Political Science and Law Students Attend Inauguration

Six students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are in Washington, DC to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The students, who are enrolled in Dr. Brigid Harrison’s winter session seminar on the Presidential Inauguration, are spending January 12-22 in Washington, DC participating in academic sessions, attending guest lectures, and visiting various sites in the city.

The students include Rhema Boyo, Chardonnay Crumpler, Cortney Di Russa, Christina Deleasa, Joseph Dokum, Inha Kang. Both Boyo and Dokum volunteered during the Fall semester on the presidential campaigns as part of Dr. Harrison’s course on Campaign Politics.

Senior Cardonnay Crumpler said she decided to enroll in the course because she “wants to be part of history and witness the second swearing in of our president but I also wanted to gain an in depth understanding of the whole inaugural process.”

While in Washington, the students will learn about the history and ceremony of the presidential inauguration from Don Ritchie, United States Senate Historian, and will attend a seminar in which David Welna, National Public Radio’s Congressional Correspondent, and Ken Walsh, Chief White House Correspondent for U.S. News & World Report will discuss presidential/congressional relations. They also will learn about issues facing the president after he takes the oath of office, including poverty and income inequality, which will be the focus of a seminar for students with Tavis Smiley, host of The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, Dr. Cornel West, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, and Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer/Political Editor/Host on C-SPAN. Students also will attend a reception at the National Press Club, and will participate in the ceremonies surrounding the inauguration.

Cortney Di Russa said she is “most looking forward to hearing from Eugene Kang, the special projects coordinator and confidential assistant to the President because I am curious what the 2012 campaign was like from the inside,” while Christina Deleasa noted that she “took the opportunity to be part of the experience at the Washington Center in order to get a hands on, practical approach to politics. I've learned that anyone can read a book and get an A on an exam, but the real test is applying what you've learned to concrete, real life situations.”