The summer of 2016 was an eventful and fun time for our interns! We got the chance to hear from Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate, and see history made as the Democratic Party nominated the first female presidential candidate in the history of our nation. With every seemingly ordinary conversation, seminar, and panel, our interns found themselves surrounded by social justice discussions, politically controversial but important topics, and working professionals who are passionate about what they do.
One of the most rewarding parts of the summer was connecting with other Cal alumni, here in D.C. At CITC founder Dr. McGinnis’ annual barbeque, we got to learn how the program has evolved and the humble origins from which it began. Some students were also able to attend the Annual Gala for the D.C. Alumni Club where we learned of the many individuals who support our program. We were inspired by the accomplished speakers and the alumni who bring us endless support through their words and their contributions. Our pool party at the Watergate Hotel, thanks to the generosity of CITC alumnus George Arnstein, was phenomenal and a great way to enjoy the city and its rich history.
With your continued support, we can further strengthen the Cal in the Capital community and continue to make D.C. Bear Territory! Connect with us and check out our website for updates on the program’s goals, its impact on students, and ways to get involved.
How Could I Not Stay Involved in Cal in the Capital?
Q&A with alumna Elizabeth Keenan, BA in Sociology
How were you involved in Cal in the Capital?
I first learned about Cal in the Capital when I came to Washington, DC, in 1985 and joined the local Cal Alumni Club. CITC had only just begun when I was a student at Cal and I did not hear about it while I was there. As a member of the Cal Club in DC, we gave students internships if we could and helped them find jobs, worked with the Directors on activities and outreach to employers, held our annual picnic with them, assisted in selection of Directors for the following year, and generally tried to ensure they felt welcome and got as much as they could out of their experience in DC.
I became more active in working with CITC while I was on the Board of the California Alumni Association (CAA), and a member of the Student Services and Programs Committee. CAA sponsored CITC for many years, provided an office for the Directors, assigned a staff member to work with them, and gave them space to hold meetings, conduct interviews, etc. During this time, I was also the President of the Cal Club in DC, so it gave me a very good opportunity to work towards making the Club even more involved in helping CITC. The alumni always enjoyed interacting with the interns. But those of us who were lucky enough to have one or more of CITC’s fabulous interns were thrilled to have them in DC.
I hired CITC interns almost every year in the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice. My office of attorneys and investigators absolutely LOVED them! They made such an incredible impression on our staff and in other offices at DOJ. The first year I was able to hire four interns, and they were so good and our need for additional help so great that we were able to actually hire two of them – it was unheard of. Once the UCDC academic internship program was started in DC, I was able to have a Cal student in my office almost year ‘round. They did research, conducted investigations and interviews with our onsite teams (including onsite at police departments, prisons, etc.), wrote reports – you name it, and they did it WELL.
I believe that CITC provides some of the best Ambassadors for UC Berkeley that the University can have. Their enthusiasm, intelligence, resourcefulness, and skills are terrific AND they’re fun to be around. Our DC alumni are eager to help them find good jobs in this incredibly competitive market. We have a CITC committee that has set up the Cal in the Capital 50th Anniversary Endowment that, when funded, will provide funding to cover the interns’ very high living expenses here in DC. The cost is over $5,000 for the 12 weeks in DC just for the housing. This makes participation in CITC prohibitively expensive for a great many Cal students.
Why do you continue to be involved in Cal in the Capital? What do you get from continuing to be involved?
I get to work with terrific student Directors during the year to prepare for the upcoming summer, help them look for jobs, meet with the class in Berkeley to welcome them in person and give them some guidance on applying for jobs and working in DC, answer students’ questions when they contact me, mentor students in our Mentorship program, and enjoy seeing them while they’re in DC.
Why is it important for alumni to be involved and how can they get involved?
It is a fabulous experience for alumni to meet and work with these incredible Cal students and see their excitement as they gain valuable work experience in DC that many have called life-changing. Alumni who wish to become involved can contact me, at Ebear3.firstname.lastname@example.org. Go Bears!!
CITC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. It needs your help to survive and thrive. The Cal in the Capital 50th Anniversary Endowment Fund was created to address this need. Our goal is to raise $5 million dollars for this endowed fund over a five-year period. The earnings from this fund will be used to offset housing costs in D.C. for CITC interns. Please go to The Cal in the Capital 50th Anniversary Endowment.
Cal in the Capital makes dreams a reality
Marlena Trafas, Class of 2017, Political Economy Major
“In general, the city of D.C. made me appreciate the history and legacy of the United States, from the very shameful to the very magnificent. Being in a place teeming with such contradiction is an important reminder that in dark times, there are always people working tirelessly to do good and advocate for what is right.
CITC is such an important opportunity for Cal students because it takes them out of Berkeley, a place known for activism, and brings them to the heart of law and justice and advocacy. It was transformative for me to connect the values and teachings I cultivated in Berkeley to the work I did in D.C. Realizing that nothing occurs in a vacuum and everything is connected gave me a broader, more holistic view of the issues our society is currently facing.”
