I started as President of the Washington Internship Institute in July, and one of my goals when I first joined the organization was to get to know our partner schools. To accomplish this goal, I am visiting just about as many schools as I can over the next few months, meeting WII alumni, campus faculty and staff liaisons, and prospective students. In addition to tweeting photos and other observations, I decided that I should write down some thoughts to share here as well, so that's what I'm going to do.
I spent two days at Farmingdale State, visiting classrooms and with faculty, as well as attending their Study Abroad Fair. I really liked the campus, mainly because I like a diverse campus--both in terms of student body, but also architecture. Some old buildings remain from when the college started as an agricultural school (yes, Long Island once had many farms), but there are also brand new buildings and new buildings still under construction. The student body was also captivatingly diverse with interests in subjects that are beyond my realm of understanding, like engineering and nursing: much smarter students than I. I also stayed at a hotel that overlooked the college's hangar: yes, they have an aviation program. My college definitely didn't have its own planes. I talked with incredibly engaged faculty and staff and with students who were very interested in coming to DC to expand their horizons and their job prospects.
I am actually writing this on a flight from Providence, RI, having just left Roger Williams University. RWU has been a long-time partner of WII, and it was great to visit campus. I have to say that I was blown away by the views on campus. I stayed the previous night in downtown Bristol, and I managed to drag myself out of bed and go for a run early in the morning along the bay there. It's just a beautiful setting, and I don't know how students don't get incredibly distracted if their classroom overlooks the water. I attended the Study Abroad Fair here as well, and I was lucky to be joined by three alumni of the program--great students all who were really engaging and fun to talk to.
I don't really know how to end blog posts well (my first writing teacher often said that conclusions are the hardest part of writing, and he suggested several times just to not write them--"just end the darn thing"), but luckily I'm landing soon and won't have internet access anyway. More tomorrow from Pittsburgh.