Students in Washington for Inauguration as Part of Course on the Presidency


WASHINGTON — Eleven Mercer students and their professor are among the millions of Americans traveling to Washington, D.C., to watch the inauguration of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. In addition to taking in the spectacle, the group will also be hitting the books. The students are part of a Mercer political science course on the American Presidency, and arrived in Washington on Jan. 11 to participate in a 10-day seminar by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

In addition to their studies, the students are taking tours of various Washington landmarks and hearing from presidential historians, political scientists, Washington insiders and journalists about the latest topics leading up the inauguration on Jan. 20, said Dr. Gregory Domin, associate professor of political science, who is leading the group.

“Later this week, they’ll hear from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, and they’ve already gotten a chance to hear first-hand from a number of experts about the challenges that the new administration will be facing,” Dr. Domin said. “It is a great trip for them to get some experiential learning.”

The next experience may be an appearance on C-SPAN, Dr. Domin said, with the live broadcast of the Washington Center’s seminar from 9 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 13. The group will be located near the front of the room, Dr. Domin said.

“The students have already talked to their parents and told them to set their DVRs,” Dr. Domin said.

Among the students who traveled to Washington are: Julia Chenault of Chatsworth, Ga.; Jennifer Cooper of Missouri City, Texas; Charles Crain of Birmingham, Ala.; Abigail Foy of Statesboro, Ga.; Bryant Harden of Boston, Ga.; Jessica Johnson of Gray, Ga.; Tory Johnson of Gray, Ga.; Erin Patterson of Warm Springs, Ga.; Autumn Turner of Dallas, Ga.; Samantha Vogel of Roswell, Ga.; and Aaron McKinney of Swannanoa, N.C.

The group is maintaining a blog about the event as well, which is available at

Upon their return on Jan. 21, Dr. Domin said, the students will continue their course through the end of the spring semester.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,700 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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