In preparation for a career in law, Danielle Hartl ’11 of Morris Plains, N.J., is getting an insider’s look at the country’s highest branch of government through the prestigious White House Internship Program.
As an intern in the Office of Presidential Correspondence for the past four months, Hartl has been developing leadership skills and gaining exposure to the public service sector.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says. “For instance, I attended the State Arrival Ceremony when President Obama welcomed the President of South Korea to the United States.”
“The office responds to the wide variety of letters that the President receives,” says Hartl, “from private citizens and civic organizations to elected officials.” In addition to her duties, she also participates in various seminars conducted by members of the administration and White House staff.
Hartl, who majored in government & law and English and is applying to law schools, credits Lafayette faculty for preparing her for this experience.
“Their encouragement, guidance, and mentorship have not only helped me academically, but also have influenced my long-term goals as well,” she says. “Having that support is the reason I decided to attend Lafayette when I was a senior in high school.”
She particularly mentions Diane Ahl, Rothkopf Professor of Art History; John Tatu, coordinator, College Writing Program; and Bryan Washington, associate professor of English. “I spent countless hours in their offices when I was a student. They are incredible mentors to me.”
She says that Professor Joshua Miller’s theory courses and Professor Helena Silverstein’s constitutional law course sparked her interest in government and solidified her decision to go to law school. In addition, “being a writing associate for the College Writing Program and taking courses with Professor [David] Johnson and Professor [Paul] Cefalu really pushed me to improve my writing.”