Ten Arkansas Tech University students began their spring semester by participating in the 2023 Inside Washington Seminar presented by The Washington Center.
Dr. Michael Rogers, ATU professor of political science, guided the ATU delegation through the experience Jan. 3-11 in Washington, D.C.
“The typical day started with a general assembly of almost 300 students from across the U.S.,” said Rogers. “The general assemblies included conversation with figures like Fiona Hill discussing the Russian-Ukraine War, Mark Murray (an editor of NBC News) and former U.S. Ambassadors Cynthia Akuetteh and Carolyn “Pat” Alsup. Then, in the afternoons we did educational excursions. The first day was a tour of the U.S. Capitol building. The last event of the day was a small group discussion where we reflect on how the events of the day inform students’ views of U.S. government and democracy.”
ATU students Andrea Diaz-Lopez, Gabriella Flores, Kelsey Jones, Victoria Kroeker, Cassandra Lusk, Lesly Mendez, Mario Mendez, Aileen Rivera, Hannah Stone and Chasity Washam each earned one hour of academic credit for completing the program. Funding supporting their participation was provided by the Arkansas General Assembly.
“For me, this internship really exposed me to my own biases,” said Stone, an ATU junior from Russellville majoring in sociology, political science and criminal justice. “I realized that I go into discussions of politics with a narrow view of the world and the topic at hand, and that I have a tendency to believe I am faultless in my own opinions. After this internship, I’ve realized I have room to continue to grow in my belief set. Finally, I found a new sense of pride in my country that I have never felt before. As someone who wants to enter into the political or research field because I see and understand the faults in our current system, I never really felt a deep connection to the American identity. I can now say, after being among peers who think similarly to me, that I think it is the most patriotic, prideful and American notion to be critical of our system and to fight for its change.”
A similar opportunity will be available to ATU students May 16-20 when The Washington Center hosts its 2023 National Security Seminar.
“The Inside Washington Internship was an amazing experience,” said Diaz-Lopez, an ATU junior from Berryville majoring in political science and international studies with a minor in Spanish. “During this internship, I got the opportunity to meet people who were in different sectors of the government. It was cool to see how our government works and how different things can affect the outcome of what they do. Plus, since I was living in Washington D.C. for a week, I got to try many different types of food and see some really cool things. I would recommend this internship opportunity to anyone who is willing to put in the work and learn about our nation’s government.”
For more information about opportunities through The Washington Center available to ATU students, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.