JMC Students Gain Professional Experience in D.C.
Six JMC students are participating in the Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI), a full 15-week academic program offered each spring semester by the political science department.
Alyssa Schmitt, senior journalism major; Emily Mills, junior journalism major; Gabrielle Woodard, junior public relations major; Hannah Armenta, senior journalism major, Ian Flickinger, senior journalism major; and Raymond Strickland, senior news journalism major are among 21 Kent State students participating in WPNI this semester. WPNI is an opportunity for a select group of juniors and seniors in various academic disciplines who are interested in careers in Washington, D.C.
The students are staying in Alexandria, V.A. and commute to D.C. to intern three days each week. During the remaining two days, students take classes with Political Science Assistant Professor and Director of WPNI Richard Robyn, Ph.D.
Students also attend briefings each week in which they meet with professionals from different fields to learn all about the career opportunities available in D.C.
Students have visited sites including: the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, CIA, The Washington Post, CSPAN, Congress and the United Nations Information Center.
Woodard said she has met several professionals working in government and public affairs. She acquired an internship with the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which works with members of Congress and provides any guidance they may need.
“Being in Washington has opened my eyes to the wonderful people and opportunities here,” Woodard said. “If I didn’t have a passion for public affairs and government relations before, I definitely do now. Meeting people who are enthusiastic about their careers and are excited to help young people definitely has driven me.”
Strickland, who landed an internship with Voice of America, said that WPNI has been a life-changing experience.
“You don't have to be a political science major to enjoy the city; it is welcoming to everybody,” Strickland said. “I sincerely recommend this program to anyone. It has helped me realize that dreams simply do come true. I've always wanted to see places like the CIA, Pentagon and White House and because of this program I did. It makes me feel like I can work at those places and thrive in this city.”
The WPNI program facilitates learning about the U.S. political system and enables students to gain professional skills in the field of their interests.
Watch this video to learn More about the program.
(Photo caption: Students meet with Senator Sherrod Brown. Photo courtesy of political science department.)