Central Lakes College political science instructor Steve Wenzel recently spent time attending and observing hearings in Washington. D.C.

Wenzel attended the hearings as part of his sabbatical goal to expand his knowledge of presidential appointments to the Cabinet and ambassadorships to foreign countries.

"I found these hearings fascinating," Wenzel said in a news release.

President Donald Trump nominated Callista Gingrich to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in Rome. Wenzel attended the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the committee considered Gingrich's nomination.

"It was most interesting to hear and observe the tough questions put to Gingrich and 'vetting issues' by the U.S. senators on the panel at the hearing," Wenzel said. "Following the hearing, I was able to visit for several minutes with Mrs. Gingrich and I congratulated her on a well-done performance in the face of tough questions."

Wenzel also spent time visiting with U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass. Kennedy is the eldest grandson of Robert. F Kennedy, who was assassinated while on the presidential campaign trail in 1968. As a college student in 1967-68, Wenzel worked as an intern in the U.S. Senate and on Kennedy's campaign.

"It was a great honor for me to have met him and have the chance to visit with him," Wenzel said.