A communication studies major at USCB has been selected to participate in the 2018 South Carolina Washington Semester Program in the fall. Holli Ramirez, a senior from Charleston, will join 11 other students from honors colleges and universities throughout the state in the semester-long program of college courses and government/organizational internships.
Ramirez will be the second student to represent USCB, and she will be taking courses in political science and theater, while simultaneously serving in an internship. Ramirez was chosen as the sole intern working for Sen. Lindsey Graham in Washington, D.C., for the fall of 2018.
“Holli’s background has prepared her for this prestigious program,” says Dr. Jayne Violette, associate professor of Communication Studies in the Department of Social Sciences at USCB. “She has previously worked for the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, in various positions, and she grew up surrounded by federal law enforcement and government officials overseas, which encouraged her to pursue a career in diplomacy.”
USCB’s faculty assisted Ramirez with the connection to the program. This included Dr. Mollie Barnes, assistant professor of English, who serves as USCB’s liaison to the Washington Semester Program and Violette. Ramirez submitted an application and was invited to interview with a panel of six directors at USC’s Honors College in Columbia.
“Holli is an exceptional student,” Dr. Violette says. “We are so proud of her and excited to hear from her throughout the semester about her experience.”
The 12 students will live in a townhouse within walking distance of Capitol Hill while they take their courses and participate in their respective internships. The semester runs from Aug. 25 until Dec. 15.
“The internships are tailored to each student’s particular interests,” Dr. Barnes says. “If a student wants to work for a South Carolina Congressman, for instance, then the accepted student is guaranteed a slot. If a student wants to work with an organization, then the student follows the application process. The program works very hard make sure the internship is geared toward whatever educational or professional goals the student has.
“We are so proud of Holli, not only because of what this accomplishment means to her and the budding tradition of the Washington Semester Program scholars at USCB, but also because we know that this experience promises wonderful opportunities for her professional future beyond USCB and Washington, D.C.,” Barnes added.
Ramirez views the program as the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I am looking forward to this opportunity, and I am eager to start,” Ramirez said. “This semester I will have the opportunity to work hand in hand with Sen. Graham and his team in serving the constituents of South Carolina. I am honored to be given the opportunity to work on the front lines of history and to serve our nation.”