The Fairmont State University Department of Social Sciences sponsored a trip for 20 students and two faculty members to attend a week of conferences and the Inauguration of 45th President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.
The students were selected by application early in the fall 2016 semester and were accompanied by Dr. William Harrison, Assistant Professor of Political Science, and John Terpinas, Assistant Professor of National Security & Intelligence and Criminal Justice.
Part of the trip was spent working with the Osgood Center, a non-profit educational organization specializing in foreign policy programs. The rest of the week was organized by the department and included meetings with West Virginia’s Congressional representatives including U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. David McKinley, as well as two Washington, D.C., journalists. The group also visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Through the hard work of both students and professors, the department secured tickets to the Inauguration. This trip was the second by the department, having also attended in 2008.
“They did a great job,” Harrison said. “Our students behaved very professionally and interacted well with some very important political leaders. I was very proud of them.”
This experience was a first for Harrison, Terpinas and most of the students, including Juliana Spradling, a sophomore pursuing her bachelor’s degree in History.
“The trip gave me a broader understanding of the process of the Inauguration, how complicated and serious it is,” Spradling said. “I’m glad they were able to include as many students as they did. It was a great opportunity to get to know my peers in the department.”
Though the next Inauguration is years away, Harrison said he would like to see this opportunity continue.
“I would love to do it again in four years’ time,” he said. “It was a great experience and was really educational for the students who went, to see how D.C. works. The Social Sciences Department sends a lot of people to the national security universe, the political universe, so seeing how many of these players actually did their job was a fantastic experience.”
The following students participated in the trip: Sarah Blosser, Cullen Clark, Amanda Corley, Taylor Dean, Michael Gray, Tyler Keller, Halee Knight, Ashley Krause, Yi Ting Lin, Keegan Mahony, Emily Markham, Eric Myers, Abigail Palmer, Julian Pecora, Justin Richter, Toree Ridgway, Daphne Ryan, Sarah Sakaguchi, Juliana Spradling, Brittney Wisenbaler.