Suffolk University's Christina Kulich-Vamvakas shared her thoughts on a partnership that has lasted 40 years, and the impact of TWC's program for her and for her students.
Suffolk has been a partner of The Washington Center for about 40 years; we’re one of the few nearly-original partners. The decision to first become a partner was made well before my time here, but I think the motivation to remain a partner is the same as it’s always been: TWC programs – which offer high quality internships in a supportive environment - are a value-add for our students. As an institution, we appreciate the presence TWC gives Suffolk in D.C.
Case-in-point: there was a Suffolk student, Gina DeMatteo, who was a TWC intern last fall. She interned in legislative affairs for Grant Thornton. She graduated last weekend and now has a job with them. They called her up and said, “We want you back, we’re interested.” She’ll be working for Grant Thornton, and she’s thrilled. She had that opportunity because TWC bridges that seemingly undbridgeable distance between students and the professional world. Students who participate in these programs feel empowered and, for students like Gina, they can create a pipeline of internship-to-job opportunities.
Institutionally, TWC gives Suffolk elective course opportunities that enhance what we are able to do in Boston and that's a huge attraction for current and prospective students, particularly in my field of political science and for students in the Department of Government, where I work. Our campus hugs the Massachusetts' State House and we leverage that proximity to state-level government to it's fullest. However, through the seminar program, we also have a home base in DC that provides our students the opportunity to gain an insiders perspective of government, institutions and policy making at the federal level. Our undergraduate and graduate students look forward to these travel courses as kind of a rite of passage and we are already building excitement around the 2020 Convention Program and planning to have a large Suffolk presence at both RNC and DNC Nominating Conventions. Finally, these intensive experiences have the added benefit of encouraging what I hope will be lifelong active civic engagement, modeled on their experiences in and ease of access to D.C.
TWC programs – which offer high quality internships in a supportive environment – are a value-add for our students.Christina Kulich-Vamvakas
Liaison at Suffolk University
To anyone considering becoming a TWC liaison, I’d say, come give it a test drive. Sit through a seminar, talk with current interns, attend TWC’s Liaison Institute – get to know TWC firsthand. It’s been a wonderful experience for me, and being part of the seminars faculty has been beneficial, too. It’s given me a much better idea of what TWC looks like, inside and out, and allowed me to get to know some of TWC’s staff.
I truly believe in TWC’s mission, and its focus on experiential learning aligns with my approach to teaching. I’m also a political scientist who did my undergraduate and graduate work in Washington. Professionally and personally, TWC gives me a great opportunity to reconnect with D.C., colleagues in the area, and to share that experience with my students.
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