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Felfle will have a chance to question top political leaders

Alexandra Felfle ยด10 
September 05, 2008

When the 44th president of the United States of America is inaugurated this January, Connecticut College's Alexandra Felfle '10 will be watching from a reserved seat.

Felfle, a rising junior and resident of Colombia, has been selected from among the most elite college students to attend the University Presidential Inaugural Conference Jan. 17 through 21.

At the conference, Felfle will have the opportunity to question top political leaders, attend sessions featuring world-renowned keynote speakers such as Lance Armstrong and Erik Weihenmayer and engage in panel discussions and political debates with political experts and commentators such as James Carville, Mary Matalin, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. She also will attend the official swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade and the inaugural ball.

"It's going to be a life-changing experience," said Felfle.

Felfle attended Karl C. Parrish School, a U.S. high school in Colombia, and is currently enrolled in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts at Connecticut College, where she is studying the economic and social impact of the United States and Colombia Free Trade Agreement. She will spend fall of 2008 at Georgetown University, where she will attend the "Capital Semester" program organized by the Fund for American Studies and live two blocks from the Library of Congress.

During her study away semester, she also will intern four days a week at Delphos International, a financial firm that invests in projects in developing countries that support clients' international business goals.

In order to attend the inaugural conference, Felfle garnered financial support from donors across campus, including the Toor Cummings Center, the department of government, Unity House, President Leo Higdon, Jr., Vice President of Administration Ulysses Hammond, the department of Hispanic studies, the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, the Office of Volunteers for Community Service, the department of gender and women's studies, Dean of Religious Life Claudia Highbaugh and Dean of the College Community Armando Bengochea.

"Alex is a conscientious student leader who brings a great deal of maturity and serious-mindedness to discussions about a range of international themes. Her attendance at the Presidential Inauguration and subsequent presentations about that experience once she returns, represent a unique and exciting opportunity to further the political discussion here at Connecticut College," said Bengochea.

Felfle said she is particularly interested in the Presidential inauguration because of the Presidential impact on U.S/Colombia relations. Colombia is the fourth largest recipient of foreign aid from the U.S.

"I love the U.S.," said Felfle. "I owe a lot of things to this country - my education, my teachers, my friends and the progress being made in Colombia. Being raised in Colombia and coming to college in the U.S. allowed me to have the best of both worlds. The students at Connecticut College are very respectful. They want to ask questions, and I like to talk about where I came from; my country is my pride and honor."

In the summer of 2005, Felfle was the sole recipient of a scholarship to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference, organized by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, which is set up through a Congressional committee. Approximately 4,000 students around the world applied for a scholarship for the international leadership conference, which included participation in a mock United Nations, meeting the President and visiting the World's Bank and the Department of State.

A former class president and the first international student at Connecticut College to earn that title, Felfle is also active in several diversity organizations at Connecticut College. She interned last year at the Congress in Colombia, where she worked closely with two senators to implement policies aimed at helping Colombia's displaced population, which is second only to Sudan.




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