CMC Washington Program Students Win Awards

Six CMC students and one student from Pomona College who will participate in the spring 2016 Washington Program have won prestigious scholarship awards that will make their semester internships in the nation’s capitol that much easier.

The students and their awards are: Mickey McFall ‘18 (Margaret Martin Brock Internship Award), Alyssa Jones ‘17, Hayley Pienton from Pomona College, and Sherin Zadah ‘17 (CMC Internship Award) and Victor Lopez ‘17, Stephanie Wong ‘17 and Chris Humphreys ‘18 (Dreier Roundtable Washington Scholar Award).

The three internship awards offset the living expenses of students who spend a semester working and studying in the Washington Program. The program itself includes courses taught by CMC faculty in Washington, D.C., while interning full-time in a breadth of areas, such as legislating and policymaking, journalism and communications, international relations and foreign policy, and civil rights and legal affairs.

“I was very excited. Housing in D.C. isn't cheap and the award takes some worry off my mind about expenses,” says Stephanie Wong (a Government major) about winning a Dreier Roundtable Scholarship. “I think it will be a life-changing experience. Part of why I am so excited about D.C. is that I intend to work in government someday. I fully expect to find myself in Congress in some capacity, hopefully representing Massachusetts.

“That will be a good intermediate step on my way to the White House (I'm smiling, but it's not a joke),” she continues. “Being in the city and getting a feel for the culture will be an invaluable experience for me. I'm hoping for a whirlwind of a time with challenges and failures and successes. I don't think I will be disappointed.”

Chris Humphreys (a Philosophy and Public Affairs major) and the other Dreier Roundtable Scholarship Award winner said that the expenses associated with the Washington Program are daunting but that the award is a welcome gift that will help defray those costs.

“It is my impression that the Program and the prospect of spending the spring in D.C. will help me to accomplish exactly what I have been hoping for;” he says. “I will further my academic progress and make some headway in the search for viable career options. I have visited D.C. before and am very much looking forward to living there for a more extended period of time and familiarizing myself with the culture as prior semesters' interns have.”

CMC Internship Award winner Alyssa Jones (a Media Studies major) expects the Washington Program to be rigorous due to working full time while managing two courses, and an independent study project all while living in a new city. “But, I know it will prepare me for one of my career goals: to do PR work in the entertainment industry,” she says.

Jones says she is interested in the intersection of media, social justice and politics, and aspires to develop journalistic writing skills which will help her effectively interact with an audience via various media platforms.

“As a Media Studies major, I know the Washington Program will not only equip me with the skills to transition into a fast-paced environment but cultivate my ability to disseminate information in a manner that keeps my audience engaged,” she says.

Mickey McFall (an International Relations and Legal Studies major) and recipient of the Margaret Martin Brock Internship Award (who President Reagan once called “Mrs. Republican”) says he’s elated because just last summer he had an internship in D.C. without the benefit of any subsidies.

“I turned to social media and crowdfunding in order to ensure that I was able to attend my internship,” McFall says. “With this scholarship it is one less thing to worry about.”

McFall says another reason he was excited to receive the award is because the first recipient of the scholarship was Rep. David Dreier. “Mr. Dreier was a great representative in his time of office, and somebody I personally look up to as a politician. It gave me great pleasure to receive a scholarship that has such unique history.”

For his part, McFall says that he hopes one day to become a negotiator who helps work out a peaceful unification of North and South Korea.

That might be aiming high, but who knows? One thing is for sure: The awards will go a long way towards helping these deserving students achieve their goals.

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