For the ninth consecutive year, a select group of students had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of the Colleges’ annual Day on the Hill experience program. From Monday, Jan. 12 to Wednesday, Jan. 14, students spent three days meeting with alums and friends of HWS while getting an inside glimpse of the inner workings of the U.S. Capitol.
The program is facilitated by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education in conjunction with Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of Faculty DeWayne Lucas and Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman. This year’s schedule included visits with dozens of alums from some of the most influential political organizations in the nation.
“Due to the generosity of the vast network of alums and friends of the Colleges willing to share their post-HWS experiences with current students, this year’s Day on the Hill group will gain insight into life in Washington and make many connections,” says Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education.
The trip kicked off on the morning of Jan. 12 with the keynote address from John Sipher ’83 from the McChyrstal Group of Project Lead and retired from the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. The group then met with Managing Director of the Majority Group Hadley Sosnoff ’06 and General Manager of Daimler Automotive Jeff Werner ’91. The morning session concluded with a look into policy and advocacy issues as students meet with Allison McCracken ’10, national organizer at CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and Kelsey Carrol ’14, assistant to the president at the Feminist Majority Foundation.
The afternoon session included meetings with Daniel Boysen ’11, west finance director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Keith Castaldo ’04, general counsel for the Office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand; Frank Leach ’11, government affairs and political coordinator for American Waterways Operators; Susan Askew ’97, PAC director of International Council of Shopping Centers; and Kate Callanan ’99, vice president of government relations for America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Sessions were also held with Denzel Singletary ’12, legislative assistant for Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand; Michael Khatchadurian ’97, senior vice president of government relations for American Defense International; Chester DiBari ’06, associate at Prime Policy Group; and Amanda Mays ’06, associate director for the executive offices at Brookings Institution.
Guided by Stuart Hillenbrand ’04 of the Vice Presidential Protective Division, students began events on Jan. 13 with a tour of the Secret Service Headquarters. Following the tour, students split into three smaller groups to meet with organizations and alums to garner insight into the fields that interest them most.
One group traveled to the Ripon Society, where they met with Louis Zickar P’15, editor of the Ripon Forum Magazine, and to the Heritage Foundation, where they met with Dani Doane, senior program manager for Lee Edwards and Elinor Renner, executive assistant to the vice president.
A second group got an inside look into the communications sector with visits to the Washington Post and Fleishman-Hillard Inc., a public relations and marketing agency. At the Washington Post, students met with Peyton Craighill ’94, manager of polling, Jennifer Legat ’94, Human Resources Director, and Colleen O’Hara ’12, a national account executive. Senior Vice President and Senior Partner Kris Balderston will meet with students at FleishmanHillard.
Students interested in the nonprofit sector spent the day with Rachel Henderson ’06, senior communications officer at the United Nations Foundation, and with Vikki Spruill P’12 and Brian Horn ’12, president and CEO and legislative assistant, respectively, at the Council on Foundations.
Concluding the Jan. 13 events, students gathered for a special Networking Reception with HWS alums and friends living and working in the D.C. area. The event was sponsored by New York Congressman Tom Reed and was held at the Capitol Visitor’s Center.
The final day of the trip gave students the opportunity to participate in one of three guided tours hosted by alums. Students toured either the FBI Headquarters hosted by Kristopher Grahame ’04 and Elizabeth Beers ’83 or the White House hosted by Hillenbrand or sit-in on a session of U.S. Supreme Court Hearings hosted by Jennifer Lowe, wife of Steven Wishod ’87.
The photos above feature HWS students, faculty and staff participating in previous year’s Day on the Hill events.