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Hope College October 2012 : Page 10

Student Profile Washington Provides S enior Joel Hartleroad of Waterford, Mich., was hoping for a meaningful internship when he signed up for the college’s spring 2012 Washington Honors Semester and applied to work with the U.S. Department of State. He found it and then some, serving on the department’s task force responsible for planning the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, Ill., and then rounding out the experience as part of the team staffing the event. Internship Historic That he was about to have a unique experience became apparent during his first day in January. He arrived anticipating that he’d be part of a group of students hailing from a variety of colleges and universities. As his orientation proceeded and he didn’t see any others, he asked his supervisor about them. “I said, ‘Where are the other interns?’” Hartleroad recalled. “She said, ‘You’re the intern.’” He immediately became the seventh member of the summit’s planning group. His colleagues were a trans-diplomatic Fellow from Croatia, an Air Force major, three senior diplomats and a public-relations specialist who was also a diplomat. “That itself was just flooring,” he said. They put him to work immediately, giving him a 150-page background memo to absorb on the go. The summit, after all, was only four months away. Hartleroad, who is an international studies major, liked the challenge. “You had to hit the ground floor running, but it was totally worth it,” he said. His responsibilities during the months in advance of the summit included running the secure website used for sharing materials related to the event; developing a handbook for the summit’s delegates and liaison officers; and assisting NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general, from scheduling meetings with Opportunity Senior Joel Hartleroad not only had a chance to see history being made but the opportunity to assist in the process through his recent internship with the State Department through the college’s Washington Joel Hartleroad’s opportunities at Hope have also included the opportunity to participate in collaborative research in political science, working with Dr. Jack Holmes on an analysis of long-term trends in U.S. foreign policy. ambassadors, to communicating back-and-forth with a variety of foreign embassies. Often, the others were working with him on the same tasks. “You didn’t just necessarily have one specific role,” Hartleroad said. “It was all so interconnected that your role overlapped with somebody else’s.” During the May 20-21 summit itself, he served as a liaison officer, assisting the delegation from Latvia. His memorable experiences included being present while President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark made their opening statements. “The experience that I cherish the most was being able to see the actual room,” he said. “When you go in, you just have to pause because there sitting in front of you are the leaders of the world, and you’re just absolutely in awe.” At the same time, he also appreciated the opportunity to gain a more down-to-earth 10 News News From From Hope Hope College College

