This January students, staff, and faculty made the trek to Washington, D.C., for the annual Mayflower Hill to Capitol Hill Program. Sponsored by the Goldfarb Center, DavisConnects, and the Office of Advancement, the Hill to Hill Program offers students the opportunity to network with Colby alumni in D.C. and learn about the range of different careers and many pathways to different job opportunities there.
The trip kicked off at the National Press Club with a networking event. Present were current students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the Colby Club of D.C. Not only did current students and alumni get the opportunity to meet each other, but that evening Kimberly Flowers, the new director of the Goldfarb Center, was introduced by Provost Margaret McFadden, and folks had the chance to connect with her that evening. Many students shared that this event was one of the highlights of the H2H trip. That evening students expanded their network and gained new mentors. Moreover, students interested in working in Washington, D.C., but who didn’t know anyone initially, had the opportunity to build a solid network of support. The alumni gave students a deeper connection to the area and made many feel much better about taking the leap down to our nation’s capital.
Thursday, Jan. 30, was the first full day of H2H ventures. A variety of site visits were arranged so students could learn more about the range of career possibilities in D.C. That morning, students had the choice between the World Resources Institute, a global research nonprofit organization, and Rokk Solutions, a bipartisan public affairs firm. Students shared that both of these visits were well done and informative. The students particularly enjoyed the breadth of information both Corey Parker ’12 of the World Resources Institute and Mark Paustenbach ’01 of Rokk Solutions provided about their respective fields and what kinds of pathways led them to the positions they hold at their respective institutions.
Next was an opportunity for students to visit either Georgetown Law or the Brookings Institution, an American think tank. The Brookings Institute visits were hosted by John Hudak. Students found that the Admissions Center at Georgetown Law clearly laid out the suggested steps from now until they apply to law school. Many students conveyed their fascination with the Brookings Institution, not knowing much about think tanks before their visit. One student noted that Hudak did an outstanding job of outlining the qualifications needed to work in a think tank, prompting him to consider the importance of obtaining a graduate degree.
Later that afternoon, the group visited Capitol Hill. Students found these visits highly informative about who chooses to work on the Hill and why. Colby alumni Max Kanner ’13, Nick Zeller ’13, and Chris Gorud ’11 were very open about their experiences working on Capitol Hill and clearly outlined the path they took to get there. Students also found it helpful when they talked about the day-to-day aspects of working in their respective positions.
The day concluded with the Young Alumni Panel featuring several recent Colby graduates in variety of different fields. Panelists Ella Jackson ’19, Meredith Keenan ’18, Gilbert Kiggundu ’15, and Brett Ewer ’14 were enthusiastic and informative. Students enjoyed their various personalities and candid responses to questions. Not only did they share helpful career advice, but they also offered what life looks like off the clock and suggested different ways to find fulfilling and interesting things to do in D.C. Many students noted this section as one of the highlights of the trip. After the panel was another opportunity for students to network with D.C. alums.
Friday, Jan. 31 began at King and Spaulding LLC. There, students attended a breakfast and participated in mock interviews hosted by Jim and Michelle Bowe, P’11, P’13, P’15, P’20, P’23. Many alumni and parents, ranging from recent graduates to professionals well into their careers, graciously donated their time to interview students and provide useful feedback. Students enjoyed being able to practice a crucial step in the hiring process while in a low-stakes, nurturing environment. Students divulged that it felt good to be surrounded by people dedicated to their success.
Following the mock interview event, students visited the State Department. The visit was hosted by Peter Secter ’78. Students shared that they found this visit fascinating and praised Secter’s ability to explain the intricacies of such a large institution. Because the trip is built around laying out different avenues for policy, many found the information surrounding foreign policy and international relations distinctly useful in starting to frame career paths.
Later that afternoon, students visited either Peck Madigan Jones, hosted by Jay Heimbach ’91, or TCH LLC, hosted by Michael Tongour P’23. Student feedback suggested that hearing from lobbyists was one of the most impactful site visits because their perceptions of lobbyism changed drastically. Many students noted that their view of lobbyists skewed toward the negative side, but after hearing from Heimbach and Tongour many students considered lobbying as a possible career path, noting that there are a variety of different interests for which to lobby, many of them in line with personal ideologies.
The evening concluded with a public policy happy hour at Lincoln Restaurant. There, students sat in small groups while connecting with different alumni working in the field of public policy. Students enjoyed the format of the evening, which allowed them to engage with each other in addition to networking with the alumni who attended.
