Washington Program in National Issues Celebrates 40 Years - State and Federal Communications

May 7, 2013  •  

Washington Program in National Issues Celebrates 40 Years

Connie Schultz at WPNIOn Thursday, April 25, Kent State University’s Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI) celebrated its 40th year in existence. Current students and alumni of both the university and the program gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to reminisce about their time living in Washington D.C. and their experiences in the program throughout the years. State and Federal Communications currently employs three proud alumni of WPNI, including President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz. Elizabeth, marketing manager Melissa Coultas and compliance assistant Jonathan Spontarelli were all in Washington D.C. to attend the anniversary celebration.

WPNI is a semester long academic, internship program that allows students the opportunity to witness the political process firsthand and engage in national and international policy discussions. Each year a group of juniors and seniors from Kent State University are selected to spend the spring semester living and working in Washington D.C. Per the website, the programs three primary objectives are:

  1. Facilitate learning about the U.S. political system and its policy issues.
  2. Develop an understanding of the interrelationship of public issues and structures of government.
  3. Encourage individual initiative and provide for experiences in internship and research.

During the reception, participants from each of the four decades delivered remarks about their time in WPNI, their internship and briefings, and the ways the program has forever changed their lives. Pulitzer Prize winner, Connie Schultz, introduced by her husband U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, delivered a compelling keynote address about her experiences before, during and after the program. She spoke at length on the importance WPNI played in her own life and the opportunities it provided to a small-town girl from a working-class family from Ashtabula, Ohio.

State and Federal Communications would like to send a special thanks to the Kent State University National Capital Alumni Chapter and program Director Dr. Richard Robyn for organizing the celebration. We look forward to seeing you all 40 years from now.

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