UGA DC Semester Program

Is a blog worth it? by Don DeMaria
June 2, 2011, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


No doubt, this blog has been neglected.  With other sites like Facebook and Twitter, it simply is difficult to keep up with everything.  The question now is whether or not the blog makes sense?  What do you think?  Revive the blog or rely on other social media?


Opportunities Outside of Politics/Government by Don DeMaria
May 14, 2008, 8:38 am
Filed under: Internships

I talk to many students who state that the Washington Semester is not appropriate for them because they are not interested in politics or are not majoring in political science or international affairs.  This is a myth that at times seems impossible to break.  There are not only many paths to Washington; there are many destinations.  We need skilled people in our nation’s capital in all fields and there are not many better cities than Washington, DC to pursue a career.   

Case in point- The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Editorial Internships.  Aspiring journalists can work for a well respected news source and have a unique experience that would stand out on a resume.  Did I mention that this is a paid internship?

Bottom line- The Washington Semester Program is for you if you major in polical science, journalism, biology, landscape architecture or one of the 140 other majors at UGA. 

Applications Still Accepted for Fall 2008 by Don DeMaria
March 20, 2008, 8:16 am
Filed under: Program Information

A few slot remain in the Fall 2008 Washington Semester Program!  Apply now for the opportunity to live, intern and study in Washington during a national election!

During Fall 2008, we will continue to teach the Washington Seminar (WASH 3400) and Dr. Joel Clark from the UNC in Washington Program will be teaching Washington Ethics (POLS 4790).  In addition to these courses, you will enroll in internship and/or directed study courses within your major.

Don’t pass up this opportunity to gain valuable work experience in DC at such an exciting time.

If you are interested visit our website or contact us for more information.

West Wing Tour by Don DeMaria
March 13, 2008, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Current Interns

Last week, five students (Ryan Anderson, Nicki Bertsch, Pasley Gordon, Caitlin Monahan and Sarah Catherine Tunkle) and I toured the West Wing of the White House.  This unique opportunity was given to us by UGA Alumnus Mike Mannina, who is a White House staffer.  Walking into the Press Room, seeing the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office and standing outside the door to the Situation Room made me (and I hope the students as well) feel very fortunate to have such a unique opportunity.  I also realized that the White House has a better home field advantage than Sanford Stadium.  The rest of the group will tour the West Wing later this Spring.


From L-R: Ryan Anderson, Nicki Bertsch, Caitlin Monahan, Pasley Gordon, Sarah Catherine Tunkle and Don DeMaria

Matt Greco- Pick up the Newspaper by Don DeMaria
March 7, 2008, 11:28 am
Filed under: Current Interns

A lot of what I do at my internship involves using the internet. I use it to do research, communicate with people in my office, and to kill time once in a while reading blogs and catching up on how the Atlanta Hawks are doing. Being as I’m not particularly interested in politics, the blogs I follow are mostly either amusing ones like the Dilbert Blog, or economics ones like Freakonomics and A Marginal Revolution. There’s not really a big polarization of thought in these fields, but recently I’ve noticed something interesting when it comes to the blogs that many of my co-workers follow.

The other day I was covering for another person in my office and I decided to snoop around through their bookmarks and favorites (don’t judge me). Going down the list of sites this particular person frequents, I realized that they were increasingly leftist, from to many other blogs like Democracy Now! and TalkLeft. This got me to wondering: Has the internet helped foster democracy or has it really hurt it? Typically, when a theoretically infinite amount of information is made readily available, the benefits should far out way the negatives. But have they?

The problem, I think, comes from the fact that while this information is so abundant, people are increasingly staying within their ideological comfort zones. One blog leads to another and soon enough your information inputs become more and more homogenous. Twenty years ago when people relied on the nightly news and newspapers for a majority of their information and opinions, there was a lot less polarization in national politics. People were forcibly exposed to viewpoints from the other side, or at least to more pragmatic and centrist ones. The enormous success of the internet has diminished this. You could also argue that the proliferation of talk radio had a similar effect In the 90’s.

Not that I want to vilify the internet for making politics today so cut-throat and generally disheartening, but I think it has most definitely had something to do with it. You see, people have limited resources (time), so people that in the past would have read both conservative and liberal editorials in a mostly centrist medium like newspapers now have no reason to do this. They can now use their spare time to leapfrog from blog to blog and keep within their comfort zone. Not to say that the political parties have become so much more ideologically separate (in fact, it might be the other way around). But there is without a doubt much less bipartisanship.

Ironically, there have probably been thousands of blog posts on exactly this topic, but I spend all my time reading Dilbert and have never seen any of them. So next time you’re killing time at the office and delving deeper and deeper into socialism or neo-conservatism, pick up a newspaper instead. Or at least just play some solitaire.

White House Internships- Summer and Fall 2008 by Don DeMaria
February 11, 2008, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Students who wish to participate in the Washington Semester Program must apply separately for White House Internships.  A description from the White House website is listed below.

The White House Internship provides an opportunity to experience day-to-day life at the White House while working on a variety of tasks and projects.In addition to normal office duties, interns attend weekly lectures, volunteer at special events, participate in tours, and contribute to a community service project in the Washington, D.C. area. White House Internships are unpaid positions and participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing. Approximately 100 interns are chosen each spring, summer, and fall to participate in this highly competitive program.Please read the Intern Application (pdf) and the White House Office descriptions carefully. Office descriptions can help you determine your areas of interest and assist you in making an informed decision about which offices might fit your qualifications. Interns will be selected based on their application and demonstrated interest in public service.

Applicants must be:

-At least 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship
-Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university, or graduated the previous semester
-A United States citizen

Completed application materials must be submitted to Meghan Espinoza, Intern Coordinator in the office of White House Personnel, at on or before the following deadlines:

Summer 2008 Internship
May 20 – August 15, 2008
Application Deadline: February 26, 2008
Fall 2008 Internship
August 26 – December 12, 2008
Application Deadline: June 3, 2008

Upon acceptance, candidates must consent to a security investigation prior to their start date and a random drug test. All security measures are confidential and intended to protect the applicant as well as the Executive Office of The President.

Matt Greco- The Metro’s Siren Song by Don DeMaria
February 11, 2008, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Current Interns

I’m falling in love with the voice on the Metro. Everyday, I take the red line from Union Station to Dupont Circle to go to work at my job at The Center for Global Development. It’s turned into a pretty mindless commute.

But every once in a while I get to ride her train and I’m brought out of my meditative trance. She announces the stops with affection; “Red line to Shady Grove, Judiciary Square, exit on the right and please have a nice day.”

One day, someone kept getting stuck in the door or something and it couldn’t close. She sternly gave us all a maternal lecture on the need for safety on the Metro, but still reminded us that she cared. I didn’t see anyone else smiling or looking up as she said this. Everyone stared at the floor like zombies. Whenever I bring the voice up to people they look at me with amusement and tell me that they’ve ridden the train for however many years and have never heard this voice.

I always try to get a glimpse of her when I get off of the train, but have yet to see her. Is she old? Young? Black? White? Does she even exist, or is she just a siren song that’s going to eventually lead me onto the tracks? Perhaps one day I’ll be standing in line at McDonalds or something and I’ll hear her voice ordering McNuggets.

The funny thing about the situation is that I always forget about her as soon as I get off the metro. I step out on the platform and wrest my humanity back from the throng of black suits and trench coats. I swipe my card and get on the escalator, forgetting all about the voice and the hold she has over me as I ascend into the sun and wrap my scarf around my face.