Priceless experience through Kent State: WPNI

Anastasia Spytsya

Exactly a year ago I was actually excited to wake up at 6:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C., because I had to dress up to meet Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States in person. In fact, he was willing to spend a whole hour talking about original interpretation of the Constitution to a group of Kent State students and answer our questions.

It was yet another exciting day in Washington, D.C. Twenty-four Kent State students were enjoying beautiful weather and sharing unforgettable memories we experienced in the nation’s capital. Our semester spent in Washington, D.C., was coming to an end.

By then we became a group of very different, yet very close friends. It was difficult to imagine we were going to be separated from now on. It was weird to realize we wouldn’t have heated political debates on Monday mornings in class anymore. We no longer will have a chance to hike the Arlington cemetery together, to visit museums every weekend together, to explore the Capitol Hill together, to walk at the National Mall in the evening and to freak out about term papers.

We didn’t know that we would miss dressing up every morning, taking the metro everywhere, reading The Washington Post and getting lost in the city. We didn’t know back then how much we would miss Dr. Robyn, our professor and mentor, and his favorite word: “professionalism.”

The Washington Program in National Issues, offered through Kent State’s political science department, changed our lives and will change yours if you decide to do it.

Just imagine leaving sleepy Kent for a whole semester and moving to one of the most influential cities in the world to study issues our nation is facing today. Imagine meeting people like ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson, acting Comptroller Gen. Gene Dodaro, former President Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese and former White House Communication Director Anita Dunn every Thursday in person. Moreover, you get to ask them all the questions you want and learn from them. Trust me, learning from people who shape national politics is way more interesting than learning about it from textbooks in the library. You experience everything firsthand. You become a part of something extremely important.

You also get to experience the real world by interning at the sites that fit your career goals and interests. You do not have to be a political science major. One of the students from our group was an art history major and got to intern at the National Museum of American History. As a Russian translation major, I got to translate KGB documents. Whatever your interests are, D.C.’s got it all (in addition, your résumé suddenly becomes attractive).

I believe the program adds a lot to personal development. You learn how to become a young professional. You learn how to network, how to communicate effectively, how to be punctual and how to be responsible. You learn how to be a presentable and competitive individual. You learn how to apply theory you learned at Kent State into practice in the real world.

If you feel like building lifelong friendships, having an experience of a lifetime in the nation’s capital and earning 15 credit hours doing it, you should contact Dr. Robyn at [email protected] for further questions. Don’t waste such an opportunity. Think Washington. WPNI ’09, I miss you.

Anastasia Spytsya is a senior Russian translation major and

political science minor and columnist

for the Daily Kent Stater.

Contact her at [email protected].