|Junior Kristin Davison was profiled in a Jan. 22 Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) article about her internship experiences at the White House and in the British Parliament. See the article below.|
|Dallas woman concentrates efforts on making the world a better place, one trip at a time|
From: Times Leader Date: January 22, 2008 Author: Mary Theresa BiebelWhen Kristin Davison took a teen mission trip to a Navajo reservation four years ago, she picked up abandoned tires that had been strewn around the Arizona desert and used them to help construct a walking path.
Well, you might ask, why do walkers need a path? Couldn't the people who live there take a walk in any direction, any time they wanted?
"It's more of an encouraging symbol," Davison said. "There are a lot of recovery problems there, and it's our way of showing we support them even from 1,000 miles away."
A physical path can motivate a person not just to get some exercise but to set a goal, to work toward it and to measure success, said Davison, 21, a Dallas resident who, as a junior at the Catholic University of America, has been taking great strides along her own career path this academic year.
Last semester, she completed an internship at the White House - an experience that only heightened what she calls her "Potomac Fever."
This semester, she's settling into a London internship in the office of Richard Bacon, a Conservative member of the House of Commons in the British Parliament.
"She's an outstanding student with clear career goals, very organized," said Anca Nemoianu, assistant dean for the study abroad program in the School of Arts and Sciences at Catholic University. "She's very poised and has good interpersonal skills. She should be able to handle any culture shock."
Davison is one of only five interns Catholic University sent to Parliament this semester, said Nemoianu, who praised the student for planning her courses well. "If you want to graduate on time you have to do a lot of planning to get all the requirements in, as well as have a full-time internship."
Last semester's White House internship, as it turned out, was more than full time.
"I would get there at 7:30 a.m. and didn't leave any earlier than 7:30 at night," Davison said. "I enjoyed every minute of it."
One of her tasks was to read about 20 newspapers a day and summarize the current events of a particular region of the country. "If the president was going to be in New Hampshire tomorrow, he'd need a brief on it," she said. "Part of my writing made it into the hands of the president. It was kind of a living document that had to be updated constantly."
Competition for White House internships is stiff, Davison said, with more than 2,000 applying for every 80 or 90 who are chosen.
Applications are available online, and ask such questions as why you'd be a good representative of the administration and the White House.
"I said I would be a good representative of the White House because I strongly believe in the president and the administration," Davison said. "I find President Bush to be a man of compassion, morals, determination and character, and so I felt that it would be easy to strive to adequately represent him and his administration. Working for someone or something you believe in makes any experience more worthwhile."
If you read Davison's resume, you'll see she also believes in service, particularly Habitat for Humanity.
"I've been on several Habitat trips, some day trips, some whole weekends," she said, describing how she helped build walls in Maryland and cleared brush in North Carolina. "The gratitude (of people who will live in the houses) is worth the long days."
"We're really proud of her, proud of all our girls," attorney Robert V. Davison said, speaking for himself and his wife, Anna Marie, and including Kristin's younger sisters Olivia and Alexis in the compliment.
"Some college kids spend the weekend partying, but she'll spend it helping to build a house," Robert Davison said.
Then there's her goal of urging other young people to become politically involved.
"I don't care how you register, but I want people to register to vote," she said. "Too many people my age are apathetic, but if you don't vote you have no business complaining.
"I probably get into too many debates," she said with a laugh.
For fun, Kristin said, her "extracurricular relief" at Catholic University has been singing and dancing in musical productions with the Centerstage Theater Group. That's been a natural extension of her years of dance study with Ballet Northeast in Kingston
In London, she'll take a full course load at Leeds University - including, she hopes, a Shakespeare course - as well as contrast the American and British forms of government as she works with the Member of Parliament.
Will this all lead to a career in politics?
"It's in the back of my mind," said Davison, who graduated from the former Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre in 2005. "I definitely have a passion for it, but it's not an immediate aspiration. Maybe down the road."
Law school is a possibility, she said, but so is a master's degree in public policy.
"I'm trying to make a difference in government. I've always loved service, and this is my way of serving people.
"I'm on the path, and I'm waiting for the right door to open."
"I'm trying to make a difference in government. I've always loved service, and this is my way of serving people. I'm on the path, and I'm waiting for the right door to open."