Welcome to Fall 2015!

ASP Fall 2015 is off to a great start with students from Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Gordon College, Judson University, Messiah College, Taylor University, University of Northwestern – St. Paul, Vanguard University of Southern California, Warner Pacific College, Westmont College, and William Jessup University.  Especially exciting this semester is the launch of our new Strategic Communication study track! Internships start week after next, but until then, students are exploring their new home; discussing themes of justice, power and poverty, shalom, and faithful practice; serving their community; and building relationships.

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Introductions via “Three Things”

Trivia night on the roof of the Dellenback Center

Trivia night on the roof of the Dellenback Center

Exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Another group exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Another group exploring the city through Bus Day 1

We love our neighbors at Little Lights Urban Ministries. Each semester ASP students get the Little Lights buildings ready for the school year and sometimes volunteer as tutors.

We love our neighbors at Little Lights Urban Ministries. Each semester, ASP students get the Little Lights buildings ready for the school year and sometimes volunteer as tutors.

With Miss Linda, associate director of Little Lights

With Miss Linda, associate director of Little Lights

Bus Day 2: Spring 2015

As part of the Neighborhood Engagement component of their semester, students participate in several “Bus Days,” scavenger hunts throughout the city.  Click through the slides and videos below to see the experiences of three groups on Bus Day 2 this weekend.

Mount Pleasant in northwest DC:

with Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University), Tim Carr (Gordon College), Alberto Sanchez (Fresno Pacific University), and Patricia Vazquez (Fresno Pacific University)

Brookland in northeast DC:

with Hannah Crites (Franciscan University), Neakzaad Horriat (Biola University), Savannah Scherkenback (Azusa Pacific University), and Chelsea Tyson (Regent University)

Adams Morgan in northwest DC:

with Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), Katie Barany (Eastern University), Eric Corona (Biola University), Jacob Fusek (Southeastern University), and Danica Smithwick (Union University)

One Month in DC: Spring 2015

ASP students have finished their second week of internships and track work and are celebrating one month of being in Washington. What have they learned in D.C. so far?

When you arrive–walk everywhere during your first week! That’s how you get to know the heartbeat of this city.  One of the best “must do” experiences: grocery shopping on weekends at Eastern Market.  Talk to the people.
Savannah Scherkenback, Azusa Pacific University

The city is alive and busy, and so am I.  There is always cool stuff happening if you look.
Katie Barany, Eastern University

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg {photo credit: Katie Barany}

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia {photo credit: Katie Barany}

We aren’t in Vermont anymore.
-Timothy Carr, Gordon College

I have learned that this city is amazing.  I want to keep learning what it takes to be successful in this city.  My internship is very fun.
-Alberto Sanchez, Fresno Pacific University

Lebanese food in DC is delicious (like the “Lebanese Chipotle”).
-Amanda Bishop, Biola University

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Eric Corona}

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39) [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Amanda Bishop}

There is no excuse for being bored.  There is always something to do, so go do it.
-Luke Bennett, Biola University

D.C. is a wonderful place, full of energy, growth, and vigor.  At the same time, it is a city full of hurt, poverty, and inequality.
-Charlie Richert, Taylor University

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

I have learned the layout of the city and how I can attend amazing events because of this knowledge.
-Norann Beidas, Whitworth University

There are so many kind people in the city that love to discuss anything and everything.  It is so easy to meet cool people like the Mayor of London, and congressional hearings are awesome to see politicians in action.  Come to D.C.–it’s amazing!
-Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California

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London Mayor Boris Johnson at a Politico event attended by ASP students {photo credit: Norann Beidas}

Here in D.C., it is never proper to merely ride the escalator; you must expeditiously walk.  Escalators are not fast enough.
-Eric Corona, Biola University

Opportunities are everywhere if you keep your eyes open!
-Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University

So far I think I have started to learn how to network at different events and how to reach out to people who have similar interests.
-Patricia Vazquez Topete, Fresno Pacific University

Oscar Martinez is the author of The Beast (Spanish translation for The Immigrants that Don't Matter). On Wednesvday Feb.  12 he won the WOLA and Duke Human Rights Book Award. The Beast talks about the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S. Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. At the book award Martinez said that individuals from El Salvador don't just immigrate but they flee their country.

