Yesterday, The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management hosted an event discussing the GW Politico Battleground Poll surrounding the upcoming presidential election. At this unique event, Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners discussed voter attitudes and concerns during this period of time.

Several important topics were brought up such as the fluidity and complexities of independent voters, the gender gap as well as the integrity of polls in general. For those who attended, this event as well as their coursework in the Electoral & Legislative Processes class were in sync and complementary.

With the election nearing, we can expect more fabulous events as such to occur around campus. SIWP will make sure to share the invites on our blog!


This week, the Semester in Washington Politics program welcomed 17 new students who came to Washington, DC from all across the country. Three of the 17 are students in the Native American Political Leadership Program. The summer students can anticipate meeting members of Congress, political pundits, and policy makers that impact Washington.

President Obama spoke at the Jack Morton Auditorium at The George Washington University on Wednesday April 13th to address deficit reduction. This comes at a time when House Republicans have set forth a budget blueprint for the 2012 fiscal year. The President was previously on GW’s campus in 2009 when he held a “Moving America Forward” town hall meeting.

Michael Fisher, a current Native American Political Leadership Program scholar, is a Legislative Affairs intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. A recent graduate from Ferris State University in Michigan, Fisher graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology.  As a Legislative Affairs intern, Michael is responsible for attending congressional hearings, writing memos on a variety of environmental issues, and reviewing environmental and energy news articles. Michael believes his degree in Environmental Biology has given him an advantage over the other interns because he has a deeper understanding of how the policies are affected by the science. Michael explains this advantage in practical terms, “I am more involved in the Asian Carp initiative because I am familiar with ecology and Great Lakes ecosystems.”





Chelsea Forbes Terry, an alumna of Semester in Washington Politics, is finding success in the White House through her internship with the Office of Presidential Correspondence. Chelsea interned with Congressman Sam Farr (Farr represents Chelsea’s home district) while she participated in SIWP during the Spring 2010 semester. Chelsea applied the knowledge and experience gained through SIWP and her time on Capitol Hill to attain an internship at Human Rights Campaign before moving to the White House. Chelsea recalls her time spent at SIWP as, “it gave me the chance to live, listen, and learn from the political movers and shakers throughout Washington DC, with every class and speaker I not only grew more confident in my knowledge of the political process but also my ability to become involved in it as well.”


Spring 2011 students have obtained internships with several U.S. Federal Agencies including: The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Department of the Interior; the U.S. Department of the Treasury; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



Ryan Park, a student from the University of Southern California, is interning at theU.S. Department of the Treasury and is responsible for reviewing and summarizing legislation from Congressional committees concerning financial literacy. His work is related to the larger project of increasing financial awareness in America and to Congress’ agenda on education.









Naomi Young, a medical student from the University of Arizona and participant in the Native American Political Leadership Program, is interning with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She is currently working on Secretary Sebelius’ Annual Tribal Consultation Report which highlights the intergovernmental affairs between HHS and the 565 tribes across the nation. Naomi is also assisting Secretary Sebelius in her preparation for the Tribal Budget Consultation Meeting in March.








Thomas Jones, a graduate student from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and participant in the Native American Political Leadership Program, is interning with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service. Thomas is in charge of evaluating the tribal grant and loan programs in order to identify “success stories.”

Where Are They Now?

An ongoing update on alumni activities and achievements.

We’re initiating something new here on the Semester in Washington Politics blog.  We want to give alumni of our program the opportunity to tell us what they’re doing in the world of politics, government, business, public service, the arts, and beyond.

So, starting today, we’ll be blogging every so often about our program’s alumni and what they’re up to.  We’re looking forward to hearing from those who have kept in touch and those who haven’t so much with news of their endeavors and accomplishments.

Our first installment appears today.  Richard Sales was here at SIWP in the summer of 2005 and Krislyn Mossman was here just this past spring.  Both are doing work that’s interesting and important and that they love.  Enjoy their stories.  And if you’re thinking about coming to The George Washington University to participate in SIWP, these and opportunities like them can be yours too.

Greg Lebel

Richard Sales,  SIWP alumnus from summer 2005 was recently featured in a FOX News special in Phoenix, Arizona about his political media firm, Richard Sales Media. Prior to starting his own firm at the age of 25, Richard worked for the Arizona Republican Party and served as the New Media Director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Richard’s media clients include such Republican heavy weights as Senator John McCain, Senator Jon Kyle, and Senator Orrin Hatch. Most recently, he has worked for California Republican Gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and Connecticut Republican Senatorial nominee Linda McMahon. While a student in the Semester in Washington Politics Program, Richard was an intern at the Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm located in Alexandria, Virginia. Of his time in Semester in Washington, Richard says, “It was the best part of my life in DC.” You can see Richard’s interview at!/video/video.php?v=939807121931

or take a look at his website at:

Krislyn Mossman, a Native Hawaiian who just finished the Native American Political Leadership Program in spring 2010 was just named as the new Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui, Hawaii. As a scholarship recipient in the Native American Political Leadership Program, Krislyn interned on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families. Not only did she have a rewarding experience on the HELP Committee, but she was able to meet some of the most influential individuals in American politics including Senate Majority Leader Reid. Krislyn states that, “through my participation in SIWP’s Native American Political Leadership Program, I not only became significantly more engaged in politics, but I also gained the confidence, knowledge, and skills that have helped me to become a more effective leader.  The experience of being out of my comfort zone and the relationships I built with others from around the nation also contributed to the tremendous amount of professional and personal growth I experienced.”

Click on the link to read the full story.

Semester in Washington students met with Allison Herwitt, Legislative Director at the Human Rights Campaign. Allison provided some background on the HRC and explained that the HRC is really three organizations in one- an 401c3, 401c4 and a Political Action Committee. Herwitt discussed how she plays a role in the organization as the legislative director. She and her staff examines how they can fix policy and then bring it to Capitol Hill and lobby for the changes.

Next Page »