Monday, March 31, 2008

Summer seminars in free market economics

Scholarships available. Click on title for more info.

Obama in 30 seconds

I recently received the email below. Any budding media gurus?

Hi again,

I wrote a few weeks ago about's "Obama in 30 Seconds."

I wanted to let you know that we've set a new deadline for submissions: April 15th.

f you know of students who are working on an ad, it'd be great if you could let them know about the extra time. And if you posted the flyer that we sent, we've posted a new one with the updated dates at:

Thanks so much for your time!

-Laura Dawn, Creative Director,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools, a remarkably successful non-profit organization providing apprenticeships, mentoring, and after school learning to middle school students, has launched a paid Teaching Fellow program leading to an M.A. degree in education. To find out more about the program click on title of this post. The Executive Director of Citizen Schools Boston is John Werner '92.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comings and goings

Congratulations to Nick Tampio, who has accepted a tenure track position at Fordham University. He served Hamilton admirably as a visiting professor.

Congratulations to Peter Cannavo, who was hired in a national search for a newly authorized tenure track position in environmental politics. Peter will be on a research leave in 2008-2009, and the department is in the process of hiring a visiting professor to teach his courses.

After a term as Associate Dean of Students, Phil Klinkner will be on research leave in 2008-2009.

Carol Drogus continues her service as Associate Dean of Students. She will be replaced again next year by Shelley McConnell.

Cheng Li continues his leave at the Brookings Institution. He will be replaced again by Dingding Chen.

Frank Anechiarico will be teaching at the Air Force Academy in 2008-2009. He will be replaced by Morgan Marietta, who will teach Con Law, APP, Parties and Elections, and a new course called the Politics of the Supreme Court. .

Rob Martin will direct the Semester in Washington Program in fall, 2008. Ted Eismeier will direct the program in spring, 2009.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hamilton was Ahead of the Curve

In case you had not heard . . .

When the House of Representatives returned from recess in January, the Rayburn and Longworth cafeterias greeted us with a new food service provider. The new service is more ecologically friendly, sustainable, part of Speaker Pelosi's "Greening the Capitol."

But those white and green coffee cups STILL get too hot. Thankfully, I went to Hamilton College and spent enough time in the Green Cafe at McEwen dining hall to remember that.

Perhaps when Amb. Walker holds his discussion on April 10, I'll bring a cup of Cafe Kilimanjaro from Cannon carry-out, just for old time sake (even if it isn't 8:30 in the morning).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beyond Red State Blue State

Click on title to see CSM's interactive electoral map.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A new course on lobbying

This fall, George Baker '74 and Frank Vlossak '89 will co-teach a course on lobbying and government relations. Partners in the firm of Williams and Jensen, one of the nation's leading independently owned government relations law firms, Baker and Vlossak will bring their great experience as practitioners into the classroom. See course description below. To learn more about them, click on title of this post to go to Williams and Jensen website.

Lobbying and Government Relations

Analysis of the representation of interests in American national government. The history of the role of lobbyists in the Washington community and the contemporary profession of government relations. Strategies of lobbying Congress and the executive branch. Issues of reform, including ethics rules and campaign finance. Emphasis on exploring theories and practice of lobbying/government relations through use of case studies and engagement of the class in practical “real world” lobbying exercises

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Internship Opportunity

If anyone is looking for an advocacy-focused internship at a non-profit in D.C., please get in touch with me. I'm the Director of Government Affairs at AANMA--Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics--and I would love to have a college student available to help me out with some legislative research projects, Hill visits, etc. Our office is in Fairfax, Virginia, but I would be more than happy to pick you up at the Metro each morning. Hours are very flexible. E-mail me at and check out our advocacy page at


How much do you want to know about your professor?

And how much do you want him to know about you?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

D.C. Media

I would begin by concurring with my colleagues in the D.C. alumni universe who have already posted on this blog. First, paying ones dues as an intern in this city yields invaluable dividends -- even with the current turbulence on Wall Street. Second, I find the turnover rate in the job market in this city nothing short of amazing. As a practical matter, that means doors open all the time.

