Students Excel in DC Semester Program

by Michaela Carpenter, Public Relations Writer

During the most visible presidential election in modern history, 15 Cedarville University students are studying and working in the heart of the race -- Washington, DC. The students are part of an innovative program in which they work with leading policy think tanks, congressional offices and federal agencies—all while completing college credits.

In addition to the policy, legislative and federal agency internships, students are enrolled in two classes taught by Dr. Marc Clauson, professor of history and law, and the faculty supervisor for this semester’s program. The program includes visits to Congress and the opportunity to sit in on Supreme Court oral arguments and attend federal agency hearings. Past DC Semester students have been on hand to witness a number of politically historic events, including the government shutdown in 2013 and Obergefell v. Hodges ruling last fall.
Clauson has seen the clear benefits of this program in preparing students for future careers.

“Students who participate in the DC Semester program can expect to be well-prepared to function at a high level and as genuine believers in the environment of politics and policy making,” Clauson said.

This semester, students are interning with organizations including The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom. These internships provide students with opportunities to build professional networks and learn from others with years of experience in the political environment.

Junior social studies education major Unix Diza, of Broomfield, Colorado, works for Family Research Council to mobilize Christian voters through research and strategic media to vote in line with their values in upcoming elections. 

Victoria Stearns, a junior double major in applied communications and political science from Naples, Florida, works as a creative intern at The Heritage Foundation. Stearns is one of the youngest interns with the organization, as many positions are reserved for graduate students.

“Cedarville has really prepared us well for these internships,” Stearns said. “We’re able to fill these positions as undergrad students when we’re some of the youngest interns here.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.