Wednesday, August 8, 2012
WEST HAVEN – Simone E. Quartey is a registered Democrat and grew up in a liberal family. The University of New Haven junior, however, will be spending the last two weeks of August in Tampa, Fla., attending the Republican National Convention.
A political science major from Highland Mills, N.Y., Quartey was selected for a UNH scholarship to attend the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit.
She will participate in a two-week course examining the role of national political conventions in the process of nominating and electing a party’s candidates for president and vice president for the United States.
The Washington Center program provides students not only with seminars but also places them in volunteer fieldwork positions with the party, convention committee, host committee, media and others.
The Republican National Convention takes place from Aug. 27-30. Quartey had her choice of going either to the GOP convention or to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Sept. 3-6.
“I’ve been around progressive politics all my life and now I wanted to be involved with something new,” she says. “I think the Democratic convention is just going to be a formality naming the incumbent. When I chose the Republican convention, I thought it might be fractious but even though there is a preferred candidate, I think it will be interesting. I’m thrilled to be going.”
While she is there, Quartey will be blogging about her observations and the New Haven Register will link to her blog.
Quartey says she has never worked for a candidate but has avidly watched conventions and follows election news. She hopes to eventually become an attorney and perhaps become a political consultant.
“I don’t really want to run for office myself,” Quartey says. “But I’d like to cultivate and tutor people who are talented and have solution-based goals.”
Quartey, who is working closely with Gary Fetzer, a lecturer in political science at UNH, is receiving support to take part in the program from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Additional funding came from a stipend given to President Steven H. Kaplan when he received the William M. Burke Presidential Award for Experiential Education by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) earlier this year.