Washington Internship Provides Historic Opportunity

Senior Joel Hartleroad of Waterford, Mich., was hoping for a meaningful internship when he signed up for the college’s spring 2012 Washington Honors Semester and applied to work with the U.S. Department of State.<br /> <br /> He found it and then some, serving on the department’s task force responsible for planning the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, Ill., and then rounding out the experience as part of the team staffing the event.<br /> <br /> That he was about to have a unique experience became apparent during his first day in January. He arrived anticipating that he’d be part of a group of students hailing from a variety of colleges and universities. As his orientation proceeded and he didn’t see any others, he asked his supervisor about them.<br /> <br /> “I said, ‘Where are the other interns?’” Hartleroad recalled. “She said, ‘You’re the intern.’”<br /> <br /> He immediately became the seventh member of the summit’s planning group. His colleagues were a trans-diplomatic Fellow from Croatia, an Air Force major, three senior diplomats and a public-relations specialist who was also a diplomat.<br /> <br /> “That itself was just flooring,” he said.<br /> <br /> They put him to work immediately, giving him a 150-page background memo to absorb on the go. The summit, after all, was only four months away.<br /> <br /> Hartleroad, who is an international studies major, liked the challenge. “You had to hit the ground floor running, but it was totally worth it,” he said.<br /> <br /> His responsibilities during the months in advance of the summit included running the secure website used for sharing materials related to the event; developing a handbook for the summit’s delegates and liaison officers; and assisting NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general, from scheduling meetings with ambassadors, to communicating back-and-forth with a variety of foreign embassies. Often, the others were working with him on the same tasks.<br /> <br /> “You didn’t just necessarily have one specific role,” Hartleroad said. “It was all so interconnected that your role overlapped with somebody else’s.”<br /> <br /> During the May 20-21 summit itself, he served as a liaison officer, assisting the delegation from Latvia. His memorable experiences included being present while President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark made their opening statements.<br /> <br /> “The experience that I cherish the most was being able to see the actual room,” he said. “When you go in, you just have to pause because there sitting in front of you are the leaders of the world, and you’re just absolutely in awe.”<br /> <br /> At the same time, he also appreciated the opportunity to gain a more down-to-earth perspective, such as while discussing hockey with Latvia’s foreign minister as they walked along Chicago’s Lake Michigan coast during a break from events.<br /> <br /> “At that moment I gained a greater respect not only for who they are but also a greater insight that they are just like you and me,” he said.<br /> <br /> It’s experience and perspective that he feels will serve him well no matter where next life leads.<br /> <br /> “You will always remember you were there and in some small way contributed to making something a success,” he said. “I don’t know if I will necessarily plan a NATO summit in my life ever again, but it is something that will always carry with me all of my life wherever I go.”<br /> <br /> Dr. Jack Holmes, a professor of political science who has been conducting collaborative research with Hartleroad, gives Hartleroad credit for making the most of the chances his semester provided.<br /> <br /> “Joel clearly had a great opportunity and did a great job with that,” he said. “He’s good at managing time and getting things done that need to be done. When you put a lot into a program, you’re going to get a lot out of it.”<br /> <br /> Milestone experiences are a tradition and goal of the college’s long-running Washington Honors Semester, which began in the 1970s. Across the decades students have had internships with a variety of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, companies, congressional offices, the White House and many more. Although coordinated through the college’s department of political science, the program and internship placements aren’t discipline-specific; students interested pursuing a variety of majors have participated in the semester through the years.<br /> <br /> Such off-campus programs—and Hope offers many, both domestically and abroad— are an important and unique opportunity for growth that complements students’ on-campus experience.<br /> <br /> “What you do is get used to and exposed to a different world, a different set of expectations,” said Dr Holmes, who has led the Washington, D.C., semester many times through the years (members of the faculty share the responsibility). “Students focus much better when they’re back here because they see where they want to go and how they want to get there.”<br /> <br /> Hartleroad has been enjoying all of the opportunities that he has found at Hope. He spent the fall 2011 semester in Freiburg, Germany, visiting multiple nations (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and the Vatican) as he studied the functioning of the European Union. During his time abroad, he saw the Pope give Mass in Germany (and was pleased to find that he could follow the German-language sermon) and saw the U.S. ambassador to Germany.<br /> <br /> “To be honest, the last year of my life has been filled with complete surprises and I feel all too fortunate to be in the position that I was,” he said.<br /> <br /> He appreciates the range of programs available at Hope and that the college enables students to forge them together in a personalized way, and encourages other students to take advantage of them.<br /> <br /> “Not only has Hope given me the tools to do something like this, but they’ve given me the opportunity,” he said. “I cannot say enough about the internship opportunity through the Washington Honors Semester program.”<br /> <br /> “Going abroad to Germany in combination with the D.C. program, I don’t know of another school that provides the opportunity to leave for a year,” he said. “It’s worth it, 10 times, the amount that I’m paying in tuition.”<br /> <br /> Back in the States, his research with Dr. Holmes has involved working on Dr. Holmes’s on-going analysis of long-term trends in U.S. foreign policy. They and senior Sa’eed Husaini of Jos, Nigeria, are developing a paper together. They worked on the project this past summer and are continuing this semester. It’s likewise experience that he values.<br /> <br /> “Here I feel like every professor would definitely favor writing a paper with a student and helping propel them on to the next stage, which Dr. Holmes has done for me, as opposed to at a bigger college or university,” he said.<br /> <br /> Graduating in December, Hartleroad is still working out the path he will follow next. Buoyed by his experiences in both Europe and with the State Department, he is interested in working as a policy-maker in either international business or government in international relations.<br /> <br /> In any case, he wants to make a difference, equipped through his time at Hope with a sense of what that could look like.<br /> <br /> “I truly, deep down want to make sure that I’ve helped make at least one person’s life better, if not a larger group,” he said. “That’s what motivates me.”

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