The last portion of the trip took place on Saturday morning. Thanks to the generosity of Omar Wynn ’74, Chief of Exhibit Production at the Smithsonian and Jacquelyn Lindsey Wynn ’75, Senior Consultant and Lindsey Brothers, students had the opportunity to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Before the group broke off to explore and embark on an impactful and informative journey through the exam, Omar and Jacquelyn Wynn shared their favorite parts and offered some advice on navigating the heaviness of the historical portion of the museum. Many students shared that visiting the museum is essential for everyone as it outlines how central black history is to United States history after it has long been considered tangential. We want to express our deepest gratitude for those who generously payed it forward and helped create such an incredible opportunity for the Colby community.
Upcoming Events Spring 2020
GSEC Policy Panel
Infectious Disease and Policy Management
Gail Carlson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Susan Childers, Instructor of Biology, Walter Hatch, Associate Professor of Government, and Laura Seay, Assistant Professor of Government
Tuesday, Feb 25 | 4:00 pm | Diamond 122
Join The Goldfarb Center and GSEC on Tuesday, Feb 25 at 4:00 pm in Diamond 122 for a panel discussion on Infectious Disease and Policy Management. Panelists include Gail Carlson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, SusanChilders, Instructor of Biology, Walter Hatch, Associate Professor of Government, and Laura Seay, Assistant Professor of Government and the discussion will be moderated by GSEC Freshman Representative Joshua Brause ’23.
Panelists will explore questions such as: What are governmental best practices for infectious disease response? How do public health agencies work with policymakers to make optimal choices? and What are the comparisons between the government response to the Coronavirus and past infectious disease emergencies?
The panel will be followed by a Q&A, and pizza and other refreshments will be provided.
Tuesday, Feb 25 | 7:30 pm | Pulver Pavillion
The Goldfarb Student Engagement committee will be hosting another debate watch on Tuesday, Feb. 25th in Pulver Pavilion. Pizza and refreshments provided!
Goldfarb Topic Discussion
Wealth Inequality in America: What it Looks Like and Why it Happens
Christel Kesler, Associate Professor of Sociology at Colby College
Tuesday, March 3 | 7:00 pm | Parker-Reed, SSWAC
The wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots is at an all-time high, and the disparity is even larger among marginalized sects of the population. In line with The Goldfarb Center’s theme this year, Professor Kesler will examine the influence of various policies in the growing and shrinking of the wealth gap in the United States. In addition to the overarching issue of wealth inequality, this talk will zero in on wealth discrepancies based on race and gender. Students interested in participating in this year’s Freedom of Expression Symposium are strongly urged to attend this talk, as it will provide necessary discourse pertaining to the topic of the symposium; Racial Wealth Inequality. We hope you can engage with us in a policy-stimulating discourse on tackling the issue of the widening wealth gap in the United States!
Refreshments will be provided!
Join the New Director of The Goldfarb Center, Kimberly Flowers for her talk titled:
“Connections between Climate Change, Food Insecurity, and Conflict”
Wednesday, March 11 | 7 pm | Parker-Reed, SSWAC
As the climate crises worsens, we are simultaneously seeing a rise in global hunger, unprecedented humanitarian need, and increasingly protracted conflicts. Ms. Flowers will unpack the considerable threat that climate change is having on both political stability and food systems, particularly in fragile states. She will discuss linkages between competition for natural resources and conflict, as well as how agriculture is both a contributor and a solution to climate change. Her focus will be on how this all impacts the lives of vulnerable people in places like Yemen and Nigeria. Ms. Flowers will highlight salient trends and controversies, as well as comment on U.S. government foreign assistance programs that are trying to tackle these complex and connected problems.
Refreshments will be served!
2020 Senator George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture Series
Middle East Conundrum: A riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma
Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel C. Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies, Princeton University
Tuesday, March 17 | 7:00 pm | Parker-Reed, SSWAC
The Middle East today is beset by serious problems: weak and failed states, the rise of non-state actors, breakdown of borders, and the failure to deal with corrosive problems such as corruption and authoritarianism. Protracted conflicts – Arab-Israel, Syria, Yemen, and Iran – feed off of and exacerbate these problems. Former U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer will examine these issues and discuss the implications for U.S. policy in a wide-ranging lecture at Colby College.