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August 5, 2020

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Students to travel to Republican and Democratic conventions, seminars

Students from Ohio Northern University are traveling to the Republican and Democratic conventions and will participate in The Washington Center’s Democratic and Republican National Convention Academic Seminars.

Eight of the ONU students will attend The Washington Center’s Republican National Convention Seminar in Tampa Bay, Fla., beginning on Aug. 18, and two ONU students will participate in the Democratic National Convention Seminar in Charlotte, N.C., which commences on Aug. 25. The ONU students will join more than 250 students from across the country to attend guest lectures from prominent political leaders and volunteer on-site at the convention grounds.

This volunteer work will include working with the convention’s communication team, assisting with the production of live news coverage at the major networks, writing articles for newspapers like the Dallas Morning News, and supporting the logistics of other delegation events and receptions.

The ONU students attending the Republican convention are Alex Stefan, a junior political science major from Northwood, Ohio; Joseph Railey Jr. a sophomore history major from Yorktown, Ind.; Anna Hoard, a sophomore political science major from Kalamazoo, Mich.; Katie Deeter, a sophomore political science major from Troy, Ohio; Robert Roll, a senior finance major from Gahanna, Ohio; John Willamowski Jr., a sophomore political science major from Lima, Ohio; Shelby Core, a sophomore political science major from Wapakoneta, Ohio; and Thomas Smolarz, a sophomore political science major from Colon, Mich.

Adam Downing, a senior political science major from Grove City, Ohio, and James Lee, a sophomore political science major from Highland Heights, Ohio, are attending the Democratic seminar and convention.

“For the second consecutive presidential election cycle, I’m excited to have so many ONU students take part in The Washington Center’s convention programs,” said Robert Alexander, an ONU professor of political science who will be traveling to the Republican National Convention. Four years ago, Alexander traveled to the Democratic National Convention program with a contingent of ONU students. “Students will undoubtedly gain valuable experience they simply could not gain on campus. Going beyond the classroom and engaging in such high-profile programs will open opportunities to these students in ways they simply could not imagine. They will see the political system from the inside. This program sets our students apart, as they will have the opportunity to network within their respective professions and gain experiences that will certainly help prepare them for their future careers.”

Students participating in the seminar will spend the first week of the program learning the history of political campaigns, convention planning and procedures, and the role of the media. The second half of the program will be spent at the convention, participating in fieldwork assignments and attending convention receptions and rallies.

“The national convention, an integral part of the U.S. political process, is a piece of preserved history,” said Michael Smith, ONU alumnus and president of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. “The academic seminars teach students about the process, but not from the sidelines. Students learn from within, in the thick of it. We’re grateful to have the support of ONU and applaud them for making this opportunity a reality for their students.”

Since 1984, more than 2,500 students from more than 300 academic institutions have attended The Washington Center’s two-week academic seminars at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. To date, the convention seminars remain the only national academic program of their kind and size.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975. For more information, visitwww.twc.edu