Cal State DC Newsletter Fall 2017

Message from the Director

Owen Holmes, former Associate Vice President for Government and Community Relations, is serving as the Program Director for the Cal State DC Scholars program.

"As the new director of the Cal State D.C. Scholars Program, I am pleased to report that we have been gearing up for our 2018 programs. This fall semester’s calendar has been filled with information and orientation sessions. It is a distinct honor for me to be involved in this program, after having served more than three decades on campus in an administrative capacity. I am not a newcomer to Cal State D.C. – having been a member of the Advisory Board and my wife, Cindy, and I continue to be donors.

Allow me a moment to recognize and thank several people who have been instrumental in the success of this program. Dr. Steve Stambough, founding director, for his leadership and support for the program from its inception. It is my goal to continue the work he has done in building this program to where it is today. Also, my appreciation and thanks go to Amie Zeoli for her contributions to the program.

Helping me with the program in 2017-18 is Jared Hill. Jared is a senior studying public administration. He returned from the Summer 2017 program, where he served as an intern in the Office of Congressman Tom McClintock. I am fortunate to have Jared in this support role, as he has been invaluable in providing “inside” information to our prospective students.

For more than a decade, this program has transformed the lives of a very diverse group of our students. This success could not be realized without the interest of our students and the commitment of our donors, residential faculty, alumni and internship site coordinators.

Below you will find our Cal State D.C. Scholars for Spring 2018 and their residential faculty members."


Ian Keller (Summer 2006)

"I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Cal State to DC Program during its first two years. The program afforded me the opportunity to work, live, and gain valuable experiences in our nation’s capital. I was able to explore history, pay my respects at great monuments, and meet incredible people looking to do amazing things from every corner of this country. The summers of 2006 and 2007 put me on the path I am on today. I am confident that my time working with a Member of Parliament in the UK to working to elect a U.S. President in Indiana to my appointment in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce would not have been possible without this program and without the skills, connections, confidence, and work experience i gained from it. For me too, it has been amazing to see this program grow and continue to attract more and more talented students. The Cal State to DC Program has come a long way from its first two years of existence and it will be exciting to see what is next."

Speros Mantas (Summer 2011)

“Through the Cal State DC Program, I interned in a congressional office on Capitol Hill and gained exposure to the research and development of legislation. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, I returned to work for the same Congressman, as his District Representative. In that capacity, I had the opportunity to work with and help address the concerns of constituents and local government and community leaders. This experience took me back to Washington, DC, where I worked as the Hearing Coordinator for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Not only did I become close friends with all of my fellow Cal State DC students during my summer internship, but throughout all these experiences I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from many great people with diverse, complex, and fascinating experiences of their own. These opportunities have led me to pursue a career in law. Thanks to the Cal State DC Program, I was exposed to wonderful learning opportunities, gained invaluable work experience, and developed lasting relationships with my colleagues.”

Alyssa Ramirez (Summer 2017)

"During my stay in Washington D.C., I was a government relations intern with the Epilepsy Foundation’s public policy team. My coworkers and I advocated for access to health care for people living with epilepsy. The health care related projects I worked on helped me enhance my writing and research techniques. Additionally, I often went to events with my coworkers and fellow DC Scholars that helped me build a professional network. I am truly thankful that I participated in the Cal State DC Program because I have learned about working for a non-profit organization. Ultimately this program has helped me narrow down my career path."

Jared Hill (Summer 2017)

"My experience in Washington is something that I will never forget. Interning for the Office of Congressman Tom McClintock made for an incredibly enriching summer where no two days were the same. I particularly enjoyed coming together for class sessions to discuss the similarities and differences amongst other Cal State D.C. Scholars. Living on Capitol Hill and experiencing what life is like in Washington opened my eyes to countless career opportunities"

Spring Scholars

Elizabeth Rojo

Anaheim, CA

Political Science Major

U.S. Dept. of Interior - Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

Esmeralda Orazco

Fullerton, CA

Political Science and Public Administration Major

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Jackie Camuy

Corona, CA

Political Science Major

Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Joseph Morales

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Criminal Justice Major

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Leah Milhander

Placentia, CA

Political Science Major

House Foreign Affairs Committee (Royce)

Marco Sanchez

La Habra, CA

Political Science and International Politics Major

United Nations Foundation

Michael Guzman

Tustin, CA

Health Science Major

House Democratic Caucus Committee

Oralia Aldaco

Santa Ana, CA

Criminal Justice Major

Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA)

Peter Rossi

Costa Mesa, CA

Political Science Major

Patriotic Millionaires

Vincent Gonzalez

Riverside, CA

History Major

Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA)

Spring Faculty in Residence

Volker Janssen is a professor of history at CSU Fullerton who specializes on the history of California, prisons and incarceration, and national economic and social history. He also writes on the history of technology. He stresses the importance of project-learning and teamwork in his teaching and recently emulated high-impact practices with his study abroad program in Berlin.
Professor Kathryn Buechel joined the CSUF faculty in 2005 and returns to the Cal State DC program this spring 2018 semester. Her experience spans Capitol Hill, where she has served as a policy analyst for the California State University Office of the Chancellor and staff to several members of Congress. A native of Orange County, CA she first came to D.C. through a university scholarship program where she interned for a Congressional committee. She brings professional expertise and academic rigor that compliments student internships around Washington, D.C.

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