As the nation turned their attention to the Iowa caucuses and the 2012 presidential hopefuls, four students from the University of Pikeville traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn about politics from the nation’s capitol and political epicenter. The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars presented two Inside Washington seminars beginning with “In Pursuit of the Presidency” and followed by “Politics in the Media.”
“I have always had an interest in politics, but I never really knew where my particular talents would fit into the realm. Thanks to this seminar, I have been exposed to many new facets of political careers that I may not have known otherwise,” said Jocelyn McCown, a junior at UPIKE majoring in history/political science. “I know now that there is a place for everyone as long as you have the passion for it. I may never run for office, but I can still make a difference by helping someone else make it there.”
Joining McCown on the two-week seminar were fellow students Corey Crigger, Corey Hatfield and Kayla Morgan, along with Nancy Cade, Ph.D., professor of history and political science.
“The Inside Washington seminars offer an unparalleled opportunity to sit in the same room with legendary journalists, esteemed members of Congress and other experts who have their pulse on the presidential 2012 campaign,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “The University of Pikeville 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. University of Pikeville students heard from the reporters covering the 2012 elections, former members of Congress, high-level Congressional staff and leaders of special interest groups. Speakers included Sam Donaldson, ABC News; Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary; Ken Walsh, White House correspondent, U.S. News and World Report; Ann Compton, chief White House correspondent, ABC News; Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform; Brian Lamb, president/CEO, C-SPAN; Gail Chaddock, staff writer, The Christian Science Monitor; Tony Mauro, supreme court correspondent, National Law Journal; Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly (D-CT, 81-99); Congressman Mickey Edwards (R-OK, 77-93); Bill Dauster, deputy chief of staff for policy for the Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV); Howard Dean, M.D., former governor of Vermont, presidential candidate, DNC chairman, and founder of Democracy For America; John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent, CNBC; and Clarence Page, columnist, Chicago Tribune.
“I liked the feeling knowing after long days I am doing small things with my life that will have a huge impact on my country,” said Morgan. “I felt like I was a part of something much bigger.”
Students also visited historic sites in Washington and Philadelphia and participated in guest lectures and special exhibits.
“Inside Washington was a phenomenal educational experience and I met some amazing people along the way,” said Hatfield. “I have always had some interest in politics, but until this semester I didn’t think about a career in politics. This seminar has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective.”
Inside Washington is part of The Washington Center’s Campaign 2012 Academic Seminar Series. Next up in the series is the Republican National Convention Seminar and the Democratic National Convention Seminar. Both will take place on-site at the official conventions held in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., offering students the opportunity to participate in lectures, panels, tours, site visits and fieldwork assignments. For more information visit www.twc.edu/campaign2012.
University of Pikeville students have participated in The Washington Center seminars for several years. Cade has served as a faculty advisor and mentor for the organization since 2004, including two national political conventions and two presidential inaugurations. Honored by The Washington Center in 2007 as a “Faculty Leader of the Year,” she is the campus liaison for the program and a member of The Washington Center’s national Liaison Advisory Board.
Cade established the Fred W. Meyer Jr. Washington Center Scholars Scholarship Fund at the University of Pikeville in honor of her father. All four students are Fred W. Meyer Jr. Washington Center Scholars.
Pictured, from left, Hatfield, McCown, Cade, Morgan and Crigger.