Hilltop on the Hill 2013

Eight students are in Washington, D.C., in October 2013 as part of SMU’s Hilltop on the Hill program. The students will visit media and government sites, and meet with political communicators, journalists and SMU alumni. The trip is led by Rita Kirk, professor of communication studies in Meadows School of the Arts and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility; Sandra Duhé, chair of communication studies, associate professor and director of the Meadows School’s public relations program; and Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility. Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions, the presidential Inauguration and the G8 Economic Summit.

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Health care: A human right

AlexAn update from Alexandra, a junior majoring in psychology and English with a minor in women’s and gender studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences:

At 9 a.m. our group struggled through the metro system and found our way to the Department of Health and Human Services. Surrounded by the impressive Planetarium buildings and the Met museums, we were in awe. It was an interesting situation, given the context of the government shutdown. Still, we were rightfully impressed by the sheer importance of the buildings in which we had meetings.

I’ve always believed that health care is one of the vehicles through which we can achieve a more equal playing field. That’s why I pursued my current internship with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas: I believe that healthier mothers contribute to healthier families, and ultimately healthier communities. Public service has always made sense to me and that’s why I so enjoyed meeting with Jason Young, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for Health Care, and his associates.

The Dallas region is a particularly vulnerable region: As we learned, 1 in 20 people whom the federal Department of Health helps is from Dallas. That’s a lot of people. I enjoyed meeting with Mr. Young and his associates because his work in the communications field makes a real difference in the lives of many. Someday, I will help other people in the same way. For that, I’m thrilled.

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