2014 TCA Washington Summer Internship Program
The 2014 TCA Washington Summer Internship Program is in full-swing, as several of the program participants have arrived and started their full-time internships in Washington, DC. The TCA Washington Summer Internship Program provides an opportunity for Turkish American collegiate students and recent graduates to intern in Washington, D.C. in offices of members of the U.S. Congress, and select governmental and non-governmental organizations. The goal of the program is to foster young Turkish Americans' interest in public affairs and service, as well as enhance their knowledge of American political life. 15 young Turkish Americans from all over the country are participating in the 2014 program, bringing the total number of Turkish Americans who have benefitted from this program since its inception to 133.
The 2014 TCA Interns have begun working in the offices of Congresspersons Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Todd Rokita (R-IN), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and at the following organizations: The Aspen Institute, Voice of America, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), American Turkish Council, Assembly of Turkish American Associations, American Turkish Association of Washington, D.C., and the United Macedonian Diaspora.
The Internship Program's Orientation Session was organized at the TCA Washington offices on July 2. The interns gathered for a day of professional development sessions and briefings, and had a chance to meet and learn from representatives of the U.S. Department of State, Embassy of Turkey, Voice of America, and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
Oya is presently a student at Washington University, College or Arts and Sciences, in St. Louis, MO. She is majoring in Economics and completing a self-designed interdisciplinary major in the Humanities that focuses on the historiography of Turkey. She studied abroad at Bogazici Univeristy in Istanbul, Turkey. She participates in Mock Trial, and is an active member of the Turkish Student Association at Washington University. Oya also works for the Washington University Political Review during the academic year. She intends to attend law school upon graduation. She is interning with the office of Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL/20th).
Evren is from Southern California and graduated from California State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. He studied abroad at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey and is currently the vice president at Turkish Coffee World. He is interested in attending graduate school in the fall to pursue professional endeavors in public policy and education. Evren is currently conducting a grassroots and civic engagement internship in Southern California with the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Political Science from Adnan Menderes University in Aydin, Turkey, Ersin received a scholarship to attend graduate school in the U.S. Ersin graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL in the 2014 spring semester. He earned his Master’s Degree in Political Science. Ersin specialized his studies in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Ersin is certified to teach within the European Union, and spent several years working at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Ersin is eager to begin his career in Washington, DC in the public policy field. He is interning with the office of Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN/4th).
Mary Jane Dumankaya
Born in New York, Mary Jane is a rising senior at New York University in New York, NY. She is majoring in International Relations and wants to pursue her interest in politics as a career upon graduation. She spent the 2014 spring semester studying in London, England as an International Ambassador. She currently works for the Washington Square News during the academic year. Her past internships include working with the Republic of Turkey Ministry for EU Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations. She is currently interning with the office of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY/8th).
A rising junior at Occidental Colleague in Los Angeles, CA, Mario graduated with a degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs. He studied abroad in Quimperlé, France, and is fluent in Spanish, French, and Turkish. Mario would like to professionally pursue his interests in the bilateral U.S.-Turkey relationship. He is interning with the American Turkish Council.
Deniz is a rising senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA and is pursing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He is focusing his studies on International Relations and Political Economy. He moved to the U.S. with his family when he was seven-years old, and is an active member of the Turkish American community in Seattle. He is a board member with the Turkish-American Cultural Association of Washington, and is interning during the academic year with the office of Bob Ferguson, Washington Attorney General. He plans on enrolling in law school upon graduation. Deniz is currently interning with the office of Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA/7th).
Currently a rising junior at Brown University in Providence, RI., Erin is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics. Erin participates in Brown Parliamentary Debate, and serves as copy editor for the Brown Political Review. She also works as an instructor for elementary and middle school students enrolled in a political discussion seminar. Erin is interested in pursing a legal career and enjoys traveling to Turkey to visit family. She is currently interning with the office of Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD/4th).
Suzan was born in the U.S., but grew up in Turkey. Suzan is completing her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Bilkent Universty in Ankara, Turkey. She is completing her degree with honors, and wants to move to Washington, DC to attend graduate school and begin her career in public policy. She is interning with the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
Gizem graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2014 with a degree in Political Science and History. She was also an honors student. Gizem studied abroad in Switzerland during her collegiate tenure, and was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, one of the oldest and largest business fraternities in the U.S. Gizem is interested in beginning her career in Washington, DC. She is interning with the office of Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th) and the United Macedonian Diaspora.
Sim is studying Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in Public Relations, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. She studied abroad at the Université Paul Valery, III in Motpellier, France. Sim is fluent in Turkish and French. Sim interns at the Minnesota International center during the academic year and is the public relations officer for the Turkish-American Student Association at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in building a career in public relations with non-profit organizations that focus on human rights. Sim is interning with the Turkish Service at Voice of America.
Hailing from Santa Barbara, CA, Zaynah is studying chemical engineering at Santa Barbara City College. Zaynah is a volunteer with the MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast in Santa Barbara, CA during the academic year. She is interested in pursuing a career in science and public policy. As such, she is using her time in Washington, DC to learn more about the U.S. political process and U.S.-Turkey relations. She wants to become more involved in her community and is eager to learn how she can utilize her skills to do so. She is interning with the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC.
Berk is currently a student at the Elliot School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is focusing his studies on the Middle East. He is an active member of the Turkish Student Association, and received his Eagle Scout Award in 2011. Berk plans to enroll in graduate school after earning his undergraduate degree. He is interning at the Turkish Coalition of America.
A rising sophomore at Earlham College in Richmond, IN, Selen is majoring in Political Science and Business and Non-Profit Management. Selen has participated in several leadership development programs in Turkey and the U.S., ranging from the Nevsehir Youth Center in Nevsehir, Turkey and the Agua Prieata Cross Cultural Exchange Project in Sonora State, Mexico to the UWC Constructive Engagement of Conflict Program in Las Vegas, NM. She has a passion for human rights and international law, and plans to pursue opportunities to prepare for such a career. She is interning at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
Hailing from Leesburg, VA, Denise is currently a student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She is studying Political Science, with a concentration in American Government and Politics. She currently serves as the public relations director for the Greek Board at Louisiana State University. She is also the committee head for Delta Delta Delta sorority’s public relations efforts. Denise is interested in pursuing a career in public policy and law. She is interning with the office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/27th) and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
Andra moved to the U.S. from Turkey when she was two-years-old, and her family settled in Kenosha, WI. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. She is currently the Assistant Branch Manager for a branch of Guaranty Bank in Wisconsin, and she hopes to transition her career to focus on international economics and business development. One of her short-term goals is enrolling in graduate school. She is interning at the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) Washington, DC office.