Salvadorean journalist Oscar Martinez receives the WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award at an event hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America, where ASPer Patricia Vazquez Topete is interning.  Mr. Martinez is the author of The Beast which chronicles the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S.-Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. {photo credit: Patricia Vazquez Topete}

Everyone is here for a purpose, and if you are here without a purpose, you cannot succeed.  But if you do have a purpose, you will flourish here.
-Neakzaad Horriat, Biola University

I have learned about the interesting dynamic of Washington, D.C.  The poor work and live side by side with the rich.
-Rachel Malcolm, Azusa Pacific University

Never underestimate the metro system.
-Carolina Alvarado, Taylor University

Homeless Liaison for Prince George's County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray's office (WA)

Homeless Liaison for Prince George’s County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray’s office (WA) {photo credit: Christina McIntyre}

The world is bigger than I thought it was! But very different people living in the same place is a beautiful thing.
-Tara Tankersley, North Central University

Advice from someone at my internship — “Never think like an intern!”
-Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College

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{photo credit: Katie Barany}

The Start of a New Semester: Spring 2015

On January 15, we welcomed a wonderful new group of ASP students to Washington, D.C.! In the two weeks since arrival, they have stayed busy with class, scavenger hunts, volunteering, and exploring the city on their own.

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Move-in day welcome team: Kelley Griffin, program administrator; Erin Cox, Public Policy track instructor; James Kim, resident director

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Learning about neighborhood dogs during community life orientation with resident director James Kim!

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Hanging out in the apartments [l-r: Luke Bennett, Biola University; Neakzaad Horriat, Biola University; Evan Wilt, Geneva College; Jude Abeler, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University; and Tara Tankersley, North Central University]

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Tutoring children through Little Lights Urban Ministries’ after-school program–visit http://www.littlelights.org to learn more about this neighborhood organization

Eric Corona (Biola University), Reuben Van Gaalen (Dordt College), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University) outside Navy Yard during Bus Day 1 [photo credit: Norann Beidas]

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Ice skating on the National Mall outside the Archives [l-r: Evan Wilt, Geneva College; Luke Bennett, Biola University; Savannah Scherkenback, Azusa Pacific University; Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College; Tara Tankersley, North Central University; and Jude Abeler, Palm Beach Atlantic University] [Photo credit: Luke Bennett]

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Discovering local coffee shop Sidamo [l-r: Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College; Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University; Norann Beidas, Whitworth University; and Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California]

 

Networking and Community: Fall 2014

Family Night Dinner is one of ASP’s favorite traditions.  Each Monday evening, students, staff, alumni, and guests gather for a community meal prepared by Resident Director James Kim.  It’s a great way to fellowship, catch up with alums, network–and, for students, get the one meal out of the week that they don’t have to prepare themselves! This past Monday, we were joined by several DC professionals serving as mentors this semester.  ASP’s mentorship course allows students the opportunity to build relationships with ASP’s vibrant community of alumni and friends of the program.  ASP mentors are established leaders in their respective fields with at least 7 years of professional experience and are thoughtful Christians who take seriously the ideas of vocation and calling.

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Rachel Trego [in navy] talks to ASP student Alex Hayes (Warner Pacific University). Ms. Trego currently serves as an international economist for the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Her previous work included serving as an agricultural officer with USAID and as a Habitat for Humanity construction crew leader.  Ms. Trego is mentoring Kaitlyn Stump (Malone University).

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David Alexander [second from right] speaks with several ASP and WJC students, including the student he is mentoring, Trenton Pouncy (Oral Roberts University).  Mr. Alexander has served for the past six years as Senior Attorney at the Board of Governance of the Federal Reserve System.  His practice focuses on financial regulation and the banking industry.  Prior, Mr. Alexander was employed at BOK Financial, where he handled commercial credit administration.

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Adam Kincaid spends time with Chris Rednour (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), whom he is mentoring this semester.  Mr. Kincaid is the Special Projects Director at the Republican National Committee.  He is responsible for election forecasting (turnout, vote method, outcome, etc.), polling, and targeting.

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Student Marion Githegi (Emmanuel College) [left] and ASP faculty member Gerry Hartis [right] eat dinner with guest Jared Noetzel, Evangelical Engagement Fellow at Bread for the World.

