For the past 10 years, Cal State Fullerton students have arrived in Washington, D.C., each summer to participate in internships, attend classes taught by CSUF faculty, and experience what it’s like to work in our nation’s capital. This summer, 38 students from several CSU campuses are participating in the program; 24 from Fullerton.
“When you talk about a high-impact practice, Cal State DC has it all,” said Stephen Stambough, chair of the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice and founding director of the program. “To date, more than 400 students have participated in our DC program. For many, this opportunity leads to a commitment to public service and provides a better understanding of the roles of government, business, communications, history, the arts and sciences … and how to navigate D.C.’s metro system.”
For the past three years, Cal State DC students have had the option to serve internships not only in summer but also during the spring semester.
Students have worked in the offices of members of Congress and the Senate, in government agencies, for major communications networks, with advocacy groups and nonprofits, and even in the historic Ford Theatre.
This year, Victoria Gomez is working a dual internship for the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).
“I am learning more about Latino issues and solutions, and meeting others who inspire me,” said Gomez. “I actually had the opportunity to go to Miami last month for the LCLAA national conference. I am working on blog posts, advocacy letters and a report for LCLAA that will list me as a co-author. For NHLA, I am working on the 2016 Policy Agenda, which is a comprehensive agenda of priorities of Latino communities.”
“This year, students also are learning about the history and continued importance of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War on our culture and our politics,” Stambough said. “We included a military history tour of Gettysburg sponsored by an alumnus, Dave England, as well as a tour of Ford’s Theater by an alumnus, Patrick Pearson.
“We’re also grateful to our generous donors,” Stambough continued. “This year’s FBI internship was sponsored by one of our donors. Our annual receptions, where current students meet alums that are working in D.C., are funded by donors. And, of course, donors help with the costs associated with sending the students to the capital and helping with living expenses.”