern, Hannah helped plan several events and was even able to attend an AEI event in Boston.

I spent my semester interning at Values & Capitalism, an initiative of the American Enterprise Institute doing outreach to Christian college campuses. V&C exists to proliferate dialogue about the morality of free enterprise and the theological implications of capitalism on college campuses. I’ve spent my semester not only helping with event planning, content creation, and program administration, but also getting to be involved with the conversations happening in the Christian intellectual community.  As a part of a think tank, V&C has the ability to bring together thought-leaders for conversations about faith and public life, like when pluralism scholar John Inazu gave the keynote presentation at our Fall Summit in October. Working at V&C affirmed my desire to work in the context of theology and public life and gave me a practical look at how that’s done by way of high education programming.  It also showed me just how impactful a small department of dedicated and entrepreneurial people can be at engaging culture and how pivotal Christian higher-ed is in that culture.  I’m leaving DC with a better sense of the work I want to do and the kind of people I want to do it with, and I’m thankful to Values and Capitalism for showing me that!

Devin Hill, William Jessup University

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Devin (second from left) with other DNC interns in front of a campaign bus.

This semester I had the opportunity to intern with the Democratic National Committee in the Compliance Department. In the Compliance Department, I learned about financial compliance and ethical regulations. My day-to-day tasks included vetting donors, event attendees, and even possible candidate endorsements. While I was specifically in this department, I had many opportunities outside of it that were major highlights such as: helping with the digital team at the headquarters during the debates, meeting with senior officials, going to staff meetings with the DNC Vice President, and even helping track the polls on election night.

Being able to have this internship has taught me two major lessons. The first thing I learned is to try for the things that you think are out of your reach. When I first heard about the possibility to intern with the DNC, I did not think I was at all good enough to get this internship. But I knew that if I did not apply, I would regret it forever. When you are applying for an internship, do not just go for the safe ones; go for the crazy, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. You are probably much more qualified than you give yourself credit for.

The other major lesson that I learned through this internship is to be flexible. When I first accepted this opportunity, I was placed in the Political Department. But less than a week before my start date, they moved me into Compliance. To be honest, I was a bit let down when I first learned about the change. Now that it is over, I can say that I probably learned more in the Compliance Department than I would have in Political. Your future internship will not look exactly how you imagine it, but that does not mean that it will not be an amazing opportunity.

Derek Ross, Simpson University

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Derek at his internship site, located only a few blocks from the White House.

This semester I had the wonderful privilege of interning for the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that is focused on ending global poverty and preventable diseases. My role as an intern was to help with the research and gathering of data for the relaunch of a nationwide campaign for 2017, as well as helping the implementation and field work for a campaign during the 2016 election season. As a part of my internship, I also was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Atlanta and Orlando for work.

When I first accepted my internship, I wasn’t too sure what I would be getting myself into.  Before coming to DC, I was determined to get an internship focused on sports management. However, when God placed this opportunity in front of me, I decided to run with it and trust that he had an amazing plan, and that he could use me in exciting ways at the ONE Campaign. I am truly blessed to have gotten the opportunity to serve the ONE Campaign and have this real-world exposure for what it is like to research, plan, and implement a nationwide campaign for an organization here in DC. If I had one piece of advice to give to someone looking into the ASP program, I would say trust God and take the risk, because it is so worth it.

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Want to have your own D.C. internship experience? Click here to start an application!