Eleven Illinois State University students visited Washington, D.C., for the 2018 American Democracy Project Civic Engagement Trip from June 3-10. The students, led by Professor Erik Rankin, visited with numerous advocacy groups, not-for- profits, lobbying firms, and elected leaders.
“The purpose of this trip is to connect our students to stakeholders in our nation’s capital. It allows the students to network and make lasting connections that can lead to graduate or law school, internships, and ultimately a job,” said Rankin.
Many meetings were with organizations that included ISU alumni. Some of the organizations that students met with include Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), ERA Coalition, and the Pew Research Center. In addition, students took part in Capitol Hill day and met with Sen. Richard Durbin, Rep. Cheri Bustos, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (ISU alum).
One of the trip highlights this year was a visit from ISU President Larry Dietz and Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Kris Harding. They were in town for a Washington, D.C., alumni event that the students were able to attend.
Trip participant Caroline Kernan said, “Prof. Rankin does an amazing job using his connections to benefit all students. We leave this trip having greater knowledge of civic engagement and an expanded network of professional contacts.”
The Washington, D.C., Civic Engagement Trip is held each summer. It is a collaboration between the Department of Politics and Government and the American Democracy Project. Applications for the 2019 trip will be available in January of 2019.