I grew up in a small town without many opportunities for a young professional with a top-tier college degree. So, I came back down to D.C. without a formal job offer and started pounding pavement. After a summer of relative frustration, I landed on my feet working as the House Committees Editor for the GalleryWatch division of the Roll Call group, part of the company that owns the iconic British magazine The Economist.

To see what that actually means, your best bet would be to log in to your Lexis-Nexis account and search for my name; my exploits writing for our subscription-based online publication CongressNow are well archived.

Back when you went through your freshman orientation, President Stewart probably gave you a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Remember that. The ability of Hamilton students to write well is recognized in this city. Those writing-intensive courses at the 100-level in the Government department (and the History department . . . ) that you may have despised in progress really do provide a marketable skill.

Feel free to e-mail me at niels.lesniewski (AT) with any questions you may have or if you are on the hunt.

By the way, anyone looking for an internship in political journalism this summer for the Hamilton semester in D.C. in the fall, should absolutely contact me with your resume ASAP. No promises, but . . .

Students: Don't forget the Govt. essay prizes! Due 7 April.

The Government Department, on behalf of the College, invites entries for the following significant essay prizes: The Dean Alfange Essay Prizes, awarded to the students who write the best and second-best essays on a feature or an issue of American constitutional government. The Pruyn Essay Prize, awarded to the senior or junior writing the best essay on “The Duties of Educated Young Citizens.” Papers originally submitted in a class are eligible. Application process: Submit one copy of the essay **using a pseudonym instead of your real name** and attach a sealed envelope with your pseudonym on the outside and your real name on the inside. Submit to Prof. Rob Martin, Govt. Dept., KJ 217A. Deadline: Monday 7 April. Questions should be directed to

Monday, March 17, 2008

First Job in DC

I graduated from Hamilton last Spring and my first real job was on Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. As Jessica mentions below, working on a political campaign of any sort is an invaluable experience; I consider working on a presidential campaign to be a sort of necessary apprenticeship for the national political scene, but working on any campaign will give you the experience and on-the-job training that human resource officials across D.C. look for.

I did the D.C. program with Professor Eismeier in the Spring of 2006 interning for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Fox News' D.C. bureau. That summer, I stayed in D.C. and interned at the Republican National Committee. These opportunities - thanks to Hamilton's D.C. program - gave me a pretty strong resume coming out of Hamilton when I graduated last spring and allowed me to jump right on a presidential campaign.

I lucked out in a couple different ways. For one, the timing of my graduation coincided with the presidential campaign cycle so that campaigns were gearing up as I was coming on the professional scene. Also, because the Thompson campaign started later than others, and because I was willing to start as an unpaid volunteer (read intern), I truly got in on the ground floor and was in the office when it was pretty much just department heads. Before the campaign ended, I had two people working under me.

I also recommend working on a presidential campaign because they are filled with young people. On the Thompson campaign, there were at least ten kids who had also just graduated in 2007. Though I worked seven long days a week, I was always with my friends, so it often didn't feel like work at all.

The biggest reason I would recommend working on a presidential campaign is the opportunity that comes afterwards. Though Fred's bid for the White House ended prematurely, my young friends from campaign and I have all gone on to bigger and better things. One of my friends got a job at one of the premier public relations firm in the country. Another is now in charge of surrogate scheduling in the media shop at the McCain campaign. One friend now works at the White House and another in fundraising for McCain. I got a job as the executive assistant to a former governor and senator from Virginia who now has a consulting/lobbying firm.

To make it in D.C., the first thing one must do is get his or her foot in the door. Hamilton's D.C. program is an unbelievable way to do this. The next thing to do is turn relationships you make while getting your foot in the door into a real job where you can show someone your abilities and work ethic. There is always a high rate of turn-over in D.C. and other than the entertainment industry and professional sports, there is no better place where a young person can make an impact and move up quickly than politics in Washington D.C.

