From DC Intern to Lead Anchor – Alumni Spotlight: David Muir

Before becoming a rising star at ABC and lead anchor of World News Tonight, David Muir was a stand out student in the TFAS Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ) program during the summer of 1993. During his time with IPJ, he interned with Department of Health and Human Services.


Muir (right) introduced keynote speaker Brit Hume (left) who was the White House correspondent for ABC News at the time.

The then Ithaca College student was selected among his peers to deliver a student testimonial during their commencement ceremony. Muir introduced keynote speaker Brit Hume who was the White House correspondent for ABC News at the time. During the introduction, he said he aspired to one day be included among Hume’s ranks.

Muir joined ABC News in August 2003 as anchor of the overnight news program “World News Now” and quickly moved on to become one of the network’s lead correspondents on several major domestic and international stories.

He recently shared advice on how to break into broadcast news, and mentioned his summer in DC with IPJ. In a 2007 interview, Muir credited his TFAS experience with preparing him for the fast paced environment of reporting.

“The intensity in the few short weeks at IPJ helped me prepare for a career that has taken me to the Middle East for the war in Iraq, to Capitol Hill for President Clinton’s impeachment trial and to Florida for the disputed 2000 Presidential race,” Muir said. “There are few programs that can inspire and engage aspiring journalists quite like the Institute on Political Journalism.”


Muir accepts the 2008 TFAS Alumni Achievement Award

In addition to receiving multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for his reporting, Muir can count the TFAS Alumni Achievement Award among his accolades. TFAS presented Muir with the award during the IPJ Awards Ceremony at the National Press Club in 2008. During his acceptance remarks, Muir offered inspirational remarks to the budding journalists in the audience about his career and work with renowned reporters.

“We are proud to call David one of our own,” said Joe Starrs, director of the Institute on Political Journalism. “His success is a testament to the quality of our programs and the importance of our mission to prepare outstanding college students, like David was, for honorable leadership.”

Muir is one of 14,500 TFAS alumni who are forging careers in journalism, politics, government, public policy, business and philanthropy. IPJ seeks to develop journalists with economic literacy and high ethical standards. Through its internships program, IPJ gives aspiring journalists a leg up in their careers and helps them land positions in high profile mainstream media organizations.

For more information on our summer and semester programs, visit

Alumna Turns TFAS Experience Into National Collegiate Honor

Growing up in the ever-changing political environment of Wisconsin sparked Jordyn Noennig’s (IPJ 15) interest in politics at an early age. Upon heading off to college and deciding on a career path, her interest in current events led her to pursue a career in journalism to do unbiased reporting on what happens in the exhilarating world of politics.

With two years of student leadership and internship experience attained at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Noennig applied to the Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ) program for the summer of 2015 to take her love for reporting and politics to the next level.

As a TFAS student intern, Noennig was able to cover votes in Congress and Supreme Court decisions on issues such as the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage legalization.


Noennig listens to a TFAS lecture during her summer in Washington, D.C.

“With journalism it’s really important to get out-of-class experience,” Noennig said. “That’s where you’re really going to learn. It was amazing just to be in D.C., learn more about reporting and have those big-topic clips in my name.”

Last fall, Noennig applied what she learned at TFAS to her student broadcast, PantherVision, when they had the unique opportunity to cover a democratic presidential debate held at her university.

Along with a team of students, Noenning was honored for her production work on the project with a NATAS Student Achievement Award from the Television Academy, the producers of the Chicago/Midwest Emmy® Awards.

Noennig attributes her strengths in journalism to the ideas and practices she learned in Professor Richard Benedetto’s Journalism Internship Seminar course at IPJ. She says learning directly from a seasoned journalist like Benedetto taught her to ask better questions to gain a deeper understanding of each story.

Noennig also notes her TFAS experience as a stepping


Noennig (left) joins her TFAS classmates to hear advice from IPJ alumna, Elizabeth Jia (IPJ 05) (right), during the 2015 IPJ alumni roundtable.

stone to success, not just in journalism, but in all aspects of her future. Like many TFAS students, Noennig took advantage of the countless workshops, networking meetings and seminars focused on making sure students have the keys to succeed in any professional environment.

No matter where my career goes, IPJ has helped me advance in my professional development,” Noennig said.

Noennig thanks TFAS supporters for helping her get where she is today and says that the ideas she learned through the program are an integral alternative to what most students receive at public university.

“The people who give to TFAS helped me get to D.C. and opened the doorways for my future,” Noennig said. “I would encourage them to keep giving because I want other students to have that experience in opening up their views, no matter what career they want to go into,” Noennig said.

For more information on the Institute on Political Journalism please visit

Alumni Spotlight – Brianna Cicero

briana-ciceroBrianna Cicero is a recent alumna of the Institute on Political Journalism. During her 8 weeks in DC, she interned for The Stream, attended site briefings at The Washington Post and Capitol Hill, interviewed U.S. Senators, earned 6 credits from George Mason University and made plenty of memories with ‘her family’.

