Washington Seminar wrap-up

Washington Seminar 2017:
Students experience public policy ‘up close and personal’ in Madison and D.C.

From the opening night reception in Madison with UW System President Ray Cross and the meetings with state legislators, lobbyists and two state Supreme Court Justices (Ann Walsh Bradley, Daniel Kelly) to the frenetic daily pace of meetings with the movers and shakers of D.C. politics, this year’s 14 Washington Seminar students all agreed that the experience was exciting, life-changing and inspiring.

Here are reactions and reflections from a sampling of the students’ blog posts.

Tim Certain
UW-Barron County
Major: Political Science

“One of the not-so-subtle characteristics of the Washington Seminar was the intentional scheduling to try to emulate the hustle and energy level of the Capitol. From the moment I stepped out of the dorm to get an early morning coffee on the first Monday, I could immediately feel a level of ‘energy’ that permeated the air. One of the locals called it ‘Potomac Fever.’ I believe several of our young members may have been bitten by this bug.”

Jez Checo

Jez Checo
UW-Rock County
Major: Political Science

“The knowledge I have received and the skills I have attained are priceless tools I will continue to utilize for the rest of my life. I have learned so much more about our government and its integral place in a functioning society because of WIPPS and the Washington Seminar. This hands-on learning approach to public policy has been the most beneficial course I have taken.”

Royce Podeszwa
Major: Journalism

“It was the trip of a lifetime. I have an improved understanding and greater respect for how our government functions and those that make it work. I plan to use what I’ve learned on this trip to become more politically involved and to better my community back home. I cannot begin to express how great of an experience this class was, and I would highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in politics or history.”

Dan Schlewitz

Dan Schlewitz
UW-Marathon County
UW-Stevens Point
Major: Political Science

“I highly recommend this program for anyone contemplating a career in government. On top of the great opportunities to learn more about the government and various careers in it, the program provides some valuable connections and possible internships. I’m currently working on an internship with Senator Tammy Baldwin. This is only possible because I attended this program and as a result, got to meet with her chief of staff. My experience in this program is not unique – other seminar students are also working on obtaining internships as a result of connections they made in this program.”

Monicca Winters

Monicca Winters
UW Fox Valley
Major: Elementary Education

“Stepping into Madison with a political lens gave me a unique perspective of the city. It was amazing to see the people behind all of the work; to get to know and speak with those who work so hard to accomplish goals for our state. The real game-changer was Washington, D.C. The politicians and special interest groups were passionate, devoted and motivated. Their drive to accomplish tasks is extremely admirable.”

Courtney Zambon
UW-Green Bay
Major: Political Science

“I loved everything about being in Washington, D.C. For anyone interested in politics and government, Washington D.C. is the center of the universe. When we were in Washington … I was surprised that anyone could walk into the Senate and House office buildings and speak to their representatives. I never realized how many other avenues I could take in politics that would offer me the same opportunities to be able to influence policy.”

For the past 10 years, WIPPS has been succeeding in its mission to spur civic engagement through public scholarship, nonpartisan public dialogue, student learning and service, and community building initiatives.

Our outreach to communities results in a better-educated citizenry who is more engaged in the issues of the day, and all the while, we’re educating tomorrow’s leaders with our actions of today.

With your help, we can continue to bring events, information, education, and leadership principles to the great people of Wisconsin.

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