Fariha Sehar in front of U.S. Capitol
2.16.2022
By Roanoke College News

International student achieves dream of working in U.S. Capitol through Washington Semester internship

In the summer of 2018, Fariha Sehar ‘23 flew from her home country of Pakistan to Washington, D.C. After participating in various Model United Nations events and working with welfare organizations, she was representing Pakistan in a program hosted by the United Nations Foundation.

As part of the program, Sehar met senators and experienced a taste of life in the U.S. Capitol. Since then, it’s been her dream to work on Capitol Hill. Now, as part of the Lutheran College Washington Semester, that’s what she’s doing.

Sehar is one of 12 Roanoke students in the nation’s capital this semester, and is working in the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. She said the welcoming environment at Roanoke College helped connect her with this opportunity.

“As being an international student and a religious minority on campus, I have always received support from my professors and appreciation. This support made my dream come true of being at the Hill,” Sehar said.

“As being an international student and a religious minority on campus, I have always received support from my professors and appreciation. This support made my dream come true of being at the Hill.”

Fariha Sehar '23

Sehar, a criminal justice major, has been taking briefings from Senate hearings, helping office staff with legislative assignments, attending phone calls and more during the early weeks of the semester.

“This internship is giving me the confidence to work in a professional, fast-paced environment,” Sehar said. “It will allow me to learn several skills that will help me excel in my career, which will hopefully be becoming a lawyer.”

After a record-setting 15 Roanoke students participated in the Washington Semester last fall, 12 more are in the program this semester. In addition to Sehar, they include:

  • Samantha Andrews ‘23 is a criminal justice major and environmental studies minor interning with the U.S. Marshal Service.
  • Shania Glover ‘22, a communication studies major with an American politics minor, is interning at The Coalition of Human Rights in Development.
  • Michaela Johnson ‘23, a political science major and religious studies minor, is interning with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
  • Lauren Mazurek ‘23 is a political science major interning in the office of Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming.
  • Rory Miller ‘24, a political science major with a concentration in screen studies, is interning with the Washington Improv Theater.
  • Samantha Miller ‘22 is majoring in communications studies and is interning at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.
  • Devon Mitchell ‘23 is majoring in communication studies and international relations and is interning at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Emily Norton ‘23, a political science major in the honors program, is interning at Americorps and Free Tours By Foot.
  • Tanvi Savarkar ‘24 is majoring in actuarial science and mathematics and is interning at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Ryan Tucker ‘23, an environmental studies major with a history minor, is interning at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Lutheran Services in America.
  • Christopher Walton ‘24, a criminal justice major and history minor, is interning with the U.S. Marshal’s Service and Pathways to Housing.