Global Careers Trip to nation’s capital a fruitful collaboration

Co-leaders Ayres and Peterson say it sets precedent for future initiatives that broadly help students map success

March 31, 2023
Staff report
state department

Stops for the St. Mike’s group visiting the nation’s capital this week included the State Department, and (large photo behind headline), the World War II Memorial on an evening monuments tour.

On Wednesday, March 29, a group of 11 current Saint Michael’s students arrived in Washington, DC, for the inaugural Destination DC: Global Careers Trip, sponsored by the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) in collaboration with the Boucher Career Education Center (BCEC). The students, from first years to seniors, applied, interviewed, and were selected for the program by CGE Director Jeffrey Ayres and BCEC Director Ingrid Peterson, based on their academic excellence and co-curricular engagement.

The students, many of whom had never visited Washington, DC, began their visit with a nighttime tour of the monuments, then spent Thursday fully engaged with leaders and alumni around the city. At the State Department, they met with Darion Akins, Diplomat-in-Residence for DC Metro, a colleague of Michelle Kayser ’08, who serves as Diplomat-in-Residence for New England.

The group traveled to Capitol Hill where they were warmly welcomed by Liz Johnson ’06, chief of staff to Senator Mitt Romney. Johnson discussed her career path and ensured that the students were able to visit the Capitol building – not an easy feat during peak tourist season.

senate visit

Senate visit with Liz Johnson.

Thursday evening, the group served as the stars of the DC Purple & Gold alumni event, drawing more than 20 alumni from 1984 to 2022 to downtown DC for a lively networking social. They mixed easily with the alumni, who were incredibly impressed with their poise, enthusiasm, and intellect.

The group will spend Friday meeting with guest speakers who will share expertise on driving social change globally in the private, non-profit, and public sectors, communications, federal lobbying, military intelligence, and national defense. They will explore historic Old Town Alexandria and enjoy the still-blooming cherry blossoms before heading back to Vermont with valuable connections and vast inspiration.

ayres at capitol

Jeff Ayres at the Capitol during the visit.

“The Destination DC trip is an important illustration of fruitful collaboration between the CGE and the CEC as well as with Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations,” said Ayres. “The trip embodies the goals of the Purposeful Learning Program at the College, engaging and connect students to professionally successful SMC alumni in the metro Washington, DC area and helping students clarify career goals in global and policy realms that align well with their cumulative academic and co-curricular experiences at the College.”

“The Destination DC Global Careers Trip sets a precedent for continued collaboration between the Boucher Career Education Center and the Center for Global Engagement,” said Ayres. Through such collaboration, “We seek to help students thoughtfully and more intentionally reflect on and make choices during their academic career at the College that scaffold both academic and experiential learning experiences that build a strong skillset for student professional and personal success after College,” he said.

(Annie Rosello ’94, the College’s regional development and admission officer in the greater Washington, DC, area, helped organize the visit and provided this report.)


Alumni and the visitors together at a networking social Thursday night, which was Purple & Gold Day.

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