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University of Ulster Students Secure Prestigious US Placements

10 May 2012

Two University of Ulster students are to have ringside seats in Washington DC this summer as the race for the White House gathers momentum.

Ciaran Roddy from Derry and Leanne Peacock from Rasharkin, who are both studying at the Magee campus, will be jetting off the States as soon as their exams are over to take up a two month internship in the US capital.They were selected from more than 350 applicants from all over Ireland to participate in the prestigious Washington Ireland Program (WIP).

WIP is a cross-community charity which offers young leaders from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland the opportunity to live and work as an intern in Washington D.C, while completing leadership training and public service projects.

Throughout its 18-year history, the Program has developed strong links with the political elites in Washington DC with former interns working with then US Senators, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and current US Senator John McCain.

Ciarán, a final year Law student, is delighted to have been offered the two month internship and determined to make the most of the opportunity.

“The internship could be anywhere in Washington – from Capitol Hill to government agencies, entrepreneurial businesses and the non-profit sector,” he said. “It looks set to be an incredible experience and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Leanne is a second year Irish History and Politics student.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an honorary doctor of the University of Ulster, is a big supporter of the political internship program, noting that many of WIP’s 400 hundred alumni are now emerging as “a new generation of leaders committed to peace, stability and prosperity in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

Bryan Patten, WIP’s Executive Director, said: “This year’s class are extremely accomplished with a track record of community service and have demonstrated their capacity for leading in their communities.

“They truly exemplify the quality of our young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Washington Ireland Program will give them the opportunity to work with those who are leading on a global stage. This experience will further hone their skills and help create a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

If you would like to track the progress of this year’s team, you can read their personal blogs and view photos at the programme’s website:

Ciarán Roddy, Derry and Leaane Peacock, Rasharkin, County Antrim,who have been selected to take part in the Washington Ireland Programme. Both are students at the University of Ulster's Magee campus.