University at Albany

Washington Insiders: Rockefeller Students Spend Semester Studying and Interning in D.C.

Fifteen University at Albany upperclassmen are participating in Rockefeller College's Semester in Washington program this spring.

Students in Union Station's East Hall
with noted Washington historian
Jeanne Fogle

Open to all UAlbany juniors and seniors regardless of major, the Semester in Washington allows students to earn 15 credits while taking classes and completing an internship with a public official, government or public service agency, advocacy organization, or private sector business. Students work at their internships four full days each week, earning nine credits for the experience. In addition, they take two political science classes, Research and Writing in Washington and Washington in Perspective, taught by Professor Michael Malbin. Dr. Malbin has more than 25 years of experience working in Washington in both the legislative and executive branches of government, as a reporter, think tank scholar and director of the Campaign Finance Institute.

This year, over 30 students applied for admission to the program. Finalists were selected through an application and interview process. Rockefeller College faculty and staff assisted the successful candidates in applying for the internships of their choice.

Following is a list of this spring's Semester in Washington students and their internship placements:

  • Aaron Alexin, senior — World Wildlife Fund
  • Allison Camilleri, senior — Human Rights Campaign
  • Martine Charles, junior — Center for American Progress - Enough Project
  • Matthew Curran, senior — Office of Representative Peter King (R-N.Y., 2nd District)
  • Stephanie Elko, senior — U.S. Department of Justice
  • Michael Galotti, senior — Office of Representative Eliot Engel (D-N.Y., 16th District)
  • Vincent Giannone, senior — White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Deo Giri, senior — Bhutan People for the American Way
  • Bobby Grant, senior — Office of Representative Scott Garrett (R-N.J., 5th District)
  • Christine Lee, senior — Solidarity Center
  • Aran O'Gara, senior — U.S. Department of Justice
  • Daniel Randell, senior — Capitol Associates
  • Bryan Vengelen, senior — U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Nickolas Villano, senior — Office of Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y., 6th District)
  • Meredith Walker, senior — National Organization for Women
Jeanne Fogle, explains the history of St. John's
Church, known as "The President's Church"

In addition to their internships and coursework, students have numerous opportunities to meet political leaders, network with alumni, and get an inside view of politics — and the nation's capital itself. Shortly after arriving in D.C, students were treated to dinner at We,The Pizza, a popular Capitol Hill eatery. On their second day in Washington, they embarked on a guided tour of the city led by noted author, historian, and certified Washington master tour guide Jeanne Fogle. The tour lasted the full day, traversing the District and including stops at a number of treasured national landmarks including the Vietnam, Korean, and Lincoln Memorials as well as visits to such notable locales as Union Station, St. John's Church, the Kennedy Center, the Naval Observatory, and Embassy Row.

Rockefeller College's Semester in Washington is offered every spring. Applications for 2014 will be accepted in April 2013 and October 2013. For more information, please visit