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Summer experience grants honor Sandy Berger ‘67

By: Kathy Hovis,  A&S Communications
Sun, 06/03/2018

Five students from the College of Arts & Sciences will receive help with internship expenses this summer, thanks to alumni and family who have contributed to a fund honoring Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger ’67.

Students will be working for members of Congress and helping non-profit organizations like UNICEF and US Ignite with help from the fund, which covers living expenses and other costs related to unpaid or minimally paid summer internships. 

The fund is given by family and friends of Berger as a way to support students and engage alumni who share Berger’s deep interest in public service and his passion for making positive change in the world.

Berger, an accomplished expert in international relations and diplomacy, served as White House national security adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001 before serving as co-chair of the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Berger was a government major at Cornell and his wife, Susan, and daughter Sarah are also Cornell alumnae.

Melanie Calderon ’20, an American studies major, will be doing administrative work and legislative research in Congresswoman Jacky Rosen’s (D-Nev.) Washington, D.C. office.

“I'll be in the thick of the political tension currently plaguing Washington,” said Calderon, who lives in Rosen’s Nevada district, which includes the suburbs of Las Vegas. “The Trump presidency is unlike anything the American people have ever seen before, so it will be interesting getting a first-hand look at how our politicians and political insiders have approached this era in American politics.”

Calderon, who is a pre-law major, said she hopes the internship helps her gauge whether to go into politics someday.

“The Berger Grant will be immensely helpful because Washington, D.C. is an expensive city and my internship is unpaid,” she said. “It is allowing me a truly transformative experience that would otherwise be an immense burden.”

Sara Jenab ’19 will also be enmeshed in Washington politics, working for Congress’ Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Miss.), who is the ranking minority member of that committee.

“I'm most excited to be right in the thick of everything that is happening in D.C.,” she said. “It's been a wild ride and I am sure that it will continue to be so.”

Jenab, a double major in government and Spanish, is also interested in law school and a career in government.

“It is integral for me to work in different government fields before I can decide which future path to take,” she said. “This internship will allow me to explore my options and determine what is the best fit for me.”

The Albright Stonebridge Group has also honored Berger with a summer internship, the Samuel R. Berger ’67 Intern, which in its second year will be held by Arts & Sciences student Madeleine Foley ’18.