WASHINGTON, D.C. - This spring, CSU Bakersfield track and field student-athlete Thomas Judge (Bakersfield, Calif., Garces HS) will set out to defend his 2012 Great West Conference hammer throwing title.

While his quest will require endless hours of practice and weightlifting, he took a break from his training this week to experience a political science major's dream - attending the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Judge is one of 19 students from CSUB to be selected to attend the Presidential Inauguration Seminar hosted by the Washington Center this week in the nation's capitol. The Washington Center is an independent, non-profit organization that provides selected students from colleges and universities all over the world with the opportunity to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. Judge arrived in Washington on Saturday and is attending daily seminars with political figures and journalists, as well as touring the various political sites like The Capitol and embassies along with the famous monuments and museums in Washington, D.C.

Judge said that a lot of planning and fundraising went into his being able to go on the historic trip, which will conclude with him being in attendance in the National Mall to witness the 57th Presidential Inauguration that will feature the swearing-in ceremony to mark the official beginning of President Barack Obama's second term in office.

Judge is very active in the local political scene in Bakersfield and has worked on various local campaigns including that of David Couch, a Bakersfield City Councilman who is running for the Board of Supervisor's 4th District seat in a June election.

Judge is in the final year of pursuing his degree in political science from CSUB and is planning going to graduate school to get his Master's in political science in the coming years to help prepare him for a career in politics.

Up first, he's resume his training for the upcoming CSUB outdoor track season, which will begin March 8-9 at the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton.