STEPHENVILLE (March 31, 2016) — Twenty students enjoyed their spring vacation, March 6 through 11, as participants of the 2016 Tarleton in Washington, D.C., program.
Sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences, the program included tours of the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and cultural events in Georgetown and at the Kennedy Center. In addition, students had time to visit memorials, museums and other sites on their own.
Dr. Eric Morrow, chair of the Department of Social Sciences and member of the Political Science faculty, developed the D.C. program as an opportunity for students to experience the city and its venues in a unique way.
“It was surreal to stand in places like the Lincoln Memorial and look down toward the Washington Monument as Dr. Martin Luther King did in 1963,” said Kelci Healer, a student in Tarleton’s U.S. History class. “Being in the place where these events took place was amazing.”
Eleven of the students attended a seminar on higher education policy offered by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and related to their course at Tarleton in U.S. Public Policy.
Many of the students met with congressional staff, policy institutes, federal agency staff or interest groups, including the Federal Elections Commission, the Senate Education Committee, AIDS United, the CATO Institute, the former Counsel to the House Committee on Health and the National Park Service. Interviews helped with research on a semester-long policy project, giving students an opportunity to interact with people engaged in the policymaking process on a daily basis.
U.S. Public Policy student Robert Eary said, “Tarleton’s public policy course, supplemented by a week in Washington, was an incredible experience. As a sociology major, I obtained firsthand knowledge of the sustainable cities we focus on in Urban Sociology as well as of the challenges of gentrification and marginalization of the poor.”
Charley Henderson said, “It was a very rewarding experience to be able to discuss a topic I am very passionate about with those who are working on it from a policymaking perspective. I would not have had this opportunity if I had not taken this class. I also gained new experiences from stepping outside of my comfort zone and exploring a beautiful city.”
One student used the visit to conduct research for a social work class. Eight others, enrolled in Federal Government and U.S. History courses, focused their stay on a broad engagement with institutions, culture and events to connect the nation’s capital and history with their study.
“The trip honed my understanding of what I already believed to be a complex series of events that led us to where we are today and where we can go as a nation,” said Scott Doty, a student in Tarleton’s U.S. History class. “I feel more attached to my own history and have a deeper appreciation for the information I am studying.”
Plans are under way for the 2017 program.