Politics & Pandemics: A Semester in Washington

A Perfect, Less-Than-Perfect Semester

by Jacob Grossman (’22)

On Twitter, Ms. Richwine stated, “This semester wasn’t all the Wake Washington students hoped for and dreamed about.” I want to start by saying that is completely false. Even without the pandemic, this semester has far exceeded any expectations I could have had. Friday, I got to tour the White House, stand in the blue room and exit through the South Portico. After exiting, I promptly got on the metro and went to the Pentagon where I participated in two important meetings. How many students can say they went from the White House to the Pentagon? Probably not many. I consider myself lucky to have been in this program that has provided me with these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, so I just want to make it clear that this semester far exceeded my hopes and dreams.

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Categories: News

Meaningful Mentorship

by Sean Mooney (’22)

When I learned during orientation week that mentors were a potential option for Wake Washington students, I was unsure what to expect as I had only one person outside of my family whom I considered a mentor. I requested Ms. Richwine assign me someone who had a variety of experiences in the policy world, preferably including foreign policy. At the time, I knew next to nothing about the various institutions contributing to the United States’ relationship with other countries but was interested in what I considered a more artsy policy determination process than domestic policy. I first met with the Wake alum Ms. Richwine assigned to me in the first few weeks of the program and got coffee at Le Pain Quotidien (where I currently sit writing this) roughly every other Thursday since then. He works as a U.S. governmental affairs consultant having been involved in diplomacy on behalf of French speaking countries throughout his career.

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Categories: News

Election Night Reflections

by Haleigh Cadd (’21)

I was expecting to encounter one of two things going out in DC on Election Night. One was a warzone and the other was a ghost town. For instance, Ms. Richwine warned us to take water bottles with us in case we got pepper sprayed. We shared our locations with her through our phones. I had a conversation with a DC resident earlier that week, and he mentioned how he remembered cars being set on fire on Election Night in 2016.

The reason I semi-expected DC to be a ghost town was the obvious: we’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Who would leave their cozy DC apartments to encounter crowds?

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Categories: News

Progress in a Pandemic

by Sean Mooney (’22)

For the last two months I have had the pleasure of interning for the regulatory department of the Niskanen Center. When I committed to Wake Washington pre-COVID, I had professional interest in policy research but no experience. This summer, I took a data and policy course at the University of Chicago that changed the way I view policy analysis and gave me concrete data research skills. I found myself in the middle of the summer taking two courses from Wake, the UChicago course, and attempting to apply to research related internships. Ultimately, I sent out 16 applications (all government or think tank) while completing the two Wake courses, accepting the internship of my top choice. This left me a few weeks of the data program with relatively few distractions during which I tried to maximize the learning opportunity and prepare for my internship.

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Categories: News

Unexpected Blessing

by Ethan Hawkins (’22)

“During these uncertain times…” is a phrase echoed by just about every American university these days. From social gatherings to studying abroad, students everywhere are struggling to figure out what to do with themselves during this era of “the new normal.”

I was among these cohorts of students, and Wake Washington provided a much needed escape from the bleak reality that COVID has so graciously gifted us.

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Categories: News

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