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Eight Scripps students are interning in Washington D.C. as part of the Summer Scripps Semester in D.C. program

The summer 2024 cohort of the Ohio University Scripps Semester in D.C. program is underway in our nation’s capital. Eight students arrived in Washington D.C. in mid-May and are interning at C-Span, Scripps News, Reporters without Borders, Wild Side Media, IRI Creative Agency, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and L3Harris. 

“Our students are rocking it,” said program co-director Hebah Abdalla Lehmann. “I just think Washington D.C. is such a great place for Scripps students to be. There are many firms and government relations teams housed here. Everybody is here. We also have one of the largest alumni networks here.”

The Scripps Semester in D.C. program, which is a collaboration between the School of Visual Communication and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, gives students the opportunity to learn from industry professionals working in Washington D.C., focusing on journalism (print, broadcast, data and photojournalism), strategic communication, commercial photography, information graphics, data visualization, publication design for print and digital, and scripting a UX design. The program is open to all majors or minors in the Scripps College of Communication.

The first two weeks of the summer term are spent in a seminar setting, with each week focusing on different topics. Those participating in the program meet with a wide range of industry professionals from media outlets, tech firms, communication-related operations of government, public policy professionals and non-profit organizations working in the area. During the second part of the term, students are immersed in the 10-week internship (practicum) in the D.C. area tailored to the areas of interest and study. Many students in the program have significantly reduced their educational costs through paid internships.

“We started the program in 2017, and 91 students have participated,” said Abdalla Lehmann. “The students are having amazing experiences. We’ve had students at NASA, the White House and on Capitol Hill with Senators McConnell, Brown and Portman.”

Maci Picolo, a rising junior communication studies major, spent the spring semester interning in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office.

“The Ohio University alumni network in D.C. was helpful when I was looking for an internship.  I never thought that my first internship would be on Capitol Hill,” said Picolo. “But I would not trade it for anything. I met amazing people and learned more than I could have ever imagined. I learned many professional skills, gained knowledge about government, communications, and our nation’s capital and its history, as well as life lessons and tips.”

Picolo says she hopes her career takes her back to D.C. in the future.

“I think it is a very lovely city with many exciting things to do, but not overwhelmingly big, so it's awesome. I have many ideas in mind on what's next for me, but for now focusing on exploring other internships and completing my bachelor’s degree is at the top of the list,” said Picolo.

Abdalla Lehmann says many students have come back to Washington D.C. after graduation, using the connections they made while part of the program to get their first job.

“I remember how important my internship experience was for me when I got out of school and how that, along with Ohio University connections, helped me get my foot in the door,” said Abdalla Lehmann. “That is why it was so important for me to help start this program and give students this opportunity to connect with alumni and intern in Washington D.C.”

To learn more about the Scripps Semester in DC program visit:

June 5, 2024
Cheri Russo