Inside Washington Students

About

The Inside Washington program is unlike any other program in the country. Students have the unique opportunity to engage in small group meetings with prominent politicians, newsmakers, journalists and other Washington-based figures. They also ride the coattails of previous students into highly-competitive internships in the field of their choice.

History

The Inside Washington program began in 1998 as a 3 day trip for Mass Communication professor Dr. Howard Kleiman's televison news capstone course. Through conversations with Chad Pergram, a Miami University alum, they decided to use Pergram's contacts and visit the capitol to give the students some experience in Washington.

It was such a hit they decided to do it again the next year as a 4 day program. By this time, there were discussions to lengthen the program and develop into a true stand-alone program to give students an inside look into the interaction of politics, government and the media within the capitol.

Over the next few years the program grew into an 8 credit course. Students now live in the city for nine weeks with a six-week internship and the ability to meet the most influential people in Washington. An administrative structure was put in place when Chad Pergram was hired to become the first director of the Miami University Washington Center. Dr. Kleiman was designated as the Oxford-based coordinator of the Inside Washington program. Since 2003, a doctoral candidate in political science has accompanied the students to Washington along with the professor. This is a great chance to learn from someone who actively studies the field.

The successes of the summer program led to discussions of a full semester-long program in DC. In Fall 2007 this idea came to fruition with a trial run. The semester program will not replace Inside Washington Summer, but will instead provide interested students the opportunity to extend their experience and look even deeper into the people and processes that make Washington tick. With further success Miami has made a commitment to offer Inside Washington each spring semester, as well as continuing the summer program

Staff

Howard Kleiman
Dr. Howard Kleiman

Dr. Kleiman is a professor in Media and Culture and is the Oxford-based coordinator of the Inside Washington programs. Kleiman's research interests are focused in electronic media policy and regulation, First Amendment issues, and broadcast journalism.

His articles have appeared in various journals, including Journalism Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Law and Policy and the Australian Journalism Review. In 1994 Kleiman received the first faculty fellowship awarded by CNN. He also serves as the president of the board of directors of Laws, Hall & Associates, Miami's interdisciplinary advertising practicum.

He earned his bachelor's degree in 1973 from University of Illinois at Urbana, his masters at Boston University, and in 1981 his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon.


Chad Pergram
Chad Pergram

Chad Pergram covers Congress for FOX News. He joined FOX in 2007 after stints with Capitol News Connection with PRI, NPR and C-SPAN.

In March 2006, the Radio/Television Correspondents Association (RTCA) saluted Pergram with the Joan S. Barone Award for Excellence in National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcast Journalism, the most-prestigious honor in Washington for electronic news coverage of Capitol Hill. Pergram is the youngest recipient of the award and was the first radio reporter to be honored in 12 years. He also won an Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence In Reporting in March 2007 for a story on former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). In 2009, Washingtonian magazine recognized Pergram one of the 50 best journalists in Washington. "A star on and off the air, Pergram has the respect of his Capitol Hill peers. Not an easy group to please," Washingtonian wrote.

Before moving to Washington, Pergram earned multiple statewide awards from the Ohio Associated Press for his reporting. Those honors include Best Reporter, Best Broadcast Writing and Best Investigative Reporting.

Pergram has served as an RTCA Executive Committee member for the past three years and is a board member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. He's a native of Jacksonburg, OH, the smallest incorporated village in the state (population: 52). He earned his undergraduate and master's degrees from Miami University (OH).

Chad Pergram interview BoehnerChad Pergram began his career in journalism in high school as an intern and later reporter/anchor at WKRC-AM in Cincinnati. He also worked at WKRC-TV and then joined public radio station WMUB-FM in Oxford, OH. He became Senate producer for C-SPAN in 1993, after which he produced and anchored newscasts for NPR in Washington.

While still in graduate school, the Ohio Associated Press named Pergram the state's Best Radio Reporter in 1992. In addition to the Barone Award, Pergram has captured numerous statewide awards for Best Use of Sound, Best Investigative Reporting, and Best Broadcast Writing. In his career, Pergram's covered an array of stories including the Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit trial, Pete Rose's banishment from baseball, the demise of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), and the Stanley Cup Finals.

Pergram is a native of Jacksonburg, OH, the state's smallest incorporated village, population: 52. He finished a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Miami University (Ohio) in 1991 and a master's degree in Communication from Miami in 1993.

