Kirsten Mead of Powell, Ohio, spent last summer as a full-time intern in Bozeman, Mont., working on Greg Gianforte’s gubernatorial campaign. Mead, a junior studying political science, pre-law and English at Grace College, worked on the campaign’s fundraising team.
“I did whatever was needed,” Mead said. “Sometimes this meant spending eight hours of my nine-hour day making phone calls. Occasionally, it would translate to chatting with high-dollar donors during fundraisers.” Mead learned that campaigning is “far from glamorous” but found the experience intensely helpful. “It solidified my belief that politics is something I want to invest myself in professionally,” Mead said.
After graduation, Mead plans to pursue a career in lobbying. “But I’m excited to see what doors open in the political field,” Mead added. “I’m truly enthusiastic about the field as a whole and willing to pursue paths in any area of politics.”
Grace College is committed to graduating career-ready students. All students must complete at least 12 credit hours of applied learning such as study abroad, internship, student leadership, applied research and student teaching. Applied learning opportunities are designed to help students gain experience in the real world and refine their career choice.
“My education at Grace prepared me well for my experience in Montana,” Mead said. “Classroom discussions and texts helped me analyze the campaign rhetoric.” Mead recalls one exercise in particular led by instructor Jeff Grose in which she analyzed hypothetical demographics and classified people into political persuasions. “It was incredible to see how often these stereotypes held true on the Gianforte campaign, and also to discover factors that caused differentiation from the stereotypes,” she said. “People’s passions, careers, and experiences can move someone who should be an obvious conservative voter to support liberal candidates, and vice versa,” she continued.
The Grace College History & Political Science Department offers concentrations in history, political science and social studies. Minors include archeology, geography, museum studies and pre-law. Field experiences, such as Mead’s campaign internship, are strongly encouraged to supplement coursework and provide practical knowledge beyond the classroom.
For more information about the History & Political Science Department, contact Jared Burkholder, department chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6006. Additional information can be found at www.grace.edu.