And it all starts with the D.C. program. Whether you want to one day be a chief of staff on the Hill or give your life to spreading awareness about your favorite cause, any Hamilton student who's interested in working in D.C. should absolutely do the D.C. program. If I can ever be of any help to any student, please feel free to email me at

Working for Congress

As a Hamilton Washington, DC Program Alum and a former Congressional staffer, I wanted to offer a few tips about landing an internship or a job on Capitol Hill. I know that one of the biggest challenges is finding a job opportunity. Whether you have recently moved to DC or are searching for an internship from your library cubicle in Clinton, NY - I know it can be difficult to figure out where to find Congressional jobs. Thus, I'd like to offer a few places that may help you find these types of opportunities. Best of luck!

Websites To Visit
Roll Call Magazine
The Hill Magazine
The Leadership Institute
Hill Zoo
U.S. Senate Employement Bulletin
House of Representatives Employement Resources

People To Contact
Hamilton Alum with Congressional Backgrounds (LinkedIn can help you find them)
Hamilton Washington Semester Professors
Congressional Committees (Pick a few whose jurisdiction interests you and then cold call them to inquire about internships)
Your Members of Congress (Whether it's the House or Senate, Members are always looking for applicants from their district or state)

Still Looking...
2008 offers many chances to volunteer for legislative campaigns. Both the DNC and RNC have headquarters in DC. Contact their offices for opportunities.

One Last Tip
Feel free to shoot me an email at and I'd be more than happy to let you know when I hear of openings from friends and former colleagues.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Fun, free political ring tones, including "yes we can" and "client number 9"

Dapper Staffers

Tips for the fashion minded intern.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Campaign jobs for this summer and beyond

Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. (GCI), a national firm specializing in building
grassroots support for progressive causes, political candidates, public
interest campaigns, and non-profit fundraising operations, is interviewing
potential staff for their campaigns to Take Back the White House.
Grassroots Campaigns’ current and past clients include, the
Democratic National Committee, the ACLU, and the League of Conservation
Voters. We are hiring for the following positions:
Position: Citizen Outreach Director
Citizen Outreach Directors and Assistant Directors manage grassroots
fundraising offices. They work with a team of other directors to recruit,
train, and work with a staff of up to 100 paid canvassers to build support
for the 2008 elections and a wide range of nonprofit organizations.
Position: Field Organizer
Field Organizers work in targeted Congressional districts and major
metropolitan areas around the country. They will recruit, train, and work
with volunteers to build the support needed to win on critical issues and
get good candidates elected. In fall 2008 Field Organizers will help run
one of the largest get-out-the-vote drives in the country.
For all positions:
Sound communication and motivational skills, strong desire for political
change, and work ethic are essential. We are looking for people who have a
strong leadership background, and who are ready to take on a lot of
responsibility. Previous field organizing or canvass experience is a plus,
but not a pre-requisite.
Annual salary begins at $24,000, and increases commensurate with
experience. Staff may opt into our health care plan. Student loan
assistance repayment program offered.
Summer Jobs:
Not a Senior? Grassroots is running one of the largest field operations in
HISTORY. We are hiring students for SUMMER JOBS in our offices across the
country. You can expect to earn anywhere from $4,800-$8,000 a summer!
Learn great communication skills and get to participate in one of the most
important campaigns the US has seen in years! Leaderships positions are
available. NOW HIRING NATIONWAIDE call Sarah 1-888-999-8852 to apply. And
check out to find out more information.
Nationwide, ask recruiter for more details.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Dan Nye '88, CEO of LinkedIn and a Government major at Hamilton, was on campus recently to speak about social networking. LinkedIn, which some have described as Facebook for adults, has become the leading site for professional networking. It's not too early to get started. At his talk, Dan guaranteed students that if they developed a complete profile and established 100 connections, something good would happen.