Elon Faculty Leader Amazed by the Growth of her International Students

Elon Faculty Leader Amazed by the Growth of her International Students

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Ashley Pinney
January 23, 2013

During TWC's Inauguration Academic Seminar, faculty leaders play a large part in guiding and mentoring groups of students from all over the country during their experience in Washington, D.C. Ashley Pinney, faculty leader of Elon University's international fellows, reflects on her experience:


"As President Obama stood on the Capitol steps, I glanced away from the jumbotron on the National Mall to look at all of the students surrounding me. Fifteen international students from thirteen different countries listened intently to the words President Barack Obama spoke. Ten days prior, my students had little idea what exactly an inauguration entails. Over the course of TWC's seminar, my students were able to learn the in's and out's of the American political system. From polarization in Congress to gun control, tax reform, and the past and future 'fiscal cliffs', students received a sense of the issues politicians and citizens grapple with daily. The great thing about the seminar is the variety of perspectives offered from a variety of professionals. Journalists, campaign staffers, politicians, and authors all added to the depth of the conversation.


For me, the best part of being a faculty leader was seeing my students grow over the course of the seminar. As their leader I was able to assist with this transformation, guiding them towards deeper understanding of the topics we were covering. This growth was really relevant when a student would read a newspaper and connect it to a speaker's session or when we were on a tour of an organization or agency and a student would ask a question pertaining to something they learned earlier that day. I enjoyed supporting them in these moments and encouraging them to keep making connections and asking questions. I learned that students take a lot in during the seminar and it is important to parse out and unravel all of the information they're learning. It can be overwhelming for them and our debriefings were one of the most important times during the day.


The afternoon sessions when we were out and about in D.C. opened up my students' eyes to the opportunities awaiting them. They didn't know there were internships available for them at Al Jazeera or the Wilson Center and these revelations gave them a whole new view of the politically-driven city. The group of International Fellows were amazed by what they learned in such a short period of time and I am thankful to TWC for providing them with such great insight and knowledge."


Check out albums from the Inauguration Academic Seminar on our Flickr channel:


1. Inauguration Seminar: Day 1

2. Inauguration Seminar: Day 1 | Bus Tour

3. Inauguration Seminar: Day 2

4. Inauguration Seminar: Day 3

5. Inauguration Seminar: Day 4

6. Inauguration Seminar: Day 5

7. Inauguration Seminar: National Press Club

8. Inauguration Seminar: Day 6

9. Inauguration Seminar: Day of Service

10. Inauguration Seminar Site Visits


Ashley Pinney received her B.A. in history at The College of William and Mary and her Master’s of Education in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education at the University of Virginia. She is currently a Senior Career Advising Fellow at Elon University and works to connect students to global job and internship opportunities.

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