Campus News

D.C. program celebrates 100-mark milestone in participant number

Don DeMaria and his family have worked with Tina Laseter of the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia for several years.

UGA’s Washington Semester Program celebrates a milestone this spring, passing the 100 mark in number of participants since the program began in spring 2008.

Nineteen students are currently gaining experience in the nation’s capital as interns for business, government and public policy leaders, offices and organizations.

“The program has grown a great deal in the last three years,” said program director Don De Maria. “I am thrilled that we have surpassed 100 students, and have more than 20 program alumni already living and working in D.C.”

The Washington Semester Program, offered every fall and spring, was launched under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Instruction.

The comprehensive program features a mixture of traditional instruction, internship experience and cultural and academic enrichment activities. Eligible participants include UGA undergraduates and transient ­students from other ­University System of Georgia institutions.

Students complete at least 12 credit hours of coursework that includes a foreign policy course and a seminar on life, work and culture in Washington. The other credit hours can be used for internship, directed study and/or research courses through the student’s academic department.

“In a short time, this program already plays a crucial role in exposing some of our best students to career opportunities in Washington,” said Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction. “It is very encouraging to have so many of the program alumni working in both the public and private sector in the nation’s capital.”

Howard Wiarda, the Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations, is teaching the foreign policy course this semester, focusing on American foreign policy, one he previously taught in fall 2009.