TWC Alumna and ESU Faculty Leader's Inauguration Experience

TWC Alumna and ESU Faculty Leader's Inauguration Experience

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Kimberly S. Adams
February 14, 2013

Why Choose The Washington Center?


As a Washington Center faculty leader and an associate professor of political science, I am committed to exposing my students to experiential learning opportunities in government so that they can gain a more in-depth understanding of the political process. I believe that it is essential that students are exposed to politics and participate in experiential programs, as it adds to their knowledge of the subject matter and allows for meaningful dialogue in class discussions.


The Presidential Inauguration Seminar enabled faculty leaders with the opportunity to provide students with experiences that cannot be imparted in a traditional classroom setting. Teaching in an environment where students can gain immediate access to Capitol Hill, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, lobbyists, consultants, and in this case, the Presidential Inauguration, is every political scientist’s dream come true.


As a faculty leader, I was thrilled that my students had the opportunity to participate in an academic seminar that allowed them to explore the inner workings of the American political process with nationally recognized journalists, political analysts and scholars, such as Susan Page, Ken Walsh, Michael McCurry, and Dr. Cornell West.  The student’s visits to the D.C. monuments and prominent policy organizations such as Emily’s List, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the National Defense University allowed the students to expand their knowledge of American and International Politics in a way that classroom learning alone cannot.


How “My Student’s Lives Are Forever Changed”


By participating in the seminar, the students learned the intricate details of campaign work, the roles and responsibilities of the media and the details surrounding the inauguration of the U.S. President. This direct exposure to the process and political players greatly enhances their understanding of the related course materials in political science classes.  Secondly, this experience helped students gain more confidence in their individual potential and broadened their scope with regard to career choices. Third, this experience ignited my students to assume leadership positions on campus and challenged those who are leaders to hone their leadership skills to better serve their community campus.


My student’s lives are forever changed as a result of their participation in the seminar and attending the 57th Inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama. Standing 300 feet away from the seated area, they witnessed history! One student wrote:  “I had an amazing time at the inauguration. I learned so much from this entire trip and I believe that I am going home a better person. I feel independent, well-versed on politics, and proud to be who I am.” Another student wrote: “I am forever grateful that I was able to take part in and witness history because I do not personally know anyone who has done anything like this.  I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life following college, but now I realize that living and working in D.C. is something I wish to pursue.”  Whether the experience of meeting Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and journalist Dana Bash on Capitol Hill or running into former President Bill Clinton at the Newseum, my students were truly transformed by their TWC experience.


My History with The Washington Center


I have a longstanding relationship with The Washington Center (TWC). In 1995 as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi, I attended TWC’s Women as Leaders academic seminar.  My time in the nation’s capital, participating in the academic seminar, and meeting so many fascinating fellow TWC students from colleges across the country left an indelible mark on my life. Because of my personal transformation after participating in the seminar, I sought to give other students the same opportunity, once I became a professor. Thus, serving as a faculty leader for TWC programs and providing students with unique opportunities in experiential learning are among the greatest highlights of my academic career.


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


Dr. Kimberly S. Adams is an associate professor of political science at East Stroudsburg University and the owner of Adams Political Research & Consulting. Dr. Adams received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Political Science at the University of Southern Mississippi and her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Mississippi. Her research explores the agenda setting behavior of non-traditional legislators (i.e. - women and African-Americans). Adams is an alumna of TWC and serves on its Alumni Advisory Board.  She has served as a faculty leader for various TWC programs since 2004.

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