USF students head to South Carolina for Road to the White House program, will work on presidential campaigns
Image via AP.

White House
'Students will get to see retail politics up close while learning about grassroots organizing and see how presidential candidates interact with voters.'

A group of 24 University of South Florida (USF) students will head to South Carolina Friday where they will work on presidential campaigns for former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the Democratic Party.

The Road to the White House course is a 10-day internship program paired with a semester-long course learning about the history and politics of presidential campaigns and elections.

The students will be led by Judithanne Scourfield McLauclan, a USF political science professor who teaches the course. It’s the sixth Road to the White House course, but the first to visit South Carolina. Previous cohorts traveled to New Hampshire.

“Students will get to see retail politics up close while learning about grassroots organizing and see how presidential candidates interact with voters,” McLauchlan said. “Just by getting a chance to be there and take part, they will learn about elections and the excitement that comes with working on a presidential campaign.”

As part of the 10-day internship students will canvass, phone bank and observe overall campaign practices. Some have chosen to work directly with the Haley or Trump campaigns, others will assist the Democratic Party, including helping with statewide elections and building party support.

Students will spend their days going on morning field trips with guest speakers to places like the South Carolina Statehouse, followed by campaign work in the afternoon and evenings.

Some of the students have worked on campaigns before, including USF senior Political Science major Steven Brown, who is excited to gain experience on a Presidential Election.

“It’s an amazing opportunity. The connections you can make on the campaign trail and use it as a ladder for your future are endless,” he said.

Brown will work on the Trump campaign during the internship. He added that he hopes the opportunity helps him make an impression on those he works with on the trail.

Abigail Sanders is a junior double majoring in political science and international studies. She developed a passion for politics from her parents, who are also politically engaged. She hopes the Road to the White House internship will allow her to become further involved in this year’s election cycle while also helping her determine which type of law to study after she graduates.

“I’m hoping to see if this experience working directly in the presidential election will make me want to work more on domestic issues like election law or if I’d prefer something more international, such as focusing on human rights, at law school,” she said.

Sanders will be working with the South Carolina Democratic Party.

The class departs from USF St. Petersburg on Friday and will return on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Those interested can follow along with the class’s progress at their class blog.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Pancho Villar

    February 14, 2024 at 9:23 am

    The next update to this story should contain the URL to the class’s blog. Go USF & go Bulls!

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 19, 2024 at 10:13 am

    Good for these ambitious college kids!

    But for the part where they “work on presidential campaign[s] for former President Donald Trump,” shouldn’t these students visit a prison rather than South Carolina?

Comments are closed.


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