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Melissa Steffan is a Fall 2011 alumna of the Washington Journalism Center and Spring 2012 alumna of the American Studies Program! She is part of WJC’s mentoring program this semester.  Ms. Steffan works as assistant editor for start-up incubator 1776 where she creates original content about the latest trends and innovation among startups tackling regulated industries, including health, education, energy and cities.

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Dellenback Center Resident Director James Kim serves up dessert!

Orientation Week: Fall 2014

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The Fall 2014 semester is off to a great start! Students from Biola University, Bob Jones University, Emmanuel College, Gordon College, Malone University, Messiah College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Olivet Nazarene University, Oral Roberts University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Point Loma Nazarene University, Seattle Pacific University, Warner Pacific College, and Whitworth University arrived August 28th–and have stayed busy ever since! From orientation to neighborhood engagement to classes to monument walking tours to community events to scavenger hunts, ASP students and their WJC classmates have been getting to know their new community in exciting ways.

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A Bus Day group presents their excursion to the rest of the class.

Kaitlyn Stump’s Bus Day group presents their excursion to the rest of the class.

The first weekend of the semester included a group scavenger hunt or “Bus Day,” giving the opportunity to explore different parts of the city.

Suzanna Bregar of Malone University said that the scavenger hunt was her favorite part of the semester so far.  “I liked that we were broken up into small groups.  It was easier to get to know people.  I also liked exploring the city, missing the bus, or waiting forever for a different bus!”

“My favorite part was the Marine Barracks parade, particularly the silent platoon,” said Kaitlyn Stump also from Malone University.  “Their discipline was extraordinary; they were so in sync without any verbal commands.”

S'mores night on the back patio [From left, Shaefer Bagwell {Biola University}, Collin Callhan {Biola University}, Trenton Pouncy {Oral Roberts University}, Chris Rednour {Mount Vernon Nazarene University}, and Justin Botejue {Whitworth University}]

S’mores night on the back patio [From left, Shaefer Bagwell {Biola University}, Collin Callahan {Biola University}, Trenton Pouncy {Oral Roberts University}, Chris Rednour {Mount Vernon Nazarene University}, and Justin Botejue {Whitworth University}]

Monument walking tour with RD James Kim

Monument walking tour with RD James Kim

Becoming part of the monument at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Becoming part of the monument at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

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Apartment 5 organized a potluck brunch for the rest of the Dellenback!

Later this evening, ASP is attending a Nationals baseball game at Nats park.  Alexander Hayes of Warner Pacific University comments, “If you don’t have fun here, you won’t have anywhere else!”

Guest Post: “Top 5 Questions I’ve Gotten Since My Return from DC” by Stephanie Grossoehme

For ASP students, life in DC is life-changing.  They navigate a city, take on adult responsibilities, grow professionally through their internships, mentorships, and track work, and ultimately discover a lot about themselves.  Adjusting to life after ASP is often harder than one might expect.  How do you answer the dreaded “So, how was it?” question? How do you explain your experience to other people when you’re still processing it yourself?

Fall 2013 alumna Stephanie Grossoehme blogs her way through some of these questions, and we are thrilled to feature a guest post (and pictures) from Stephanie as she reflects on her semester experience.

#5. Did you see Obama?

Yes, I did. I didn’t get very close. I saw him at the Mall at the 50th anniversary of MLK Jr’s Dream speech. More exciting than that was the woman who started to faint and fall back onto me. I didn’t even catch her, I just watched her fall. At first I thought she was just stepping back. Nope. She was falling. She ended up being okay though. Another time I saw President Obama was at the National Christmas Tree Lighting. It was cold and very rainy. So he didn’t hang out for very long.

 

Jefferson Memorial#4 So you’re done there, then?

Yes, for now. I don’t think anyone who ever goes to DC can ever fully escape it. And that’s not because Big Brother is watching you. But I’ll speak for myself and just say that I’d totally live there again. DC is a great place to thrive in and it’s one of my favorite places. I plan on applying for jobs there after I graduate.

 

 

#3. What exactly did you do in DC?

Does anyone ever really know? I didn’t work for the CIA. I had 16 credits of coursework and internship. I interned with an organization called Free the Slaves. They do anti-slave labor work in 6 countries. They’re awesome. I worked with a team on a global development project with World Vision. I was mentored by an amazing and funny communications professional. I took a course called Vocation and Leadership. It was heavily discussion based. It made me think deeper. We explored truth and justice and Shalom, and I liked it a lot. I still like to go back and reference my reading assignments and I’m not even a hardcore nerd. In addition to the coursework though, I got to explore the city and learn from the people who live there.

