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Capital ideas

Divided by backgrounds, majors, and political ideologies, 25 Bulldogs were united in exploration of government, policy, and political dynamics in the nation’s capital earlier this month. Professors Rachel Caufield and Jill Van Wyke connected students to not only history, policy making, and the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States but also an invaluable alumni network. Here is the story of their journey in their own words.

January 14, 2017

The last seven days have been jam packed with meeting folks who work in this town, and hearing what they each do. But these folks were once in our shoes. Our Nation’s capital is stuffed with Drake alumni, and connecting with them where they work takes our course from experiential and intensive to experiential and invaluable.

—Jack Hellie
Politics and Strategic Political Communications
Class of 2017

January 18, 2017

HOLY COW THERE’S SO MANY DRAKE ALUMNI HERE!!!! When I signed on for this trip I never would have expected to meet with so many Drake alumni who are not only willing to meet with us during this trip, but are excitedly willing to reach out and remain a point of contact for us moving forward. 

—Jon Lueth
Politics and English
Class of 2017

January 23, 2017

The Drake University D.C. alumni are an extremely successful group that seem to want to have a larger network of Drake University people in the city. At almost every site visit we went to, the alum who was hosting us would offer assistance if we ever decided to move to Washington, D.C. Prior to this trip… I had never considered working outside of my home state. Meeting the Drake in D.C. alumni network taught me that I already have a support group in D.C.

—Courtney Jasper
Politics and Strategic Political Communications
Class of 2018

Visit https://drakeindc.com to read more from students about their J-term experience. The students also took over the student-led Instagram account @OnPaintedStreet for the week. Read more about “The Dogs of D.C.” in the Fall 2016 issue of Blue (p. 46).

Alumnus Matt Vasilogambros, AS’11, JO’11, center, a senior editor at The Atlantic, shows journalism students Tim Webber, left, and Jessica Lynk, right, how he prepares tweets prior to publishing them at an alumni reception.


Students Ryan McKeever and Logan Kentner talk with Alumnus Evan Jurkovich, AS’08, JO’08,  at an alumni reception. Jurkovich is minority staff member for the House Committee on Agriculture.


Alumnus Bryan Klopack, BN’06, the director of corporate partnerships for the Special Olympics meets with Drake Students.


Alumnus Lanon Baccam, AS’11, Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, United States Department of Agricuture, shares with the students what he does and how he got there.