TWC Honors 2011 Leaders and Champions of Academic Internships


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The Washington Center Honors Universities, Political Leaders and Champions of Academic Internships and Civic Engagement

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NBC News Correspondent Luke Russert, Serves as Master of Ceremonies for Gala 2011: A Bold Look Ahead

WASHINGTON, D.C. - To commemorate 36 years of providing academic internships in the nation’s capital to students worldwide, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars hosts its Annual Gala October 3, 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. at 6 p.m. Luke Russert, NBC News Correspondent and the son of the legendary journalist, Tim Russert will lead the event as Master of Ceremonies and join The Washington Center in recognizing three distinguished political leaders. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) and Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero of the State of Chiapas, Mexico will be honored for their continued support to strengthen and foster academic internship experiences in D.C. and abroad.


“Since The Washington Center opened its doors in 1975, over 50,000 students from universities across the country and abroad have had career changing experiences interning in the nation’s capital,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “It is individuals like Senator Cantwell, Representative Rogers and Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero that make the experience truly valuable and memorable. I join our university partners, alumni, current and future students in thanking them for their participation in the program.”


Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero is being recognized with the Pillar Award for Civic Engagement in appreciation of his continued dedication to fostering the relationship between Chiapas and The Washington Center. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers will receive the Pillar Award for Leadership in recognition of the 500 students from Kentucky that have interned in Washington, D.C. In honor of Senator Maria Cantwell’s continued support and commitment to hosting and mentoring The Washington Center students over the years, the Senator will be the recipient of the Pillar Award for Professional Achievement.


During an awards luncheon the same day of the Gala, The Washington Center will also celebrate the 2011 recipients of the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award and the Academic Affairs Award.


The Higher Education Civic Engagement Award recognizes educational institutions that made civic engagement initiatives a part of their curriculum and built successful partnerships between their students and community organizations. Augsburg College, Benedict College, DePaul University, Duke University, Florida Gulf Coast University and San Francisco State University are this year’s honored recipients.


“The Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards were created in 2009 to find colleges and universities that are true role models for civic engagement in the academic community,” said Geri Mannion, a Washington Center board member, chair of the award committee and director of Carnegie Corporation's U.S. Democracy Program.


“Each of this year’s honorees has created an environment that brings students and community organizations together, showing that the best and most well-rounded academic experience is not just defined by classroom learning.”


East Tennessee State University, Grand Valley State University, Kentucky University System, Suffolk University and Steve Scully of C-SPAN received this year’s Academic Affairs Award for their continued partnership with The Washington Center and strong commitment to advancing experiential education.


More than 450 guests are expected to attend Gala 2011: A Bold Look Ahead and proceeds from the event will help fund $5 million in scholarships distributed to Washington Center students each year. Ford Motor Company is the event’s presenting sponsor, continuing a more than 20-year tradition of support from the company. Sixteen corporations and twenty-five colleges and universities are joining Ford Motor Company in supporting the event. For more information on the event, please contact Korenna Cline via email at or by phone at 703-299-3404.


About The Washington Center

TWC 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, TWC has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.


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