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University of Wisconsin-Superior
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During the 2013 spring break, eight UW-Superior students didn't head south for sun and beach opportunities they dedicated themselves to more learning in Washington D.C. with professor Khalil (Haji) Dokhanchi.
There they visited with Minnesota and Wisconsin congressional lawmakers and their respective staff members. The group also toured the Supreme Court, the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, State Department and the Pentagon.
Dokhanchi said, "We hope to do it again. It gave the students a great chance to learn more about the U.S. government."
Margaret McSorley Culbert, UW-Superior class of 1970 assisted with the planning for the trip. She worked for 28 years with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Culbert's husband is Tom Culbert, also class of 1970 who spent time with the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon.
Dokhanchi added, "She connected us to a lot of people in the Pentagon and State Department. We had two super meetings with high ranking members in the Pentagon."
Joe Fischer, a UW-Superior student was on the trip and will never forget it. "My trip to Washington D.C. with the UWS Political Science Association (PSA) was an enlightening experience. Getting just a taste of society in the epicenter of our modern world really opened my eyes. I heard at least three or four different languages being spoken casually on the street everyday. The multitude of people represented in this one location are from all over the country and the world, and they thrive interwoven in the threads of Washington D.C. and what it represents for our nation. It really was an exciting place to see."
He added, "Traveling with the PSA gained us access to some off-the-grid places and allowed us to see a more meaningful vision of D.C. We had a private tour of the Pentagon and were able to meet with high ranking intelligence officers in a secret room...Thanks to Haji's work with Amnesty International, we were also able to arrange a meeting with a diplomat in the embassy of Morocco. My favorite portion of the trip however was the informal hour we were able to spend with U.S. Representative Nolan. He shared his experiences from his days as a Congressmen 30 years ago and how things have changed."
Fischer concluded, "The D.C. trip, for me, was a great experience. To see so many people from so many places working together is truly inspiring. This place is one that every American must visit--its a place where every American has worth, its a place to learn about our history, and its the closest thing to experiencing the world without leaving the country."
Another student on the trip was Elizabeth Jacobsen. She said, "I really enjoyed having the chance to meet all of the people and talking to them. We met with legislators, someone at the Moroccan Embassy, a group at the Defense Department, and heard someone speak at the State Department. They all have different roles that are necessary for the way our federal government functions."
She added, "I learned that this is definitely the field I should be in and that I would love to work in DC one day. There are so many different options for employment and to get involved, even if it is working or volunteering for a non-profit."
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