Campus News Society & Culture

UGA students study and intern in nation’s capital through Washington Semester Program

Athens, Ga. – Sixteen University of Georgia undergraduates are participating in UGA’s Washington Semester Program this fall. The students will spend the semester in the nation’s capital completing coursework and internships in business, government and public policy.

“This is a diverse, energetic and motivated class and I know that they will be exceptional ambassadors of UGA,” said Don De Maria, director of the Washington Semester Program. “We are very appreciative of the generosity of the UGA Foundation, which provided scholarships for each student to participate in the program again this year.”

Open to all eligible UGA undergraduates, the Washington Semester Program was established under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Instruction in spring 2008.Features of the program include internship experience in congressional offices, nonprofit organizations and think tanks, and a variety of cultural and professional networking opportunities.

“The Washington Semester Program is a unique learning opportunity for our students,” said Laura Dunn Jolly, vice president for instruction. “Engaging with alumni, working with national leaders and gaining professional experience prepare them for the future.”

Participants earn at least 12 credit hours, six of which include a special topics course whose focus changes every semester, and a seminar on life, work and culture in Washington, featuring guest lecturers from UGA and the D.C. area. The other credit hours can be applied for directed study, internship and/or research courses through the student’s academic department.

Joel Clark, president and director of domestic programs of Capital Education, will teach the special topics course on ethics, one he previously taught during fall 2008. Interdisciplinary in nature, the course explores the history, theory and practice of public attempts to reform electoral and political processes at the national level.

During the seminar, many UGA alumni serve as guest speakers, including Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center; M. Elaine Bunn, director of the Future Concepts Program in the Institute of National Strategic Studies; Randy Nuckolls, partner at McKenna, Long & Aldridge; Michael Andel, chief-of-staff for Congressman David Scott; Charlie Harman, chief-of-staff for Sen. Saxby Chambliss; Ashley Jones, chief-of-staff for Congressman John Barrow; and Matthew Hunt, vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Alumni of the Washington Semester Program and members of the D.C. Dawgs, the Washington, D.C. chapter of UGA’s Alumni Association, serve as mentors to current students and give talks about their experiences living and working in the nation’s capital. The D.C. Dawgs and Washington Semester Program also partner to host events involving both students and alumni.

Sept. 15 is the priority deadline for spring 2011 applications for the Washington Semester Program, with first consideration given to those students who apply by then. Applications will be accepted after the priority deadline until all program spaces are full.

For more information on UGA’s Washington Semester Program, see

The fall 2010 participants are:

Name / Hometown / Major(s) / Internship placement

Laura Arline / Ellijay / international affairs, political science / Office of Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Mary Carpenter / Atlanta / telecommunication arts / APCO Worldwide

Elena Aurora Gomez / Kennesaw / international affairs, Spanish / Office of Congressman Jared Polis

René Gregoire / Marietta / child and family development / U.S. Department of Education

Jonathan Harrison / Waleska / international affairs / Office of Congressman Tom Price

Sara Hendricks / Fairburn / political science / Office of Sen. Johnny Isakson

Caitlyn Livingston / Lawrenceville / international affairs, political science / Center for American Progress

Lardycia Manns / Atlanta / international affairs, Spanish / Center for American Progress

Linh Phuong Nguyen / Lilburn / international affairs, philosophy / Office of Congressman John Barrow

Nicole Alyssa Piason / Huntingtown, Md. / Office of Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Breana Kaitlyn Pittman / Athens / international affairs / U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL

Diana M. Silva / Duluth / international affairs / Office of Congressman David Scott

Sarah Stormont / Atlanta / child and family development / Office of Sen. Johnny Isakson

Tess Vincent / Suwanee / religion / Smithsonian American Art Museum

William Westbrook / Meansville / political science / Office of Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Elizabeth Wood / Norcross / international affairs / Amnesty International