In Washington, Pergram's reporting colleagues elected him to the Executive Committee of the Radio/TV Correspondent's Association. The Association works with Congress on access issues involving the Capitol. He's also a board member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

An avid snow skier, Pergram has skied various locations in the Alps and Canadian Rockies. He is a Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He lives in Alexandria, VA, with a vile Welsh Corgi named Hampton.

Academics

The Inside Washington program is more than a great internship and the chance to meet the most influential people in the world. There is a substantial academic expectation that comes with the program. As the best and the brightest of Miami, you are expected to write several response papers about happenings in Washington. Students are also expected to be aware of the current events and news in the world.

The Inside Washington Summer Program is an eight-credit, ten-week, 400-level course cross-listed between Political Science, Communications, and Journalism (COM 426/JRN 426/POL 426). Often it will count toward elective hours within a media- or political science-related major. Talk with your academic advisor to see how Inside Washington Summer will count for you. This one course covers all aspects of the summer program including guest speakers, response papers, and the six-week internship.

The Inside Washington Semester program will be offered every spring starting in 2011. The program is comprised of 16 Miami credit hours divided among four courses taken by all Inside Washington students.

  • Inside Washington Semester Experience (4 credit hours). This course takes place during the first five weeks of the semester. It involves the intensive study of the contemporary Washington community-government institutions, public officials, journalists, consultants, staff, and interest groups. The course utilizes prominent guest speakers from these various areas, as well as field trips to key Washington venues.
  • The Washington Community (3 credit hours). This course involves the examination of American national politics and governance through study of the Washington, D.C. community as political-social system. The focus is on the development and behavior of the community and its constituent elements, including elected and appointed officials, journalists, interest groups and lobbyists, think tanks, staff, consultants, and citizens.

    The above courses will be taught on a sprint basis during the first 5 weeks of the semester
  • Internship (7 credit hours). Students will perform full-time internships from week six through the conclusion of the semester. Students are placed in internships that directly link to their academic and professional interests.
  • Independent Study (2 credit hours). Students will write a research paper which details a particular issue with which their internship site had to deal. It is expected that the Semester course will meet significant program requirements for POL, JRN and COM majors. Other majors should consult with their advisors to see how the courses might apply to their plan of study.

Location

Students will be staying in WISH Woodly Park. The facility is located in the city’s northwest quadrant near the National Zoo, contains fully furnished apartments for student program participants, classroom facilities, a computer lab, and a study lounge. Each room is equipped with high-speed Internet and cable television access at no additional charge. The Woodley Park neighborhood is nestled between Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Heights, and Rock Creek Park and includes restaurants and shops as well as abundant parkland. The facility is within easy walking distance of the Woodley Park Metro stop on the Red Line.

Costs

Spring Semester

Summer Program

Length: 15 weeks 10 weeks
Start Date: mid-January late May
Tuition: Same as a semester on the Oxford campus In-state:$4,284 (2015 costs) / Out-of-state: $7,017 (2015 costs)
Housing: $4,400 (15 weeks) $3,400 (10 weeks)
Food: $150 estimated per week. There are kitchens in the WISH Woodly Park apartments so students may buy food and cook at home. Eating out can be expensive, however there are deals to be found at smaller restaurants. Some of the restaurants in areas such as Chinatown offer great deals for an ample meal. It is easy to get to a grocery store by using the Metro. Frequently during the program, lunch will be on the run (energy bars have saved many students in past years). There are also many great street-side vendors available around the city.
Travel: Transportation costs can vary greatly depending on when a flight is booked or whether you are driven to Washington. Students should not keep a car in DC. The cost of parking is prohibitive; WISH Woodly Park does not have parking facilities, and the excellent Washington Metro system makes a car largely unnecessary. All students will be required to buy Metro passes which will cost about $300 for the 10 weeks (a weekly subway pass is $30).
Entertainment: Entertainment costs will vary greatly depending on what you decide to do while in Washington. Many museums are free; costs of other attractions will be comparable to any other large city. There are many things that can be done for free (just walking around Washington is a blast!), but money can go quickly. A reasonable budget would be $50-$100 per week. That way you will not feel constrained if you want to do something fun on a day off.

There is limited financial assistance available. If you need assistance, please contact Dr. Howard Kleiman.