Annenberg in Washington 2017: 10 Communication Majors Intern in DC

Students interned at PBS, Emily's List, the Department of Justice, Pew Research Center, and more.

By Ashton Yount

Annenberg in Washington (AIW), a summer internship program for Communication majors, provides students first-hand experience in how communication is used in public service. Students receive a $6,000 stipend to support their living expenses as they participate in internships at government, political, nonprofit, advocacy, media, and private organizations in the nation’s capital. They can then receive course credit by enrolling in the summer or fall internship course (COMM 491).

This summer, 10 Comm Majors are living in Washington, D.C., and interning at various organizations.

Amy Jordan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Susan Haas, Internship Coordinator, organized two social gatherings for the AIW interns. In June, the students met with Jordan and Haas at Baked By Yael, a DC bakery famous for its cake pops, to give them the opportunity to connect with each other and share their experiences. The owner and head baker, Yael Krigman (C’02), is a Penn alumna and former Communication major. And in July, Jordan and Haas toured the Newseum with the students, discussing the importance of news media and free speech in the work they are engaged in as DC interns.

We recently checked in with our 2017 participants:


Ben Friedman (C’19), Democratic National Committee

Photo of Ben Friedman
Ben Friedman

“I attended the Faith and Freedom Caucus, a gathering of Evangelical political activists from around the country. The experience made me think that maybe the values of Liberals and Conservatives are not as far apart as our politics would suggest. I know from Professor Bruneau's class that our perceptions of rival groups are often faulty, and to see the other side make their case in person really hammered that point home.”


Emilio Frayre (C’19), National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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Emilio Frayre

Frayre is interning with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.


Ari Goldfine (C’19), Mothership Strategies

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Ari Goldfine

“This internship allows me to experience the digital side of political communications, which fits perfectly within the coursework for my Communication and Public Service (ComPS) concentration. ComPS requires that I really study political persuasion, which is practical knowledge I've utilized frequently throughout this internship.” Mothership Strategies is a progressive digital communications agency.


Karissa Hand (C’18), Emily’s List

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Karissa Hand

During her internship, Hand, who is a Marketing intern with Emily’s List, has canvassed for Hala Ayala and attended the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.


Ryan Furey (C’19), National Republican Congressional Committee

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Ryan Furey

Furey is interning with the National Republican Congressional Committee.


James Hiebert (C’19), Relief International

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James Hiebert

"It's been exciting to bring a global approach to communication. Perhaps the most interesting part is noting the strategic aspects of communication. For our organization, the main reason to externally communicate is to increase donations. Seeing where we put our time and effort has been both rewarding and frustrating - while the work is interesting, it can sometimes feel misapplied when the direct relation to our mission and beneficiaries is not realized."


Ashley Marcus (C’18), Department of Justice

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Ashley Marcus

Marcus is interning for the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, at the Department of Justice. Through her internship, Marcus had the opportunity to attend the DOJ’s Hate Crime Summit, at which Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke.


Sarah Figgatt (C’18), PBS

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Sarah Figgatt

Figgatt is an intern at PBS.


Casey Seivright (C’18), DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) and Council on Foreign Relations

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Casey Seivright

"Working with the DC Volunteer Lawyer’s Project has been an amazing experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of such meaningful work and getting hands-on experience pulling legal documents in the courthouse and shadowing during hearings. And my digital marketing internship at the Council on Foreign Relations is teaching me a lot of new skills for programs which I have always wanted to master, like Photoshop and Google AdWords."


Erin Farrell (C’19), Pew Research Center

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Erin Farrell

Farrell is an intern at the Pew Research Center.


To see more photos from Annenberg in Washington, check out our Facebook Album.