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Opening Doors in the Nation's Capital

In the summer of 2008, Amie Zeoli ‘10, ’14, (B.A. political science, M.P.A.) interned with a bipartisan lobby firm on Capitol Hill. She became a legislative intern, gaining what she now describes as both an unforgettable and an invaluable experience.

“We went on tours of the Capitol, attended congressional hearings, went to networking events … it was my first professional experience,” said the alumna, who works for the city of Anaheim.

More than 400 Cal State Fullerton students of all majors have participated in the Cal State DC Scholars program since it began in 2006, completing upper-division courses while interning at congressional offices, nonprofits and advocacy groups, museums, media outlets and executive firms in the nation’s capital. There, they’re welcomed by an expansive network of Cal State Fullerton alumni who offer guidance, support and opportunities.

The experience opens doors for many students who wouldn’t typically get the chance to study away, receive mentorship from established professionals or spend time soaking in the inner workings of politics and business in Washington, D.C.

“What initially started as a summer program has expanded into a yearlong study/internship program,” said Stephen Stambough, chair of the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice, and the program’s founding director. “Former DC Scholars often mentor and advise today’s students. When you think of the impact that this one program has on our students, I think we can all feel a sense of pride.”

“I give to this program because I believe in the opportunities and self-esteem it offers to Cal State Fullerton students,” said Zeoli, who, besides donating financially, gives of her time as program coordinator to mentor and guide scholars through their experience. “I believe in the success and contributions that this program can make on their lives.”

To contribute to the Cal State DC Scholars program, contact Alina Mircea-Trotz, director of development for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at 657-278-2559 or amircea-trotz@fullerton.edu.