The first group of graduate students from Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) arrived at GW on March 20 for an immersive five-day program bringing them face-to-face with the people and processes that define American politics.
The students are part of a new partnership between GW’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and TSU, with plans for ongoing week-long residency programs during the fall and spring semesters. The partnership will strengthen the relationship between the Universities and foster academic and career pathways for students of color interested in applied politics.
"I'm excited to be partnering with TSU on this Washington Residency program. I am also very appreciative of the GSPM alumni and Board members who have volunteered to host meetings or come visit with our students on campus to share their knowledge during this immersive seminar," GSPM director Dr. Lara Brown said.
"Their enthusiasm is a testament to the high-level, engaged network GSPM has around town."
During the five-day course, students from TSU’s executive master of public administration program (eMPA) joined their peers from GW’s online political management program for an in-depth course exploring the political landscape in Washington, D.C.
The groups’ schedule was packed with meetings, panels and special events featuring elected officials, government staff members and other influential figures. Many GSPM alumni and board members, from the DOJ and the White House to Capitol Hill to K Street, helped make this program worthwhile by hosting meetings or visiting with students on Campus.
The group of 15 students (6 TSU and 9 GSPM), as well as supporting faculty and staff from both institutions, spent each of the five days exploring focused topics, including:
- Campaigns and Elections
- The Executive Branch
- Media Coverage of Washington
- Role of Domestic and Foreign Organizations in U.S. Politics and Policy
The program also emphasized the vital role Black Americans have played in America’s political evolution.
GSPM alumni played a key role sharing their knowledge with the students, including Anthony Coley, M.A. ’06, alumnus and former GSPM board member, now the head of public affairs in the Department of Justice. Alumni panelists included:
- Public Affairs/Public Relations panel participants: Jamie Hennigan, B.A. ’06, M.P.S. ’15, VP Communications and Public Affairs, National Alliance of Manufacturers; Lindsay Murphy, M.P.S. ’13, VP Strategic Communications, American Forest & Paper Association; Meghan Graf, M.P.S. ’19, Senior Director, Locust Street Group.
- Lobbying panel participants: Jordan Bernstein, M.A. ’98, COO, Cassidy; Rachel Miller, M.A. ’02, Partner, Forbes Tate LLC; Tracy Tolk, M.A. ’02, Principal, Feldman LLP.
“It has been wonderful to partner with the students from Texas Southern University,” said Dr. Matthew Dallek, GSPM professor of political management and the faculty member leading the residency.
“The students from both universities have worked well together, asked excellent questions of a variety of speakers from many different backgrounds, and have taken full advantage of their time in Washington D.C. We have met with many diverse officials from various backgrounds, and the speakers, some of them TSU and GSPM grads, have been consistently excellent.”
Among the unique experiences the program offered was a 4-hour innovative teaching Climate Change Simulation on March 24, with students from GSPM, TSU, as well as the University of Navarra in Spain. Navarra students were on Campus through a separate, long-standing partnership with GSPM.
The Simulation, led by Dr. Michael Cornfield, GSPM associate professor of political management, provided an opportunity for American and international students to exchange ideas and develop solutions to global issues in a collaborative environment.
Residency students also attended GSPM's annual O'Dwyer Endowed Event, "Making Representation Meaningful: Staff Diversity in the U.S. Senate," on March 22, featuring former Sen. Landrieu, Don Cravins, Dana Gresham, LaShonda Brenson, with introductions by GW Provost Bracey.
“This has been an opportunity of a lifetime,” said TSU student Albert Foster. “I have met so many people from different nationalities and connected with key decision-makers on Capitol Hill. The networking opportunities have been more than I could wish for and TSU gave it to me. TSU’s eMPA program is in a league of its own.”
When asked about the program partnership, founding eMPA director, Dr. Michael O. Adams shared the following, “The George Washington University is the largest and most direct pipeline of graduate educated staffers on Capitol Hill, and one of the most progressive and prolific institutions dedicated to political advancement and education in the nation. This is just the beginning of our partnership with GW to bring opportunities to our students.”
The Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University is the first and foremost school of applied politics, advocacy, and communications.