Drake in DC: Our Fearless Leaders

By Julianne Klampe and Lucas Baker

Throughout our crazy, unpredictable trip to Washington D.C., there have been two people that we Drake students have always been able to count on: Jill Van Wyke and Rachel Paine Caufield. (We affectionately refer to them as JVW and RPC)

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without this dynamic duo.

They set up incredible alumni networking events for us, showed us the way of the city, and helped us to stay our cool and confident Iowa-selves in the big city that is Washington D.C.

We couldn’t have had a better pair of professors along with us. Here’s what some students had to say:

“RPC is very down-to-earth and honest. She’s still our professor, but she’s also a friend in many ways. She’s not afraid to answer questions.” -Rachel Bradle

“JVW has been a life-saver when it comes to the necessary supplies. She’s always good for a granola bar and even paid for my luggage-check when my debit card didn’t work! She is always confident in any situation-and it’s always important to have someone stable like that on the trip with you.”-Lucas Baker

“RPC is very knowledgable about all sorts of issues, including social issues and also deep political issues.” -Courtney Howell

“Having JVW at networking events helped me to be confident and sure of myself. She has so much faith in all of us, and it’s so evident that she loves both her job and her students.” -Julianne Klampe

“I’ve never been on a school sponsored trip where the professors actually treat you like adults.” -Katherine Fritcke

“JVW & RPC definitely put a lot of effort and time into putting together all of our activities. They were all relevant and interesting!” -Drew Kaufman

“They both have really infectious laughs, and it’s helped add to our happy and cohesive atmosphere!” -Lauren Strickfaden

“Even though at times the trip was very stressful, both JVW & RPC stayed calm and always made sure we were safe.” -Jen Pacini

“They’ve both done a great job organizing this trip and setting up relevant site visits with alumni! They’ve done such a good job making this an awesome trip and having us experience all parts of the city we can.” – Abby Bedore

“I appreciate the amount of trust that JVW and RPC have in us. As a group of college students, all adults, we were treated as adults. In a city with many places to explore, and a group with a wide variety of interests, we were allowed to pursue those interests with the trust that we will behave appropriately, and I am so thankful to experience that trust.” – Jill Applegate

“I like that they placed a lot of trust in us and treated us like adults rather than kids. I love them both!” -Kayla Day

“JVW & RPC also wanted to have a fun time here. I’m glad they both had a positive attitude, it helped the whole group stay positive too!” -Lucas Mueller

“JVW never leaves a person behind. If someone is slack-walking, she is all like, ‘I’ll slack-walk with you’.” -Neal Walters

“…or if they have a pebble in their shoe, or a blister, or a sprained ankle…” – Lauren Ehrler & Noelle Smith

“JVW is always there if you need her, she has lots of useful things in her magic bag, including band aids for blisters. We really like her new abbreviation. JVW is pretty catchy. ” -Lauren Ehrler

“JVW is so calm and always rolls with the punches.” -Caitlin Robertson

“They both appreciate us as individuals, but also as a collective group. I really appreciate that.” -Noelle Smith

Clearly, we are big fans.

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