Before beginning their internship, in May, students will spend an intensive week at St. Mary’s. They will learn about the primary actors in Washington, the policymaking process, and how to get the most out of their internship. After completing their internship, in August, students will meet in Washington for another intensive week. They will examine their internship experience based on their academic research. This post-internship week also allows students to reflect on their Washington experiences broadly.The class is worth 4 credits. Students are also required to take an additional 4-8 credits of internship hours depending on their internships, for a total of 8-12 credits for the Program.
To help run the program, the director may hire a Washington Program Fellow. This position is funded in part by the Student Government Association and is a part of the Professional Fellowship Program administered by the Career Development Center. The Fellow performs an array of organizational and networking tasks to help with the running of the program. The fellowship is a great learning experience and allows the student to earn money while networking and learning about what goes into running a program like this.This year’s Fellow is Angela Cruz, a senior who is majoring in History and minoring in Educational studies. Angela participated in the program for the summer of 2018. As part of the program, she interned for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).
Sahar Shafqat is Associate Professor of Political Science. She received her B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Mount Holyoke College, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. As an undergraduate student, Sahar interned at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, which was an invaluable experience, and she believes strongly in providing a rich and fulfilling internship experience for SMCM students. Matthew Fehrs is Associate Professor of Political Science. He received his B.A. from Pitzer College, an MA from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. Matt is a strong believer in quality internship experiences, having benefited from internships himself, and having seen the positive impact they have had on his students’ professional paths.