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Learning in the Heart of the Nation

Jan. 15, 2014; updated Jan. 21, 2014

Five young women stand in front of the eastside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Members of this spring's class of DC Scholars visit the Supreme Court.

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California State University students are learning firsthand how America's government operates, how laws are passed and how lobbyists, advocates and nonprofit organizations work to be heard as members of this year's spring class of Cal State Fullerton's Cal State DC program.

Beginning its eighth year, the program allows juniors, seniors and graduate students to intern at a variety of government agencies, nonprofits, lobby firms, media outlets and advocacy groups.

A record 46 students are taking part in this spring's Jan. 18-April 18 program.

"This experience is a huge growth process," said Sarah A. Hill, program director and assistant professor of political science. "This year's students will be serving in offices ranging from senatorial and congressional office to the National Coalition for the Homeless, National Transportation Safety Board and the National Museum of the U.S. Navy."

"CSU Fullerton's Cal State DC program has successfully helped students learn and start careers in DC since 2006," said Stephen Stambough, chair and professor of political science and former DC Scholar program director. "I'm proud that this success enables Fullerton to be the hub of a program that is expanding to provide these opportunities in partnership with other campuses, as well with our new partners at Northridge and San Marcos."

In addition to interning, students will be continuing their studies, attending upper-division courses in political science, communications and English. Serving as resident faculty members, teaching classes and working with students on projects related to their internships will be April Brannon, associate professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics, and Genelle Belmas, associate professor of communications.

Cal State Fullerton's participants, their cities of residence, majors and internship sites:

  • Jackeline Alarcon of Fullerton, senior, political science, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • So Ram Chang of Los Alamitos, senior, philosophy, American Civil Liberties Union, National Prison Project 
  • Devon Ferguson of Huntington Beach, junior, criminal justice, Congresswoman Julia Brownley
  • Keith Fierro of San Bernardino, senior, political science, Heritage Foundation
  • Athena Heng of Anaheim, senior, political science, Human Rights Campaign
  • Joseph Holper of Buena Park, senior, English, BusinessUSA
  • Matthew Lightner of Buena Park, senior, political science, BusinessUSA
  • Zulfia Manely of Ladera Ranch, senior, political science, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Alison Martin of Orange, senior, business administration-economics, Rep. Ed Royce
  • Amanda Martin of Fullerton, junior, political science, Rep. Eric Swalwell
  • Stephanie Martinez of Garden Grove, junior, political science, Rep. Tom Petri
  • Yareli Mendoza of Riverside, senior, political science, Department of Veterans Affairs' Office Congressional and Legislative Affairs
  • Maria Ong of Hacienda Heights, junior, communications, National Museum of the U.S. Navy
  • Hawley Stanton of Trabuco Canyon, senior, political science, Rep. Ed Royce
  • Bryce Stoermer of Fullerton, senior, political science, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Brandon Swinford of Anaheim, senior, political science, Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs
  • Ariell Van Horn of Oceanside, senior, public administration, Rep. Gregory Meeks
  • Jacklyn Vasquez of Chino Hills, junior, criminal justice, Sen. Barbara Boxer
  • Aimee Wall of Irvine, senior, political science, House Committee on Education and Workforce
  • Christopher Walsh of Fullerton, senior, political science, Rep. Ed Royce

Cal State Northridge participants:

  • Lorena Avila of Panorama City, senior, political science, Rep. Tony Cardenas
  • Stephanie Ayala of Los Angeles, senior, sociology/criminal justice, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Garni Baroni of La Crescenta, senior, political science, Armenian National Committee of America
  • Melanie Fessinger of Santa Clarita, sophomore, psychology, DC SAFE Courtroom Advocacy Program
  • Ismael Hurtado of Moorpark, senior, political science, Rep. Adam Schiff
  • Marcus Johnson of Sherman Oaks, senior, political science, Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs
  • Lalageh Karikorian of Glendale, senior, political science, Sen. Paul Strauss
  • Lauryn Lawson of North Hills, junior, political science, Sen. John Boozman
  • Marco Lundgren of La Canada, junior, political science, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audit Services
  • Kelcie McCormack of Simi Valley, senior, political science, Department of Education, Office of School Support and Rural Programs
  • Tonatiuh (Tony) Mejia Landon of Arleta, senior, political science, Fundacion ICCF Colombia
  • Sara Memar of Woodland Hills, junior, political science, BusinessUSA
  • Charisse Ortega of Burbank, junior, political science, Save the Children
  • Samantha Ortega of Northridge, senior, political science, Achieving the Dream
  • Vallery Pardo of Northridge, senior, political science, Paul Strauss & Associates
  • Laura Perez of Northridge, senior, psychology, NBC Washington Human Resources
  • Monica Ramos of Gardena, junior, psychology, One Campaign
  • Tayloure Richardson of Palmdale, senior, sociology, Achieving the Dream
  • Alejandro Rosa of La Crescenta, junior, political science, Rep. Adam Schiff
  • Angel Sanchez of Northridge, senior, accounting, Ford's Theatre
  • Ifetayo Sangode-Olaitan of Altadena, junior, psychology, Children's National Medical Center
  • Stacy Urreola of Spring Valley, senior, political science, Office of Surface Mining, Department of Interior
  • Cesar Villanueva of Canoga Park, senior, political science, Rep. Xavier Becerra
  • Maksud Yusubov of Encino, senior, political science, Rep. Janice Hahn

Students from San Marcos:

  • Kristine Diaz of Murrieta, senior, liberal studies, U.S. Department of the Interior, Intergovernmental and External Affairs
  • Carrie Martin of San Diego, senior, sociology, BusinessUSA

More than 250 students have gone through the program. More information is available online.

Media Contact:

Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

Tags:  Campus Updates