Ryan Saraie, Class of 2019, Environmental Economics & Policy Major
“Working in this city has given me the opportunity to better understand my role as someone interested in being involved with politics. I have known for a while that I wanted to engage in the policy realm and help improve the lives of others, but I never knew in what capacity. From interning with the Internet Education Foundation (or IEF), I have gained a sincere interest in working within the intersection of tech and policy to solve pressing issues that affect the general public. Specifically, I’m doing work on the Congressional App Challenge, an IEF-sponsored national coding competition that exists to get kids of all ages and backgrounds involved in computer programming. Interning within this route of tech policy is rewarding, and I never would have realized that I found this field to be enjoyable without being in DC.”
Laura Atukunda, Class of 2019, Public Health Major
“The most valuable part of my experience in DC has been the people that I have met, both in and outside of my internship. This summer I was fortunate enough to intern at Women for Women International, a nonprofit organization that provides social and economic empowerment programs to marginalized women in conflict affected countries. It feels like just yesterday, I was nervously stepping into the Women for Women International office for the first day of my internship, and although my summer in DC has flown by fast in my short time here I have experienced a lot of personal growth.
While listening to a fellow intern talk desire to ensure that women in her community received the same opportunities she did to obtain an education, I began to think about the women in my community back home in Uganda. According to the World Bank in 2010 only 8.02% of Uganda women were able to complete their secondary education as a result of institutional, cultural and societal factors. In these women and girls, I see myself and when reflecting on the rarity of my situation, I am motivated to create an environment that educates and empowers them to be leaders of their own change.”
My name is Shawna Hulsey and I'm currently a fourth year studying Sociology and Education here at Cal! I was a part of the Summer 2017 Cal in the Capital Cohort and I was so thrilled to step into the role of Recruitment & Marketing Director for this school year. Outside of Cal in the Capital I am also involved in Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, UC Rally Committee, and the Senior Class Council! Some fun facts about me are I am a huge fan of Bay Area sports teams, I have had the pleasure of feeding a tiger, and I have been to 46 states! I am so thrilled and honored to work with the Public Service Center and specifically the amazing alumni base involved with Cal in the Capital.
Catherine is a second year Statistics major. At Berkeley, she has been involved with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), the ASUC Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and Financial Literacy and Economic Justice Conference (Flejcon). As she will be a CITC intern this summer, she is looking forward to developing a better understanding of the financial and operational infrastructure within the public sector through her internship, and transitioning into the role of Operations, Finance, and Housing Director for Cal in the Capital in 2017-2018. Catherine is grateful for the opportunity to become a student director and excited to provide support for future interns to pursue their own hopes and goals related to public service.
Greta was born in Hungary and moved to the United States when she was 11. She attended high school in Minnesota before coming to Berkeley. Greta is an Anthropology and Political Economy major and is also minoring in Global Poverty Practice. She will be a senior a senior this coming year and will be writing a senior thesis on the growing nationalism within the European Union in the context of the refugee crisis. Greta has tutored a number of Anthropology courses at the Student Learning Center and as has also been a course reader. For the last 3 years she has worked in the Social Apps Lab on campus, and this last summer she worked for an NGO in Nairobi. Greta will be interning for Senator Amy Klobuchar this summer as a legislative and communications intern.
Zora Franicevic is a third year Society & Environment and Slavic Languages & Literature double major. She will be the Alumni and Employer Outreach Director for Cal in the Capital for the 2017-2018 student year. On campus, Zora worked as an account executive at the Daily Californian, served as the Vice President of Events & Outreach of Greening the Greeks, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She interned in Washington, DC last year for United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, researching for California drought and wildfire legislation. She hopes to attend law school and become an environmental lawyer. She is excited to be a student director for Cal in the Capital and help students get involved in public service!
What Employers Are Saying about CITC Interns
Alex Hoffman, Democratic National Committee — Deputy Chief of Staff, Finance Department
"Maggie [CITC intern Margaret Shaw] has been an exemplary intern. I know I can trust her with any assignment, big or small. When she worked at the Democratic National Convention, she completed tasks like delivering packages for POTUS and staffing key fundraising events. No matter how small, she always completed her work with a smile on her face. If Maggie represents Cal students, then Cal students are well represented!"
Tom Gordon, Responsive Law — Executive Director
"We've had wonderful CITC interns over the past few years, and Celine [CITC intern Qingyan Celine Shaw] was no exception. She quickly learned about the issues our nonprofit addresses and was able to contribute to our work in a meaningful way throughout her internship. I found her perspective and her dedication to be very valuable throughout her time with us."
Hon. Barbara Lee of California — House of Representatives
“Alumni of the program have gone on to serve in various capacities of public service. Some worked within presidential administrations, some went on to advocate for workers’ rights, and some even became sitting Members of Congress. I, too, was once a Cal in the Capital intern for a great warrior, statesman, and my predecessor, Congressman Ron Dellums. I remember my time as an intern fondly, and can tell you without hesitation that this program changed my life, as it has for so many others. Because of my experience with the program, I have always enjoyed having the privilege of hosting Cal in the Capital interns in my congressional office. The passion and dedication that these student leaders display toward serving their country, their communities, and those whose voices too often go unheard is an inspiration to all.”
Impact: To date, over 3,885 CITC interns have performed more than 1,664,489 hours of service over the past 52 years!