HPU Students Meet Political Professionals During ‘Maymester’ in Washington, D.C.

HIGH POINT, N.C., May 31, 2018 – Meeting a variety of political insiders and exploring some of the country’s most noteworthy centers of power, High Point University students spent two weeks in May in the nation’s capital as part of an HPU Global Experience.

Through the course Power and Politics Inside D.C., students met and learned from government officials, including Rep. Ted Budd and Sen. Richard Burr, lobbyists, think tank scholars, political consultants and HPU alumni working in a wide range of jobs.

Also known as “Maymesters,” these short-term programs led by HPU faculty provide students with the opportunity to be immersed in communities and cultures unlike their own. Students connect what they learn in the classroom with the people and places they encounter while off campus.

Students visited media outlets, such as NBC, where they met host Chuck Todd in-studio during a recording of “Meet the Press,” and National Public Radio, where they watched the production of a live broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

“After visiting NPR and ‘Meet the Press,’ I was amazed to see the inner workings and complex nature of how news stories, ones that are so readily available that we often take for granted, are formulated and covered,” says Shirley Garrett, an HPU junior majoring in political science. “I was shocked to see the meticulous work that people put into keeping us informed about D.C. and the political process.”

Their exploration of D.C. included visits to political landmarks such as the Supreme Court, the White House, the National Cathedral, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

“This is the fourth Power and Politics in D.C. course we have run, and each time our students have met with high-level members of the political and policy-making communities within Washington,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, associate professor of political science. “Our primary goal is to prepare students with the skills and information they need to take the next step: returning to D.C. to live and work.”

“This program is one that I wish was offered to me when I was an undergraduate. The chance to meet the people who help shape the policies affecting every citizen is a unique opportunity,” says Dr. Brandon Lenoir, leader of the trip and professor of political science and political communication. “Experiencing these opportunities with the students reminded me why I returned to academia. Their excitement made all of the work that went into putting the program together worth the effort.”

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