Christianna Doele sits on a bench near Copley Lawn smiling.
Category: Alumni, News Clips

Title: Spring 2024 Graduates Reflect on Public Service and Finding Home in the Living Room

The end of the academic year means saying farewell to some dedicated Hoyas who have been with us throughout their time on the Hilltop. The Living Room won’t be the same without the students graduating this spring, but we value the reflections, memories and advice that Hoyas shared from their time with GU Politics.

Finding Community in the Living Room

Anaís López takes a selfie with students on a field trip to the White House with Spring ’24 Fellow Laura Barrón-López.

From attending discussion groups and being on Student Strategy Teams to serving on the Student Advisory Board and Advance team, the spring 2024 class of graduating students were involved in nearly everything that GU Politics has to offer.

Students reflected fondly on their memorable moments as well as what kept them coming back to the Living Room. Gregory Brew (C’24) found the Living Room to be a unique place for learning and community. 

“Many of my best memories happened in the GU Politics Living Room. It’s been a place where I’ve been able to grow. It’s a place where when we see the signs that say conversations are off the record, we know they’re off the record,” he said. “It lets us, as students, know that we’re able to be honest. And honesty is the best way to move past the partisan division.”

“I honestly felt like GU Politics is like a place where I go in and the door was always open,” said Anaís López (MPP ‘24) explaining how she found a home with GU Politics when Georgetown was new and unfamiliar.

In addition to community, students spoke about the exciting experiences that made their time with GU Politics impactful. Whether it was being a journalist for the student publication On The Record or simulating a mock political debate in the Living Room, many students emphasized the opportunities they got through GU Politics.

“I think being part of GU Politics taught me about how politics is really about the people,” Megan Skinner (SFS ‘24) said.

“It’s not always sitting in the Capitol. It’s one-on-one conversations. It’s learning what people want and what they want their lives to be. And that kind of made me fall in love with it.”

Connecting Politics, Public Service and People

Despite graduating at a time when the political landscape is tumultuous, Hoyas’ commitment to public service was evident. Many students discussed what public service means to them and what their time in the Living Room helped them learn.

“I think public service, to me, means doing something that you believe is good for the greater good,” López said.

“As far as public service, I think I’ve learned from GU Politics that it goes beyond one party or another,” Skinner said. She, like many students, talked about her passion for helping people and problem-solving. “It’s so much less about the partisan politics of it all, and more about helping those around you.”

Christianna Doele introduces The Global Fight for Democracy with Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo By: Phil Humnicky/Georgetown Univ.


“Being [at GU Politics], getting kind of that backstage view, getting behind the curtain — I’ve realized that public service is driving the good we’re seeing in politics,” said Christianna Doele (SFS ‘24).


Pulling Back the Curtain on Career Pathways

As students embark on their careers, many emphasized how their time with GU Politics has prepared them for their future beyond the Hilltop. 

Students noted the value of getting access to experts with varied experiences, for example, through the GU Politics Fellows program which brings six new political insiders to the Living Room each semester. 

“There are so many Fellows that have come in every semester and by chatting with, and attending a lot of their events that GU Politics hosted—that’s helped me a lot, like tremendously, with networking and meeting people and understanding DC,” said Kevin Zhang (SFS ‘24).


Getting to engage with experts in campaigning, journalism, political communications and more was a highlight for many students as they were able to foster meaningful connections and think innovatively about their career paths.

Frank Yang (C’24) said “Not every organization on campus has such a strong and robust program of bringing Fellows and bringing them so close to students and giving students so many opportunities to really get to know them and build their careers and build their relationships with them.”

Markus Kempin (SFS ‘24) noted that getting to meet and engage with professionals “made it less intimidating when applying to jobs or during internships, just because you have so much experience and face time with these very important people.”

With the variety of events and guests hosted by GU Politics each year, students also found that simply learning about all the different ways to be involved in politics and public service helped understand the impact they can make.  For some it was finding ways to thrive as a policy nerd rather than a center stage politician. 

“Understanding that there’s an entire operation that exists behind those who are the show horses was a pretty big revelation for me, and it’s definitely influenced my career trajectory,” explained Zach Fotiadis (SFS ‘24).

“I think one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is that no career looks the same,” Doele said. “Everyone has a different path, but as long as you’re committed to public service, as long as you’re guided by your values and really driven by your passion, you can have a meaningful and an impactful professional journey.”

Advice for Fellow Hoyas

Finding community when you’re new to campus can be intimidating, but students encouraged Hoyas to find the open doors of the Living Room as early as possible. They all agreed, the best thing to do was to just show up to GU Politics events and get involved.

Members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Board take a silly photo with GU Politics bucket hats.
Members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Board. From left: Sarah Whitehouse, Alex Grass, Alisha Singh, Aryaman Sharma and Sneha Puri.


“Just show up and there’s always a space for you in the Living Room,” Sneha Puri (MPP ‘24) said. “As long as you’re respectful, as long as you hear other people’s opinions and you give other people a chance to talk, everyone is welcome in the Living Room.”


Zhang advised students to learn what they can from each semester’s Fellows, and noted the value of attending Fellows’ office hours. “You really have the chance to interact with as well as learn from people with decades of experience.”

Students strongly encouraged others to take advantage of all the opportunities GU Politics has to offer because their involvement helped them build friendships and gain unique learning experiences. 

“I think GU Politics is a great avenue for anyone who envisions themselves perhaps pursuing a career in politics or media, or who just wants to have a better understanding of what’s going on in public service and in D.C.” Doele said. “So, yeah, bottom line, get involved.”

From Zoom to the Commencement Stage

As the class of undergraduates who began their college careers from behind a screen, many students reflected on how GU politics helped them grow after arriving on the Hilltop as sophomores. 

Spring '23 Fellow Michael Ricci hosts his discussion group outside.
Spring ’23 Fellow Michael Ricci hosts his discussion group outside.

“I think GU Politics definitely empowered me to kind of break out a little bit and be more extroverted,” noted Aryaman Sharma (SFS ‘24).

“I would say I’m more confident,” said Doele. “I think I definitely am walking away with a stronger sense of self, but also a renewed commitment to making a difference through politics.”

Hoyas spoke on how their experiences in the Living Room helped them grow outside of the classroom, realize what they are passionate about and shape their goals for the future.

 “I didn’t even know if I was interested in going into politics when I first came into the Living Room,” Skinner said. “I’ve really found that politics is something I’m passionate about. So I’m looking forward to everywhere that that can take me.”


This article was written by Jane Wright (MPP ’25), a first year student in the McCourt School of Public Policy.