Marist Political Science Major Takes On Washington, DC

Ever since my freshman year at Marist, I knew I wanted to do the American University Washington Semester Program for the spring of my junior year. The Marist Political Science Department is a member school of this 50-year-old program that has had students from all over the world come to AU for the semester to study politics. I arrived in Washington, D.C. eager to study in the American Politics program. My seminar class has taken trips to the State Department, Republican National Committee, the Federal Election Commission, the White House Complex, the Supreme Court, and Capitol Hill. We have heard numerous speakers who have worked as White House staffers, campaign consultants, Congressional aides, and issue advocates. Some of my favorite speakers include Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, and former Democratic Senator from Georgia Max Cleland.

Besides my American Politics seminar, I am also writing an independent research paper about campaignfinance laws, having researched at the Library of Congress and interviewed experts in the field. I also hold an internship two days a week at the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia where I have observed several functions of the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Washington, DC is an amazing city filled with great museums, monuments, restaurants, and attractions, as well as great American history and politics. One of my favorite moments in DC so far was running into Senator John Kerry on the street in Georgetown. My friends and I got to talk to the Senator and he even gave us his autograph. I have grown to love the city so much that I am applying to intern here over the summer as well! I have learned so much about American politics right in the nation’s capitol. Although I greatly miss my Marist friends and, of course MCCTA, I am so glad I was able to take advantage of such a great opportunity!

Melissa Cloonan

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