 

DC rowhouses#2. Ew. Why did you even go to DC?

This is my personal favorite. Washington has a bad rep. People don’t agree with the government, I get it. But let’s be honest. DC is a great place to live. It even has its own laws since it’s not a State. It’s clean. It’s friendly. People say good morning to you as you walk by. Like, people at my little college don’t even do that. The city is full of history, obviously. It’s amazing how you never tire of the architecture. DC has this thing for cupcakes. The city is brick-paved and lined with unique row houses. My point: don’t hate on DC until you’ve walked a mile of her. She’s a beauty that’ll take your breath away. (Sigh. Pardon me while I go write a love song).

#1. Are you glad to be back?

Meh. I love Chicago, for sure. But since my experiences in DC probably changed my life, it’s difficult to get back into previous things. That’s why I write here, silly. (Obviously the people asking me these questions should just go read my blog and save me from further social interaction and contribute to slowly digress the way we humans communicate non-verbally with one another ahhhh…jk). Anyways. I think it’s something of a culture shock. I like being home, but I’m in search of the balance in taking my newfound lessons and stories and living them in an old place. That’s epitome of the struggle. It’s a progress.

Stephanie in Old Town Alexandria

Stephanie in Old Town Alexandria

A rising senior, Stephanie is a Communication major at Olivet Nazarene University.  While an ASP student, she was the social media intern at Free the Slaves; since returning to ONU, she has continued to manage Free the Slaves’ social media remotely.  After graduation, Stephanie plans to pursue social media marketing (basically anything that involves traveling, tweeting, photographing, and planning) in a major city–hopefully DC! You can find her blogging at Steph Went to Washington as she has time.

Fall 2013 in Review: City Life

Washington, D.C. is about more than just business and government.  The neighborhoods of the District combine with federal Washington to make a city with a unique personality.  When you are eating free lunches at think tanks, attending Nats/Wizards/Capitals games, discovering a favorite local coffee shop, jogging past the Capitol, going on scavenger hunts on the bus, hearing oral arguments at the Supreme Court, getting late-night pies, and applying for a library card at the Library of Congress, life in D.C. is rarely boring.

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ASP attended a baseball game at Nats Park, home to the Washington Nationals.

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ASP internship director Elizabeth Pitts [far right] hosted a late-summer cookout at her home in Alexandria.

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Faculty members Peter Baker and Gerry Hartis with the Fall 2013 students at the biannual ASP Alumni Picnic

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Students took the opportunity to gather on the Mall to hear an address from President Obama on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. [Photo credit: Adam Saxton]

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Adam Saxton (University of Northwestern–St. Paul), Dirk Oudman (Dordt College), Alexander Archuleta (Whitworth University), and Connor Briggs (Gordon College) snapped a picture in front of the U.S. Capitol. [Photo credit: Adam Saxton]

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Saturday afternoon in Old Town Alexandria [Photo credit: Stephanie Grossoehme]

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Living in D.C. means becoming a public transportation pro!

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Anika Janzen (Bethel University) [right] and WJC student Katherine Burgess (Union University) snapped a picture after standing inside the U.S. Capitol building, right outside the Senate chamber, as the government shut down in October.  Read their whole story here.

Fall 2013 in Review: Community Life

We were blessed with two wonderful student event coordinators this semester.  Alexander Archuleta (a senior at Whitworth University) and Stephanie Grossoehme (a junior at Olivet Nazarene University) planned activities that wonderfully benefited the community life in the Dellenback Center.  These events included a progressive dinner in which the students moved to different apartments to eat each course of the meal, a Halloween party, and a Christmas party!

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Shayla Wakumoto (Biola University), Kelley Griffin (DC programs administrator), Livy Workman (Waynesburg University), and Claire Sloan (Washington Journalism Center student from The Master’s College) at the progressive dinner.

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Dessert for the progressive dinner was served on the rooftop deck!

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Students took a creative approach and integrated their studies into the pumpkin-carving contest.

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Stephanie and Alexander planned Paper Plate Awards as the last group activity of the semester. Stephanie and Alexander are pictured here with their awards!