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Student of the Year Heads to Washington

Honors Alumni Spotlight

Student of the Year Heads to Washington

Moving closer to goals of a career in law or public service, alumna Desiree Kennedy is starting a new job in Washington, D.C.—an opportunity made possible by an academic internship at The Washington Center.   

"This internship helped me decide what my next step would be after graduation. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this program changed my life," said Kennedy, a 2014 NSU graduate (B.A. in Legal Studies, B.A. in Political Science).

Kennedy was offered a full-time position at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., following her exemplary work during the nine-week summer internship.  

The college's 2014 Student of the Year, Kennedy was also a member of NSU's Undergraduate Honors Program, a founding and award-winning member of the university's Model United Nations team, and co-captain of NSU's Mock Trial Team.

"While at NSU, Desiree made the Dean's List each and every semester," said G. Nelson Bass III, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor who serves as chair of the political science major at NSU and faculty adviser of the Model UN team.

"Her hard work paid off when she was offered a job in Washington, D.C., based on her internship and was also accepted into the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University."

In her new job, Kennedy will manage the Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program, which trains executives in the functions of different government agencies.   

"The intent is to engage federal agencies [in promoting] cooperation with each other," Kennedy said. "During the internship, I worked on developing the program. I gave presentations to the Office of Management and Budget and to the assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior. I was offered a job to return and continue working on the program."

Kennedy applied for the internship after hearing a representative from The Washington Center speak in her political science class. As an intern, she participated in the center's political leaders program, which led to her assignment at the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

"Interning in Washington, D.C., seemed like the perfect way to get one step closer to my goals," said Kennedy, who plans to eventually attend law school and pursue a career in law, politics, or diplomacy. "For me, this was a way to learn about my future career and so much more. 

"It was the best decision I ever made. Not only did I fall in love with the city, but the program at The Washington Center was fantastic. I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom—something I had never experienced before," she said.

"Desiree is not only exceptionally bright, but she also possesses a tremendous work ethic and an excellent sense of maturity and responsibility," Bass said. "She combined all of these traits both inside and outside the classroom to maximize her undergraduate experience. She possesses these qualities while also being affable and well-liked by her peers and professors.

"I think this really speaks to the goal of a liberal arts education at NSU—producing smart, well-rounded, and gregarious leaders and citizens. I have no doubt Desiree is on her way to amazing things."

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