WASHINGTON, D.C. – University of Pikeville students witnessed history in the making and the political process in action while attending the U.S. presidential inauguration.
UPike students and Fred W. Meyer Jr. Washington Center Scholars Kayla Morgan of Independence, Thomas Browning of Pikeville, Dalton White of Bluefield, W.Va., Steve Loader of Pikeville, Jocelyn McCown of Huddy, and Haylee Isaac of Salyersville, along with Nancy Cade, Ph.D., professor of history and political science, were among the 400 students who traveled to the nation’s capitol to attend the 2013 Presidential Inauguration and swearing-in ceremony.
“The Washington Center proved to be a very worthwhile experience. It helped reinforce many of the views I already held, which helped me gain more self-confidence,” said Loader, a senior majoring in communication. “I recommend The Washington Center to anyone, even those who aren’t into politics. You will walk away more assured and informed.”
As part of a two-week program hosted by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, students and faculty from more than 40 college and universities convened in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 12-22 and participated in a series of discussions, site visits and guest lectures that culminated in public inauguration events.
“The inauguration and swearing-in ceremony is such a symbolic tradition for our country,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “Every four years Americans tune in to the coverage of the inauguration and a lucky few watch from the parade route. University of Pikeville students not only learned about the transition of political power, they were a part of historic inauguration events, live, as they happened. We thank the University of Pikeville for making this opportunity a reality for their students.”
Students heard political leaders and White House news correspondents share personal stories of presidential campaign trails, elections and national policy. Historians and renowned professors hosted interactive discussions on political appointments, congressional confirmations and policy agendas. Speakers included Ken Walsh, chief White House correspondent, U.S. News & World Report; Scott Horsley, White House correspondent, National Public Radio; Janet Hook, political reporter, The Wall Street Journal; Steve Scully, senior executive producer/host, C-SPAN; Ben LaBolt, senior advisor, Presidential Inaugural Committee; Rodell Mollineau, president, American Bridge 21st Century; Eugene Kang, special projects coordinator/confidential assistant to the Office of the President; Owen Ullman, editor, USA Today; Tavis Smiley, host, The Tavis Smiley Show, PBS; Frank Fahrenkoph, co-chair, Commission on Presidential Debates; Michael McCurry, co-chair, Commission on Presidential Debates; and Don Ritchie, United States Senate Historian.
University of Pikeville students will return to the nation’s capitol in May 2013 to participate in The Washington Center’s Top Secret Academic Seminar. The program allows students to explore the inner workings of the U.S. national security landscape with nationally recognized journalists, politicians, political analysts and scholars.
UPike students have participated in The Washington Center seminars for several years. Cade has served as a faculty advisor and mentor for the organization since 2004, including two national political conventions and three presidential inaugurations. Honored by The Washington Center in 2007 as a “Faculty Leader of the Year,” she is the campus liaison for the program and a member of The Washington Center’s national Liaison Advisory Board.
Additionally, McCown is currently completing an internship in Washington, D.C., with The Washington Center’s Advocacy, Service and the Arts program.
Cade established the Fred W. Meyer Jr. Washington Center Scholars Scholarship Fund at the University of Pikeville in honor of her father. All six students are Fred W. Meyer Jr. Washington Center Scholars.
For more information on Inside Washington 2013 academic seminars, visit www.twc.edu/inauguration.