Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration

Twenty-one communication studies and journalism students are in Washington, D.C., in January 2013 as part of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Hilltop on the Hill program. In addition to reporting on Inaugural events, 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; Daniel Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, and Carolyn Barta, journalism professor. Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions and the G8 Economic Summit.

Until next time, D.C.

An update from An, a junior communication studies and Spanish major:  Well, it's been a crazy four days in D.C., with little sleep, food, and rest, but I'm officially convinced that I'm going to move here after graduation. It's exhilarating to be in a city where there are so many young people who are all extremely intelligent and driven. There is a sort of contagiousness to the fast-paced, career-driven lifestyle in this city. Even though everyone works really hard and long hours, it seems like at the end of the day, it's all worth it. And it is. If the price for a fulfilling career in public service and the camaraderie of D.C. professionals is some bitter cold days and [...]

2013-01-23T21:22:48+00:00 January 23rd, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

Divided as one

An update from Sarah, a sophomore communication studies and French major: As I walked through one of the front-most sections of the Capitol lawn trying to find a place to get a good view of the Inaugural ceremonies, I found myself feeling surprised that the sectioned-off portion of grass was not as jam-packed as I expected it would be. I could walk around comfortably without bumping into too many people, and there was even room to sit down and stretch out my legs. And then I turned to look behind me at the National Mall filled beyond the Washington Monument with an estimated 1 million people. Wow. As the hours passed and more people filed into what was called the [...]

2013-01-23T21:09:49+00:00 January 23rd, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

Reflecting on Inauguration Day

An update from Julie, a senior journalism major who is blogging about Inauguration weekend on smudailycampus.com, where this post originally was published: I just got back from the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and what an experience. I woke up at 5 this morning, and after four and a half hours of sleep, I was surprisingly energetic. I bundled up in my scarf, gloves, hat and coat and was on my way. I found out late last night that I was able to be in a seated section, and jumped at the opportunity to get those seats. Thank you so much to the amazing people I met at the California inaugural ball for setting me up big time! The slight downside, I had to pick [...]

2013-01-22T20:20:11+00:00 January 22nd, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

‘Out here to support Obama’

 An update from Marc, a sophomore communication studies major: Walking through D.C. on Inauguration Day sounds a little like walking through a tunnel full of auctioneers. On every block merchants line the streets shouting prices as they peddle pictures of the president printed on every possible piece of merchandise. One vendor in particular caught my attention. After striking up a conversation with her, I learned that selling souvenirs is much more to her than just a way to earn money. "Momma Obama" from North Carolina Jocelyn “Momma Obama” Walker has been volunteering with the Obama campaign since 2008. Part of the original grass-roots movement for President Obama in her home state of North Carolina, Momma Obama earned her [...]

2013-01-22T19:46:28+00:00 January 22nd, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

Preparing for the Inaugural Ball

An update from Katelyn, a journalism and theatre double major who is blogging about Inauguration weekend on smudailycampus.com, where this post originally was published: The Inaugural ball may not start for another few hours, but operations are in full swing here. The Inaugural Ball and the Commander-in-Chief balls, both hosted by President Obama, are taking place at the Washington Convention Center. Special-effect lighting is in place, and musical sound checks are going on. Artists set to perform tonight at the two balls include Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend, Katy Perry, Brad Paisley, Stevie Wonder, and more. The Commander-in-Chief's Ball is an invitation-only celebration for members of the Armed Forces. Tickets were free for those attending. The Inaugural Ball, held downstairs [...]

2013-01-22T04:21:30+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

Reactions to the Inauguration

An update from Katelyn, a journalism and theatre double major who is blogging about Inauguration weekend on smudailycampus.com, where this post originally was published: Americans flooded the streets of D.C. this morning, showing loyal support for the nation’s leader in whatever ways they could; even if it meant waiting in freezing temperatures for several hours on the grass in front of the Capitol. Katelyn at the Inauguration (credit: The Daily Campus) After both Biden and Obama were publicly sworn in a little before noon, the President began his second term with an address calling the country’s people to build a future for equality and prosperity. Specifically, he mentioned matters of climate change, the economy, education, gay rights, and [...]

2013-01-22T19:55:57+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

Best way to spend $5 at the Inauguration

An update from James, a junior communication studies major and psychology and pre-law minor: “One dollar! One dollar for the best present for your kid. Obama bookmarks here, one dollar!” The Inauguration brought an influx of people and a variety of ages, ethnicities and cultures to the D.C. area. With this large surge of tourists and out-of-towners, the locals took full advantage of these rookies, selling all sorts of souvenirs on the streets as people walked to Monday’s Inaugural ceremony.  If you could write Obama on it, they could make it. Obviously, I wanted every item these vendors were selling, but I only had $5. Now here were my options: T-shirts, coffee mugs, magnets, hats, pants, socks, scarves, buttons and more. [...]

2013-01-22T04:14:46+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

A tribute to our military veterans

An update from Blake, a finance and economics major and communication studies minor. Lynyrd Skynyrd honored U.S. military veterans at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening, just blocks from our nation's Capitol building. With chart-topping Southern rock classics like "Tuesday's Gone," "Sweet Home Alabama," and "Freebird," the event drew an eager crowd of decorated men and women of all ages and ranks. In observing the interactions between veterans, it became evident that our brave military operates as one large, respectful family. At a beautiful reception in the theatre’s lobby, various branches shared stories over cocktails and appetizers, lifting spirits among veterans joining in celebration of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Made possible by a donor, four SMU students received [...]

2013-01-22T04:25:42+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|

An event-filled second day in D.C.

An update from Julie, a senior journalism major who is blogging about Inauguration weekend on smudailycampus.com, where this post originally was published: Today has been a crazy day! I don’t think I have stopped since 8 am this morning. This morning we went to the National Cathedral to hear famed political historian Michael Beschloss speak about President Obama’s upcoming second term. Next Kelsey, Katelyn and I went to the MLK Jr. Memorial statue to work on our respective stories. We teamed up to interview visitors, and I could not believe the crowd that had gathered at this memorial. Park Ranger Mike Townsend said it was the busiest day to date, only second to the day it opened in October 2011. Then we [...]

2013-01-22T04:22:09+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration|
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