Fall '11 Interns Celebrate the End of the Semester at Commencement
Fall commencement was a memorable event for TWC's fall interns. It was the day they united with their peers to celebrate the memories they began creating in August.
The commencement ceremony featured TWC alum, Mark Simakovsky (’01), currently a Eurasia Strategy and NATO Coordinator in the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense. More than a decade after his TWC internship, Mr. Simakovsky still raves about the connections he made through networking with students from different cultures and professionals in the Washington, D.C. area. He said TWC created the perfect foundation for him to build on and advised the departing interns that the program will continue to play a strong role in their professional lives. He ended his speech with three pieces of advice:
- Network because Washington D.C. is a town of business cards
- Do what you love and also figure out what you don’t want to do
- Take risks
Civic Engagement Projects
Next, Andrea Barron, TWC’s Program Manager of Civic Engagement Projects, explained the importance and benefits of active civic engagement, one of TWC’s three pillars of the Washington Center. She spoke about how every student in the audience, especially those who had participated in one of TWC’s five guided projects, developed into “women and men who are making a difference.” These five topics included:
- Homelessness & Poverty
- Torture and Abolition
- Israeli-Palestinian Peace
- Global Women’s Rights
- Children’s Health and Hunger
Leadership Training Program
After that, David Slavick, the Program Advisor for Law and Criminal Justice, introduced the15 students who participated in the Leadership Training Program, which was created to instill the skills, values, and knowledge that promote strong leadership. Slavick said he was excited to speak on behalf of the students who participated in the program after having the pleasure of working closely with each of them. This semester’s group participated in a series of intensive workshops on “Leading in the Workplace” and “The Story of Self” as well as a semester-long leadership project to help distinguish the interns at school, at work, and in their communities.