The Washington Scholars

Women of Achievement

Spring 2011



There are 87 female members of the 112th United States Congress and four female members of the Executive Office of the President.  Four female Justices have donned Supreme Court robes, four women have held the title of United States Surgeon General, three women have served as United States Secretary of State, and one woman has represented the United States as Attorney General.


The Washington Scholars Fellowship Program ("WSFP") strives to help young women grow and develop in public policy careers, in an effort to see these numbers steadily increase.  Members of the Washington Scholars Ladies' Class arrive in Washington, DC as college students, "bright eyed," as WSFP founder, Rear Admiral James C. Carey [Ret.] describes them, filled with ambition and dreams of changing the future of our nation.  WSFP provides the tools necessary to grow, develop, learn, network, and succeed in our nation's capital.  The intelligent, determined, hard working young women that have graduated from the WSFP have already begun to do extraordinary things.


In the short history of the Washington Scholars Ladies' Class, our graduates have gone on to advanced degrees, non-profit organizations, public policy roles, employment within the Executive Agencies, staff positions with members of Congress, private consulting, and other private industry.  Each quarter we will present the story of how one female Scholar has planted herself firmly within the public policy making arena through utilization of the tools WSFP provided her. 


Comments and suggestions are more than welcome.  Please feel free to contact

A Woman of Achievement:  Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy

I work in communications in Washington, D.C., and I have done so since getting my Masters Degree three years ago.  The skills and lessons I learned with the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program have had a lasting impact on the ways I network, the mentors I seek guidance from, and the ways I think through future endeavors with my career.


My relationship with the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program began in 2006, when I was a fellow with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) working with the nutrition advisors on the dietary guidance review process. I first learned of the fellowship with ODPHP through contacts with Washington Scholars Alumni currently working in HHS.  My work with ODPHP, thanks to the Washington Scholars Network, has served me well through the years.  It was that fellowship, in fact, that solidified my resolve to pursue a Masters in Nutrition Communication at Tufts University the following fall. 


In the summer of 2007, I returned to Washington DC and joined the First Ladies' Class of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program.  I was an integral member of the developing program, assisting with development of the infrastructure to incorporate women into Washington Scholars. That summer, I served as an intern with Porter Novelli, an international marketing-based public relations firm in D.C.  The opportunities the Washington Scholars provided that summer made it a truly worthwhile and valuable experience through networking and education opportunities, as well as opportunities to learn to navigate the unique environment that is our nation's capital.  Through the encouragement of the program, I engaged with service organizations, alumni associations, my state society, and political organizations - many of which I am still actively involved in.


After graduate school in Boston, MA, I knew I wanted to return to Washington, DC.  It was through the networking skills that were fostered with Washington Scholars that I felt confident reaching out to connections and professionals in the DC area, eventually resulting in securing employment in my field.  The Washington Scholars Fellowship Program is an amazing network of professionals that are always willing to lend support, provide words of wisdom, and offer opportunities when available.  I am grateful for the tools the Washington Scholars Program instills and fosters and am confident they will be a part of my career path, wherever that may ultimately lead.




Sarah Murphy is an Agnes Scott College graduate with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, a Tufts University graduate with a MS in Nutrition Communication, and a summer 2007 Washington Scholars Fellow.  She is a program coordinator with PMK Associates, Inc where she strategizes communications and coordinates nutrition programs and events for a variety of clients


About the Editor

 Rebecca Soll, Esq.

Becky SollRebecca Soll was the President of the first Washington Scholars Ladies' Class in the summer of 2007.  She is an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Virginia, School of Law.  She has two Bachelor of Arts degrees, a Juris Doctor, and is licensed to practice law in the State of California, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia.


Rebecca is the Future Leaders For America Chairman of Women's Programs and serves as a mentor to several current and past Scholars.  Rebecca is an attorney with the policy-focused law firm of Patton Boggs, LLP, in Washington, DC, where she works with ever changing international and export laws and regulations, as well as with the complex world of government contract laws.  She has developed her practice to compliment her public policy interests, just as so many other Washington Scholars graduates have done.