Keeping up with the Courier staff

Doner’s Summer of Scotland includes Fulbright experience

Political Editor, Joe Doner ’21 was in Scotland twice this summer. Doner received a spot to study in one of the world’s most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs. From July 22-Aug. 10, he attended the University of Strathclyde and the Glasgow School of Art through the Fulbright Scotland Summer Institute on Technology, Innovation and Creativity.

“While the first trip was focused on cultural aspects of Scotland and learning about writers and poets, my Fulbright experience was much more focused on Scotland as an industrial place – its capacity to build things, to invent things,” said Doner. “Glasgow’s a great post-industrial city, kind of a combination of American cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit.” “Going into the trip, I’d hoped I’d be able to learn from Scotland and the way it conducts itself, especially in business,” said Doner. “I believe Scotland does a lot of things right. So I was hoping to pick up on patterns and practices that I could bring back to Monmouth College and to my local community.”

“One of things I enjoyed the most was meeting Scottish people (such as a chaperone with the program and a fellow student) and having some really interesting conversations with them, he said. “These were individuals who’ve lived in Scotland all their lives and really knew the people, not just the caricatures of Scottish people.”

Another highlight was listening to and “speaking on a personal level with” Sir Harry Burns, the chief medical officer for Scotland from 2005-2014. An international studies and environmental studies double major, Doner plans to attend law school after graduating from Monmouth. He is not ruling out attending a law school in Scotland.

“The way that Scottish laws works is different from American or English law,” said Doner, who has reached the final round of the College’s Moot Court competition two years in a row. “The foundational philosophy is different. I think that seeing law in a different light will be helpful to me going forward.” “I was impressed with how Scotland interacts with its people and with its companies, having more of an influence on what its companies do in alignment with the broader populace,” he said. “There are things to learn from that and to work toward, and I hope to take some of that into my career.”

Hildebrand had memorable summer interning at the White House

Editor in Chief, Emma Hildebrand ’20 spent a summer “beyond belief” in Washington, D.C. Hildebrand was one of 106 White House summer interns from late May through mid-August.

“It was beyond belief,” she said of the experience. “Every single day, I’d walk through the gates on Pennsylvania Avenue. I got to live in a little historical bubble all summer. All the experiences I had, all the people I met, all the memories I made – I don’t know how it could be topped.”

Thanks to her experience on political campaigns, Hildebrand was assigned to the Office of Political Affairs, which is headquartered in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just west of the White House. The Office of Political Affairs develops, supports and advances partnerships in support of the President and his policy agenda. Interns like Hildebrand assist in political analysis, opinion research and direct outreach to key constituencies. Hildebrand was also tasked with opinion research duties.

“We were looking at student loan debt, gun control measures – hot topics like that,” she said. “We also monitored the Democratic presidential nominees and how the debates impacted things.”

Through a speaker series for interns, Hildebrand had the opportunity to hear from Kellyanne Conway, Ben Carson and Alex Azar. She also passed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner “just walking down the hallway like regular people.”

“I saw Vice President Pence three or four times,” including once as he came off an elevator right in front of her. “He has a weekly Bible study, and he was there for some of those. He’s one of the most genuine politicians I’ve ever met.”

Hildebrand’s encounter with President Trump came on a hot summer day when she and the other interns were “sweating like nothing else” as they waited to be posed for a group photo. “He walked out of the West Wing and spoke to us all for about 20 minutes, taking some questions,” she said. “It was absolutely awesome. And I realized he’s a giant! He’s 6-5.”

“There are some opportunities that could take me back to the current administration. If he gets reelected, I’ll pursue that. If not, law school. I’m actually studying for he LSAT right now,” she said, tapping a textbook in front of her, “so we’ll what happens.”

“I’m hoping to run for political office, probably at the state level – maybe a state representative or a state senator,” said Hildebrand, who has also worked for Illinois State Sen. Jil Tracy of Quincy. “I’d like to have a position where I can have a lot of face-time with constituents. I really want to help people.”

Barry McNamara – Communications & Marketing

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