Brianna began her sophomore year at Temple University the past fall. During her freshman year at Eastern University, she was a writer for her college’s newspaper, the Editor-In-Chief of her college’s literary magazine, and the Co-Editor for her college’s Odyssey Online team. Brianna, a competitive horseback rider, also served as a social media intern for Judge My Ride, allowing her to gain experience while working with a topic she loves.briana-cicero-2

Read the article she wrote on her summer with TFAS here. For more information on our summer program, please visit

Alumni Spotlight – Meredith Wohl

After spending the summer of 2015 in DC giving tours of the national monuments and working as a photographer, Meredith Wohl returned to The District this past summer to participate in the Institute on Political Jmeredith-1ournalism.

Meredith, a senior at the College of Charleston, spent her summer as the Digital Media Intern for the American Trucking Association’s publication, Transport Topics News.

meredith-2On campus, Meredith serves as General Manager of her university’s radio station where she manages a team of 150 fellow students and hosts to weekly programs. She is also the Vice President of the Debate Team, Contributing Editor of The Odyssey and writer for SceneSC.

Meredith is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). Read their blog on her summer with TFAS, valuable advice she learned during the program and her future goals in the journalism world.

For more information on our programs, please visit

Holiday Season in The District

While Washington, DC is filled with fun, free things to do year round, the holiday season is an extra special time to experience the city. We’ve rounded up top activities and events for you to see and do in The District over the next few weeks.

Take a trip to the front of the White House and you will find the National Christmas Tree. Nightly performances will begin the week of December 8th. Walk down the National Mall to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree that traveled 4,000 miles to DC all the way from Idaho. The Lighting Ceremony will take place on December 6th at the Capitol’s West Lawn. While you’re on The Mall, escape the cold to the U.S. Botanic Garden’s ‘Season’s Greenings: National Parks and Historic Places’. The exhibit features one of the largest indoor Christmas tress adorned with ornaments from national parks. Live music will be offered on certain days of the week.

national-christmas-treeThere are plenty of holiday shows and concerts to choose from at various theaters around the city. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is playing at the National Theatre from December 13th-31st. The Washington Ballet will be preforming the holiday classic The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre until December 24th. The National Cathedral has a full schedule of holiday concerts this month.grinch

Do you still need to do some last minute shopping? Head to the Downtown Holiday Market held daily from noon-8pm at 8th and F streets until December 23rd. Georgetown is one of the best shopping neighborhoods in the city. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out Georgetown Glow – a light art display throughout the area – in addition to the other stores.
If you want to see more lights, the National Zoo’s ZooLights is open until January 1st.


waaIf you are looking to explore outside the city, you can volunteer for Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery on December 17th. ‘ICE! Christmas Around the World’ at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor is an interactive winter wonderland fun for all ages.

Have a wonderful holiday season in DC!

Alumni Spotlight – U.S. Army Vet to TFAS Alum

Written by Mallie Woodfin – Manager, Recruitment and Admissions

Jordan Lopez is currently in the midst of his senior year at DePaul University. This summer, he was a participant in the Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA) and interned with the Rumsfeld Foundation.

Jordan is a veteran of the United States Army and works at his university as a Veteran Liaison assisting in the use of education benefits. He has traveled to 15 different countries which, along with his experience in the military, helped develop his interest in international studies.lopez-2

Jordan was chosen to represent IEIA and speak about the ‘learn’ element of the program at the Closing Ceremony.

“Each of these classes has been among the most exciting, challenging, and engaging courses I have taken in my academic career.”

While his speech focused on what he learned academically during the summer, he touched on how much he learned outside the classroom from briefings with officials from the White House and the House Committee on Homeland Security, guest lectures and events with TFAS alumni to name a few.

lopez1Jordan first heard about our program from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). You can read their blog post on his summer here.

For more information on our summer programs please visit

Alumni Profile – Avery Jamison

Written by Rachel Sullivan – Program Advisor, Institute on Business and Government Affairs
Other than driving through or stopping to get a bite to eat, Avery Jamison had never been in Washington, D.C. for an extended period of time. He knew that he wanted an exceptional internship the summer before his junior year at Elon University in North Carolina. That’s why he joined TFAS for a summer in the Institute on Business and Government Affairs:

I was fascinated by their commitment to providing students with exceptional internships, networking events, and events that proved to be beneficial for me as a growing professional individual and as a millennial American. I wanted my first internship to be somewhere I can grow and learn as much as I can, and I was confident TFAS would provide that kind of experience for me, especially in Washington, D.C.”

avery internshipAvery interned for the Toy Industry Association, where he was challenged on a day-to-day basis with interpreting toy regulations and standards. Over the course of the summer he wrote about 250 interpretations in a document about 150 pages long. He also attended Congressional hearings and lobbied with representatives from other toy and manufacturing companies.

Outside of work, Avery studied hard for his economics class and explored DC with friends. However, his favorite aspect of the summer was the multiple professional and networking opportunities provided by TFAS:

I particularly enjoyed the Embassy of Australia briefing where I learned about our positive U.S.-Australia relations, what it’s like to visit and live in Australia, and, most importantly for me, what it takes to work at an Embassy and some of the day-to-day operations of that responsibility.”aj-australia 

Avery plans to receive a bachelor’s in International Studies (European concentration), with minors in French & Business Administration. He then plans to attend graduate school and eventually receive a Master’s in International Relations. But he doesn’t plan to stop there—he is even considering volunteering with the Peace Corps or Teach for America to explore the world and do volunteer work at the same time. His ambitious and ultimate life goal is to work and live in France, preferably at the U.S. Embassy, and receive a dual-citizenship there.

For more information on our program, please visit