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Students take part in Washington Center programs

January seminars in the nation's capital attracted Elon University students representing a variety of academic interests.

(Photo courtesy of Michael Kandel)

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Elon University students traveled to the nation’s capital this January to learn about politics at the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which hosted seminars beginning with “In Pursuit of the Presidency” and followed by “Politics in the Media.”

“The Inside Washington seminars offer an unparalleled opportunity to sit in the same room with legendary journalists, esteemed members of Congress and other experts that have their pulse on the presidential 2012 campaign,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “Elon University is giving their students access to the center of the political process, as it’s happening now and as history is being made.”

The seminar provides firsthand experience and perspective into campaign 2012 through a combination of lectures from prominent guest speakers, panel discussions, site visits and small group dialogues. Elon students heard directly from journalists covering the 2012 elections, former members of Congress, high-level congressional staff and leaders of special interest groups.

Several speakers included:

Gail Chaddock, Staff Writer, The Christian Science Monitor
Tony Mauro, Supreme Court Correspondent, National Law Journal
Ken Walsh, White House correspondent, U.S. News and World Report
Rep. Barbara Kennelly (D-Conn., 81-99)
Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla., 77-93)
Bill Dauster, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for the Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Ann Compton, Chief White House Correspondent, ABC News
Gov. Howard Dean, M.D., former governor of Vermont, presidential candidate, DNC chairman, and founder of Democracy For America
John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent, CNBC
Clarence Page, columnist, Chicago Tribune
Brian Lamb, president/CEO, C-SPAN
Sam Donaldson, ABC News

Students visited historic sites in Washington and Philadelphia, and they participated in guest lectures and special exhibits. Since The Washington Center first offered campaign seminars in 1984, more than 6,000 college students have participated in the programs. The independent, nonprofit organization serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit.

"I loved the energy that just resonated within D.C.," said Elon student Carly Ledbetter. "It was amazing learning about politics during the election, when every issue on the news related back to Washington! People seemed to be walking with a purpose, and it just seemed like everyone was doing something important. I just want to make a difference, and being in D.C. you really feel like you can."

Other offered their own reflections on the experience.

"Every speaker left me with something memorable from his or her field of expertise," said Elon student Kingsley Anim. "The city named after George Washington ... is the epitome of quality leadership, sacrifice and the optimism of a nation through the lens of dedication and compromise."

Elon students taking part in the program this winter include:

Kingsley Anim
Maria Arango
Emily Ash
Kinsey Augustine
Lindsay Bell
Alyssa Brown
Kelly Coble
Kelsey Cones
Keegan De Silva
Emily Deitrich
Andrea Diaz
Whitley Dozier
Allyson Golightly
Elizabeth Hilliard
Brittain Johnson
Carly Ledbetter
Ethan Luke
Kaitlin Lumpkins
Carolyn Macaulay
Elayne Monjar
Ruru Najar
Alice Osteen
Jill Padfield
Millie Rosen
Alexandra Sharpe
Cameron Shirley
Rebecca Spurlin
Thorsten Pacher
Andreea Podgoreanu
Ana Preciado Arango
Maria Riofrio
Joseph Thompson
Le To
Ning Yuan

Eric Townsend,
Staff
1/23/2012 9:19 AM