The Fall 2012 cohort blazed a new trail last week by presenting their research posters outside of Haven Hall for the first time since the Michigan in Washington (MIW) program began in 2005. Each MIW cohort is required to present their work to the public when they return to campus after their semester in DC. Friends, family, prospective students and others are invited to hear what it's like to spend 4 months in the capital.

Although the MIW program is based in the Political Science department, it is open to students from all undergraduate academic disciplines (since policy and politics that affect everyone are based in DC). The move to the Michigan Union for this and other recruiting events reflects this broader outreach. Student and advisor information sessions (previously hosted in Political Science) were also moved and scheduled immediately prior to the poster session. The result was like a mini-conference, where everyone would have a chance to hear the program overview, talk to returning students and see the results of a DC semester firsthand. Samantha Kobbah, Fall 2012

The new location added an air of formality to the occasion. MIW Board member Gary Saretsky (a lawyer based in Birmingham, Michigan and UM alum) visited the students and talked to each about their research. (Right, Samantha Kobbah presents her poster on Public Education Funding.)

"Each term I'm more impressed with the quality of work that the students do and especially with their ability to discuss complex information clearly and succinctly. These students are tremendous!"

Jonathan Fuentes, the graduate student instructor for MIW, was instrumental in coaching the students to create posters that were both substantive and professional in appearance. "This event is a wonderful showcase for the program."

Students in the cohort were the first to receive the newly minted MIW T-shirts to acknowledge completion of a semester in DC. Three names were also drawn from the guest list to receive T-shirts to help spread awareness of the program. (Left, Therese Empie, W13 Student Ambassador, spearheaded the T-shirt initiative.)

The information and poster sessions were followed by a debrief dinner with Professor Edie Goldenberg, MIW Faculty Director. The award for Most Oustanding Research paper was given to Samantha Horsell (International Studies and Political Science majors), for her report "Women's Representation in U.S. Congress." Samantha did her internship at the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Congratulations are in order for all of these students for completing a rigorous semester and for their dedication to public service. Click here for a link to the MIW Facebook Page to see each student with their poster.