By Paula Meseroll
Rick McAuliffe's wife believes that anyone who went to SU is obsessed with the university. He doesn't argue the point. "I have to admit it's true," said McAuliffe, a 1990 graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), now founder and chairman of the Mayforth Group, a government relations firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and Providence, Rhode Island. "SU was one of the integral parts of my life, a formative time for me. The diversity fo the student body had a big impact on me - there were fewer people in my hometown than there were on campus. At SU, I met people from so many different places and it gave me a perspective - made me open my eyes to the idea that maybe I could do the things I dreamed of doing, like working in the nation's capital."
After graduation, McAuliffe maintained ties to the University, donating to Athletics and speaking to freshman students in New Student Send-off events. Several years ago, a phone call from VPA dean Ann Clarke about a new program in Washington, D.C., for students in Communication and Rhetorical Studies (CRS) set in motion his affiliation with the program that he would eventually fund. The program, now named McAuliffe Week, is held the last week of May. McAuliffe has been instrumental in bringing successful D.C.-area SU alumni to speak to students about their profesional lives. "We try to provide students with a roadmap to get started on their career - telling them how to apply for a certain job, or how to network," McAuliffe said. "D.C. has a very good Syracuse population and those connections can help a lot. We're there to lend a helping hand."
The program has also given students the opportunity to visit CNN and observe how a show such as Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer is produced, to meet with political reporters, and with members of Congress from New York, including then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer, as well as representatives of Democratic and Republican committees. "Real-life training was something I wish I had taken advantage of when I was in college," McAuliffe said. "Four or five days in Washington, D.C., can give students a taste of the excitement of working for a public interest group, or lobbying, or working on Capitol Hill. We really give the students a look at the scope of work available in Washington. Most people don't realize that D.C. is not just politics - we have a large number of information technology, legal, advocacy financial and advertising companies, as well."
Before founding the Mayforth Group, McAuliffe was a legislative assistant for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), served as a community relations officer for Citizen's Financial Group, was Chief of Staff for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Charles J. Fogarty, and district director for U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.). He is president of the board of the Providence Maritime Heritage Foundation and board vice president of the Pawtucket Day Child Development Center. In addition to his bachelor's degree in speech communication from VPA, he holds a master's degree in public administration, with a concentration in urban affairs, from American University.
"Rick has shown so much enthusiasm over the time we've been working with him," said Anne Demo, assistant professor in CRS. "It's so expensive for students to go to D.C., and Rick supports their travel and lodging for McAuliffe Week. He is everything an alumnus should be in supporting this program."
Professor Jeffrey Good will discuss his research on how patients and health care providers interact, and how it can be applied to improve patient-provider communication.
2301 Calvert Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Monday though Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Open evenings and weekend for classes