Students experience Washington D.C.

Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

James King

“It’s a program that expands the horizon of any student participating,” said Dr. Richard Robyn, a political science professor and director of the Washington Program in National Issues.

For the last 38 years, the WPNI program has taken about two dozen students to our nation’s capitol to learn about the inner workings of the American political system from congressmen and Supreme Court Justices.

“We’ve had a good start,” Robyn said, “the students have been acclimating to Washington and have begun their internships.”

Robyn said each student in the WPNI program must complete an internship. There are thousands of possibilities and students this year are interning in the offices of Senators and Congressmen, the Huffington Post, the Smithsonian and even the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Anya Barry, senior political science major, is interning at the Institute for Policy Studies, in the Foreign Policy Division.

“I have a lot of responsibilities,” Barry said, “I’m doing research and analysis about foreign policy. For instance, I’m currently writing a short article for the newsletter on regional military spending recently within the United States.”

Barry said she is also working on advocacy-related issues. The Institute for Policy Studies, where Barry works, hosts the Global Day of Action on Military Spending each April 17, worldwide.

The event promotes cutting global military spending worldwide. Each intern is assigned a continent. Barry received North America.

“It’s our biggest event, and I’ll be getting in touch with previous participants in GDAMS, as well as reaching out to new groups who might be interested in participating, like college groups for instance.”

For more information:

Contact Kathleen Loughry, the program coordinator. Her office is on the third floor of Bowman Hall in the Department of Political Science

Anna Staver, senior journalism major, is interning at the Huffington Post.

“I monitor different shows like Rush Limbaugh’s radio show,” Staver said. “I listen if any important people like Congressmen come on and if they say anything worth covering. I also pitch ideas to my editor, and if he likes them, then I can write a story about them.”

“It’s a great way to network,” Staver said. “When we go into briefings and meetings, we’re looked at like potential employees.”

“The program is about exposing the students to what it’s like to live and work in Washington D.C.,” said Robyn. “Many of the alumni from the program come back to D.C. after graduation and find work.”

The WPNI program has over 800 alumni, about half of which have returned to live and work in Washington. In addition, about 1,000 Kent State alumni live in the area.

Near the end of the semester, the program will start accepting applications for WPNI in 2013.

Contact James King at [email protected].