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The Speaker’s balcony -- the best view of the mall.

From one hill to another

3:52 PM  Mar 8th, 2013
by Audrey Starr

When political science professor Jason Pierce drafted an itinerary for 24 students to spend three days in our nation’s capital on a career immersion experience, he quickly realized he had a problem: so many alumni, so little time.

“I was absolutely amazed by the generosity of our alumni. They quickly volunteered to share their time and wisdom, and were very eager to help our students take whatever that next step might be, from job shadowing to internships to entry-level careers,” Pierce explained.

The Washington, DC, trip—a first of its kind for UD and a joint effort between the political science department, College of Arts and Sciences, and honors program—wasn’t just a civics lesson. Students met with two dozen alumni to learn what it’s like to have a career, and a personal life, in one of the most competitive (and expensive) cities in the U.S.—and, how to get it.

“This was an experiment. We wanted to see what would happen when you put accomplished alumni in the same room as earnest and eager students,” Pierce said.

The result? Résumés exchanged, business cards swapped, phone conversations scheduled—and even a tweet from the third most powerful politician in the country. Speaker John Boehner, who held an hour-long question-and-answer session with students on the eve of the sequestration, sent this message to his 457,000-plus Twitter followers: “Enjoyed taking questions from @univofdayton students today – cap hill press corps, watch out…”

Freshman Morgan Draves says her biggest takeaway is the power of the Flyer nation.

“I learned so much, but I think the most important lesson is that the UD community extends far past the streets of campus. Regardless of where you end up after graduation, UD alumni are more than willing to help you find your way. The bond of Flyers from all different cities, majors and class years is impressively strong.

Click the image above to view more trip photos.

Students hear from UD alumni Adam Wolf ’08, Rachael Bade ’10 and Brad Gentile ’08 about the practical concerns associated with living and working in DC.Current students and faculty had a chance to speak informally with alumni at a Friday night reception. Approximately 75 alumni attended the event.Jason Pierce, political science department chair, introduces Kevin Maloney, president of the National Alumni Association.Students hear from a panel of three UD alumni: Kevin Doran ’01, deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland; Erik Elam ’07, legislative director for Rep. Don Young; and Beth Ann Saracco ’09, legislative assistant for Rep. Ed Pastor.Doran, Elam and Saracco address the students.Legislative Director Erik Elam ’07 tells students about his career on capitol hill.Legislative Assistant Beth Ann Saracco ’09 explains her work to UD students.Deputy Chief of Staff Kevin Doran ’01 talks to students about his work experience on and off of capitol hill.Crowell & Moring’s Mike Gill ’89 discusses his lobbying and work on the hill.The Dayton2DC students and faculty stop for a picture in the capitol rotunda.Students Ali Van Loon, Sarah Moir, Erik Petro, Emily Bright, Andy Kurzhals, Anastashia Hicks and Brittany Hines pose with the newly unveiled statue of Rosa Parks in Statuary Hall.Meredith Pacenta, Sam Hattrup and Matt VanDyke in Statuary Hall.Former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and UD Internship Coordinator John Jones entering the speaker’s office.Speaker John Boehner takes questions from UD students.Speaker Boehner’s Deputy Chief of Staff Dave Schnittger ’93 and UD students.Kevin Fitzpatrick discusses work on the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.Priscilla Koepke describes her work on the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.Ambassador Philip Hughes discusses careers in international affairs.Dayton Rep. Mike Turner ’92 talks to students about the sequester’s impact on the city.Dr. Ann Hudock ’90 of Development Alternatives Inc. describes trends in international development work.Mark Brinkmoeller ’87 of USAID discusses his agency’s role.Mark Brinkmoeller ’87 of USAID discusses his agency’s role.Meg Poole of the Meridian International Group coaches students on how to build professional networks.Meg Poole of the Meridian International Group coaches students on how to build professional networks.Dr. Eugene Steuerle ’68 of the Urban Institute discusses tax policy.

One Response to From one hill to another

  1. Tom Bodie '62 Pol Sci says:

    Brother Richard Liebler, S.M. took 2 pol sci majors with him to D.C. for many years. (I’m unaware of the beginning and ending dates of this practice.) Mary Mattingly and I were with Bro. Richard for the Spring 1962 trip. After serving in the Army, I graduated from Georgetown Law Center in 1967. I spent a year with the Legal Aid Bureau and then 40 years in private practice. Thanks & praise, Bro. Richard!

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