Ten years have passed, and it is now hard to imagine the University of Michigan without the Michigan in Washington Program. MIW seems such an obviously good idea, that we may forget just how long it took to become a reality. My former colleague, Jack Walker, proposed something very like MIW more than 35 years ago! The time to act was never quite right until several farsighted and persistent alumni urged the Political Science Department to make it happen. Chair Daniel Levine took up the challenge, and with support from the provost and dean of LSA the first cohort was sent to DC in the fall of 2005. Two years ago, MIW passed its start-up test with an A+ and became a regular feature of a Michigan education.
Our students make us very proud. They come from majors across the university and represent Michigan well as they work hard, learning and engaging in public service in our nation's capital. Some remain or return to Washington to continue careers in public service; others move on to a variety of careers or higher education.
The partnership between Michigan alumni, faculty and administration has been vital to our success. Our alumni are extraordinarily generous. They identify internships, mentor students, advise and guide program staff, suggest and support enrichment activities, endow scholarships and provide operational support. They share their expertise with our students and open their homes to them too.
Every year, students and alumni evaluate the MIW program, making it better and stronger. I hope that everyone who has been involved shares my delight in what we have created together for the benefit of our students.
Edie N. Goldenberg
Director, Michigan in Washington