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Crouch ’17 Gentleman in DC

Crouch '17 looks down over the Capitol Building on July 4th

Crouch ’17 looks down over the Capitol Building on July 4th

Cole Crouch ‘17 – For the summer of 2014, I am interning in Washington, D.C. for Congressman and Wabash alumnus Todd Rokita ’92. Before I jump into the details, I would like to thank the Coonses and the Wabash College Political Science Department for awarding me and continuing to award numerous Wabash students with the Harold M. and Margaret R. Coons Public Service Internship Award. Their gracious gift has allowed me to experience this incredible opportunity that may not have been available to me otherwise. I am too thankful for the sacrifices my family has made so that I may experience this opportunity.

Together with my first year at Wabash College, interning in the 2nd Session of the 113th United States Congress has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Seriously. Since my first day, I have gained such a keen sense of the legislative process. As a member of Congressman Rokita’s office, I am continually informed about specific legislation pertaining to citizens nationwide and directly to those residing in Indiana’s 4th district. Everyday, I am challenged with tasks that stretch my developing liberal arts education. From drafting memos about specific issues or proposing additional questions for committee hearings, to giving Capitol building tours, listening and reading constituents’ calls, write-ins or emails/faxes addressing their concerns, I am always being tested as a writer, critical thinker and listener. Most days, my Intern Coordinator or a Legislative Assistant will assign me an interesting project. For example, I was assigned a project requiring me to review and propose additional questions on a budget hearing entitled the “President’s FY (Federal Year) 2015 Request for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism.” Congressman Rokita is a member of the House Budget Committee where the notable Congressman Paul Ryan serves as Chairman. For this project, I reviewed the briefing, proposed a few questions of my own and attended the hearing. At the hearing, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer, Admiral James Winnefeld, along with other high-ranking federal officials were witnesses in a Q&A. These hearings, along with House Floor debates and intern guest lectures, like a recent talk by Majority-Leader Elect, Kevin McCarthy, are all among my favorite aspects of the internship.

 

A photo of the Capitol Building Crouch snapped after work one day

The Capitol Building, taken after work 

Cole Crouch Coons Grant 2014 3

St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Capitol Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I continue to work hard on the Hill, I also enjoy my summer in D.C. The sights, sounds and scenes are fantastic here! On the weekends, apart from being a sports fan constantly glued to the TV watching baseball and soccer, I have visited the zoo, monuments, memorials and museums. I watched the World Cup Final at a watch party with over 1,000 fellow soccer fans! I started attending church again at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Capitol Hill. The daily experiences are each so impressive and sensational. From savoring the jovial conversations with my professors and fellow Wallies at an early summer (yet so familiar/common student-faculty) dinner, to making new friendships with students from all walks of the country, there has been a seemingly unfair amount of networking and social sphere. Go figure. College is all about learning and doing more, right? Wabash College is not just about learning more and doing more but also NETWORKING more. In this town, knowing how to interact, as a gentleman, especially, has not gone unnoticed. Those Midwestern manners have not either. Wallies, always remember, “The student is expected to conduct himself at all times, both on and off campus, as a gentleman and a responsible citizen.”

Dr. Gelman, Crouch, and Dr. Drury after the networking dinner (not pictured: Dylan Miller '16 and Jacob Burnett '15, who also attended)

Dr. Gelman, Crouch, and Dr. Drury after the networking dinner (not pictured: Dylan Miller ’16 and Jacob Burnett ’15, who also attended)

Spending this summer in the nation’s capitol has been an honor and a life-changing experience that I am certain will remain in my memory for the rest of my life. I recognize this internship has enabled tremendous growth as a young professional and citizen. I know that the knowledge and skills learned will be increasingly more useful in the future. I am so grateful for Wabash College and her great opportunities like this one. I highly recommend future students interested in public policy or the government to apply for the Harold M. and Margaret R. Coons Public Service Internship Award. Applications are made available through the Wabash College Political Science Department. Additionally, I would recommend contacting Todd Rokita’s Office about opportunities regarding potential internships. My best wishes to all the other summer interns as they conclude their journeys and I look forward to seeing everyone this fall!

 

 

 

 

Miller ’16 Peace Corps in DC

Outside the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washinton, DC

Outside the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washinton, DC

Dylan Miller ’16 - This summer I have had the pleasure to intern at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC. Since first visiting DC in the summer of 2013, I made it my goal to spend a summer in our nation’s capital as one of the thousands of young summer interns. I was fortunate enough to land my internship through a Wabash alum, BJ Whetstine ’01, that I met while visiting DC over spring break. If you don’t know already, you’ll soon come to realize the value of being active in the Wabash community network.

Every morning I join the swarm of interns and professionals cramming into the metro trains on their way to work with a coffee in hand, a TED Talk on my iPod, and a tie around my neck. After beeping into the Peace Corps headquarters building with my nifty government-issued ID card, I join five fellow colleagues to work in the Staging and Staff Development Unit. Our office handles a plethora of issues essential to the Peace Corps’ noble mission of world peace and friendship. Before each new Peace Corps volunteer travels to their respective country of service, they undergo a “staging” in the United States that acts as an orientation to their country of service. Our office does all the background logistics such as booking plane tickets, booking hotels, coordinating staging event staff, and planning and running staging events.

A perk of working at the Peace Corps is getting to meet great people who work at Peace Corps HQ in DC and all over the country as recruiters. Most Peace Corps employees were Peace Corps volunteers themselves and have served all over the world.

Miller ’16: A perk of working at the Peace Corps is getting to meet great people who work at the HQ in DC and all over the country as recruiters. Most Peace Corps employees were Peace Corps volunteers themselves and have served all over the world.

Since working at the Peace Corps, I’ve gotten a great overview of how a federal agency operates. I was even able to attend a training conference in Norman, OK that all Volunteer, Recruitment, and Selection (VRS) employees within the Peace Corps agency attended. I was able to attend informative sessions about how to operate an official government agency social media account, diversity outreach, marketing and research, recruitment techniques, government agency purchasing power, customer service, and much, much more. I was even honored to hear the newly appointed Peace Corps director, Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

It has only been a month into my internship, but I can already tell that my skill set has grown and the knowledge and experience I have gained will carry through to future internship, career, professional, and educational ventures. I would like to thank BJ Whetstine ’01 for bringing me on as an intern and the Coonses for endowing this public service internship grant which allowed me to partake in this wonderful educational and professional development experience that I know will act as a vital building block in my growth as a successful professional and citizen.