Sean Maiwald, ’16, tackles JBG internship, contributes to partnership with Gallaudet and 6th Street project

December 13, 2016

Author: Adham Talaat, '14

After graduating, Sean Maiwald, '16, spent his summer months interning with The JBG Companies, the development company selected as Gallaudet's partner in its 6th Street development project, as part of the University's 2022 Campus Plan.

At Gallaudet, Maiwald, who majored in government and was a Bison football standout, joined a University-appointed focus group that evaluated a pool of development candidates for partnership in the 6th Street project, which ultimately selected JBG. This prior familiarity and working relationship with the project and JBG helped Maiwald land this opportunity as a development intern with the company.

Maiwald also held a previous internship on Capitol Hill, working in the office of California Congressman Alan Lowenthal.

At JBG, Maiwald's internship duties focused on research which evaluated the current slate of projects in the 6th Street area adjacent to campus.

"I typically researched a variety of things to contribute to the team and our project," said Maiwald. "One example is researching the pipeline of projects in the Union Market area to see what is slated to be built, the applications of other developers, and more. This helps JBG by allowing them to see what the market has so that JBG and Gallaudet can better position themselves for success on both ends."

The experience was very valuable and enjoyable for Maiwald.

"It's a good change of pace from working at Gallaudet and in Congress," said Maiwald. "The private sector definitely has some advantages, and often is more competitive, which I like."

Another goal for Maiwald was to educate and ensure that JBG had a greater understanding of deaf people, Deaf Culture, and Gallaudet in general.

"By having deaf people involved in the process on both sides, it fosters a sense of inclusion, diversity, and equity," said Maiwald. "JBG has a philosophy called 'placemaking,' and through this effort, we can create a place that exemplifies Deaf Culture, deaf people and Gallaudet. I am sure both sides will benefit from creating a wonderful place on 6th Street because it will be for everyone."

Having Maiwald on board at JBG was an important opportunity for Gallaudet, because as equal partners in this venture, JBG has committed to inclusion and diversity.

"The biggest assets at Gallaudet are its people; students, faculty, alumni, staff, and the community," said Maiwald. "By having these people involved in all phases, and by having interns here at JBG like myself, we can really seize this opportunity to showcase this to the world. Furthermore, JBG will also be able to show their world-class development prowess."

On November 15, 2016, Gallaudet and JBG announced that Hall McKnight, an award-winning architectural practice from Belfast, Ireland, won the Gallaudet University International Design Competition. Hall McKnight is particularly known for the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast (completed 2012) and their remodeling of Vartov Square, Copenhagen (completed 2013). Team members include Ian McKnight, Alastair Hall, and deaf architect Richard Dougherty.

This fall, Maiwald started his Master of Public Policy program at George Washington University (GWU). He aspires to enter politics and push for change, especially in terms of increasing the deaf political presence and population.

At GWU, Maiwald and three other deaf entrepreneurs, Myles Goldberg, '16, v, and Zohaib Qureshi, participated in the Climathon event. The team, dubbed the Silent Recyclers, placed second in the entrepreneurship effort. Their effort intends to disrupt the waste stream and save the planet by reducing appliance waste.

Maiwald also works part-time at Gallaudet's Office of Administration as an analyst, focusing on program evaluation and policy analysis.