Monday, June 1, 2009

Sarah Ofosu-Ameyaw, New Student Body President, Also Selected As Washington College's Presidential Fellow

Chestertown – The word “presidential” is looming large in the life of Washington College student Sarah Ofosu-Ameyaw these days – in addition to having been elected as the incoming student body president, the rising senior also has been selected as the recipient of the College’s 2009-2010 Robert W. and Louisa C. Duemling Presidential Study Fellowship.
Since 2007, thanks to a generous gift from Robert W. and Louisa C. Duemling, Washington College students have participated in the prestigious Presidential Fellows Program at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.
An annual institute open to one student from each of 85 leading American colleges and universities, the program offers an up-close and personal view of the American presidency second only to a job in the White House. Through Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, this special opportunity is open to WC students.
“I’m delighted that Sarah will have this opportunity to study in Washington, especially since this is such a fascinating moment in the history of the American presidency,” said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center. Ofosu-Ameyaw was selected by a faculty committee that included representatives from Political Science, International Studies, American Studies and History.
“It’s especially nice that her academic project will unfold at the same time that she is serving as the student body’s own ‘chief executive,’” Goodheart said. “I’ll be curious to hear from Sarah about how these two experiences inform one another.”
Ofosu-Ameyaw, who emigrated to the United States from Ghana during her middle school years, is pursuing a double major in political science and psychology, and is a member of both disciplines’ honor societies at Washington College. Her newly minted role as student body president was preceded by a noteworthily active involvement in campus life and governance: an executive board member of the Student Government Association, a member of the Student Life Committee, a member of the Diversity Committee, recording secretary for the Triathlon Club, and a member of the Black Student Union.
In addition to having served as Secretary of Diversity and a Multicultural Student Peer Mentor, Ofosu-Ameyaw works as an office aide and tour guide for the Department of Admissions.
Her campus political career has been enriched by external experience as well. As a legislative intern for Delegate Victor Ramirez of the Maryland General Assembly, Ofosu-Ameyaw juggles a variety of duties: conducting research, preparing reports, responding to constituent inquiries, tracking bills of importance, composing newsletters and press releases, and much more.
“I was so excited when I found out I received the fellowship,” Ofosu-Ameyaw said. “Aspects of the American presidency are so interesting to me, and to have the opportunity to do this sort of research is thrilling.”
With its inclusion into the Presidential Fellows Program in 2007, Washington College joined a distinguished roster of participating American colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. For more than 35 years, the Presidential Fellows have been coming to Washington, D.C., to learn about leadership and governance, to share their outstanding research and scholarship, to develop as future leaders of character, and to be inspired to careers in public service.
Washington College’s participation in the program comes courtesy of a generous gift from longtime friends and benefactors of the College – Robert W. and Louisa C. Duemling.
Robert Duemling is former U.S. Ambassador to Suriname and former Director of the National Building Museum. In addition to having taught in Washington College's Department of Art, he is a Board of Visitors and Governors member emeritus and is Chairman of the Starr Center's Advisory Board.
Louisa Duemling is a former director of E.I. duPont deNemours & Company, where she provided guidance for many years to the third largest chemical manufacturer in the nation. She is a former trustee of the Maryland/D.C. chapter of the Nature Conservancy, a former advisory committee member of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and a former director of the Corcoran Gallery and the National Parks Foundation.
Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America’s democratic experiment.
In addition to the Presidential Fellows Program, the Starr Center also offers a range of special programs and extracurricular opportunities to Washington College students, including the Comegys Bight Fellowships and Frederick Douglass Fellowships, as well as weekend road trips and summer programs. For more information, visit

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