Saturday, July 20, 2013

SPS 2013: Goodbye and Good Luck, St. Albans School of Public Service Class of 2013!

The last member of the St. Albans School of Public Service 2013 has left Lane-Johnston, and SPS 2013 is officially in the books. It is one worth remembering -- our largest class ever, with forty-two great students from East Coast, West Coast, and everywhere in between, not least our own Cathedral Close. Thanks to all of you for a great month! Goodbye, good luck, and stay in touch.

Friday, July 19, 2013

SPS 2013: Slideshow of SPS Final Banquet

Enjoy a slideshow of photos from the SPS Final Banquet. (NOTE: The slideshow is powered by Flash, so it will not be visible on Apple mobile devices such as iPads or iPhones.)

SPS 2013: Final Banquet

At the end of another long day at the St. Albans School of Public Service -- a foreign policy crisis simulation (a six-party crisis involving North Korea), two "Ted Trips" (one to the Cato Institute for a panel on North Korea and one to the Wilson Center for an event focusing on Syria), and a Congressional style debate (see prior posts) -- we ended the last full day of the session with the SPS Banquet.  It is a tradition that, after the Banquet, the students share their thoughts with each other, and it's no surprise that the Class of 2013's words were thoughtful, heartfelt, and eloquent.  We will miss you, SPS 2013!

The St. Albans School of Public Service Class of 2013!

SPS 2013: Slideshow of Congressional Style Debate

Enjoy a photo slideshow from today's Congressional Style debate at the St. Albans School of Public Service! (NOTE: The slideshow is powered by Flash and will thus not be visible on Apple mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones.)

SPS 2013: Congressional Debate on Legislation Drafted by Mock Political Action Committees

Senator Odria rises to make a point in debate
This afternoon the St. Albans School of Public Service class of 2013 took part in the final curricular activity of the 2013 session: a Congressional-style debate on the legislation proposed by the mock political action committees.  The "Senate" Chamber was hopping!  The SPS Class of 2013 looks to have a future in politics, should they so choose, judging by the high quality of today's debate.
Senator Richards casting his vote
The fiery Senator from Pennsylvania, Sararose G., making a point during the debate on a gun control bill 
Senator Kyung seeks recognition from the Chair to speak
Senator Jack G. holding the floor
The Senator from Maryland during the debate over DOMA
Below: a video of one of the roll call votes during the SPS congressional style debate.

SPS 2013: Annual Talent Show (and Karaoke Night)

Well, we've had four weeks to confirm that they are talented -- it is indisputable.  But so far, we've just seen the academic side of that talent.  Last night we saw the range of talents outside the classroom -- singing, dancing, musical instruments, stand-up comedy (not sure how much of that was intentional, come to think of it) -- from SPS students as well as staff during the SPS Talent Show followed by SPS Karaoke Night.  Two thumbs up to all performers!
Nikhil started off the night

Talent Show MCs Kate and Jack

Kyung with solo performance

"More cowbell."

Sammy and Jamila brought down the house with their duet

Sammy and Nick in a duet, dedicated to SPS classmate Jim H., a classic rock aficionado

SPS summer intern Maddie danced "a thank you note" to SPS 2013

SPS RA Mo performed Irish dance

Sammy performed a song he wrote himself

Jack was the straight man in Maddy's stand-up comedy routine

Rockin' it out to start off the Karaoke festivities

Performing together for the first time: Matt E., Nick O., Will R., Nik V.

The crowd was rockin'!

Jack is really selling his performance -- but is Mr. Larocque buying? 

A goodbye hug for Isabel, leaving early on Friday

Stefano saying goodbye to Matt C., leaving early on Friday morning

Boston boys Jonathan and Ben performing "Sweet Caroline"

Jamila and Matt E. with a Karaoke duet

SPS 2013: Slideshow of Photos from SPS Talent Show and Karaoke Night

Enjoy a slideshow of photos from the 2013 St. Albans School of Public Service Talent Show and Karaoke Night. Double click on any photo to go to the online photo album. (NOTE: The slideshow is powered by Flash and accordingly, will not be visible on Apple mobile devices such as iPad or iPhone)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SPS 2013: Slideshows of Photos from the Cathedral Bell Tower and U.S. Capitol Tours

Enjoy slideshows of the St. Albans School of Public Service's visits to the top (tippy top) of the Cathedral Bell Tower and the U.S. Capitol this week. Double-click on any photo to go to the SPS online photo album. (NOTE: The slideshow is powered by Flash and, consequently, will not appear on any Apple mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones.)

SPS 2013: Getting a Closer Look at Two Icons of the Washington Skyline (the National Cathedral and the Capitol)

A School of Public Service located on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral is not going to miss the chance to explore two iconic D.C. buildings: the U.S. Capitol Building and the Washington National Cathedral (specifically, the Bell Tower).  On Tuesday, SPS got the ultimate "insider" tour of the Cathedral, getting to ascend the Cathedral Bell Tower and emerge on the roof of the Cathedral itself!
Jack and Stefano ascending the Bell Tower stairway
Just a few more stairs, we promise!
Spencer, Sam, Sarah W., and Max on top of the City!

Ben navigating his way towards the observation deck

Yes, Will M., the giant bells ARE extremely cool
Our view of St. Albans from our eventual rooftop destination (yep, we were pretty high up!)
On Wednesday, SPS 2013 headed for to Capitol Hill for a Q&A session with Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, followed by a tour of the beautiful and historic Capitol Building.  Hard to say which building impressed SPS 2013 more!

Setting off on our tour of the Capitol (Tyler and Sarah W.)

Checking out the painting on the underside of the dome of the Capitol Rotunda

It's worth craning your neck for!

Lotta detail to take in!  

We had a great tour guide, Dave, at the Capitol

Matt C. paying close attention during the Tour

Congressman Frank Pallone speaking to SPS

SPS 2013: Meet the Press, SPS Style! (Mock Political Action Committees Hold "Press Conferences")

Throughout the 2013 session of the St. Albans School of Public Service, the students have worked outside of class on a group project focusing on political advocacy. The class was divided into six smaller groups, and each was assigned a broad policy area addressing issues having to do with, respectively, energy; immigration; firearms ownership; social security; health care; and same-sex marriage.  The groups were then asked to form a Political Action Committee (PAC); draft a piece of legislation within their policy area; secure "Congressional" sponsors (really the SPS faculty and staff) for their bills; draft a press release publicizing their views; hold a press conference fielding question from the skeptical press (their classmates); and, finally, take part in a full legislative debate on the bills. 

The six groups came up with some interesting legislative proposals, including the Healthcare Reform PAC group's (cleverly known as the "Z-Pac") proposal to modify the Affordable Healthcare Act and the "PowerPac's" proposals to limit U.S. reliance on foreign oil, adopt a carbon tax, and develop nuclear energy.  As  we lead up to the final legislative debate the six SPS PACs have been holding their press conferences. As each PAC presented its proposal, their classmates played the role of the press -- there were some tough questions!  (The "Power Pac" especially wowed onlookers by creating an actual Twitter Feed to support their mock legislation.)

The Social Security PAC briefs the press on their proposal

Jack confidently fields a question from the press

The "Fox News" representative, Tyler, was skeptical of the proposed Social Security reforms

Kate poses a question on behalf of the "Washington Times"

Jimmy and Will R. ready for the next question

Rachel and Sammy listen to the briefing as they ready a question on behalf of the "Drudge Report"

Immigration spokesman William briefs the press

Ryan makes a point on behalf of the immigration PAC

Tyler and Stefano eager to pose their questions to the immigration PAC