After Lewis & Clark
Here are a few examples of what some recent majors are doing now:
Katie Varness, Class of 2021
After graduating from Lewis & Clark, I began working for Americorp and nonprofit called College Possible. I work as a college counselor, helping low-income, high-achieving students through the college application process. I engage with student across the U.S. and assist them in researching different schools they’d like to apply to, their essay writing, scholarship searches and financial aid process. This job is the perfect intersection between my two majors, Political Science and Psychology. I am able to work on a personal level with students and engage one-on-one with them, as well as work on a broader scale, addressing education inequities.
The Political Science department helped me develop my writing critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, which are essential for the job I do now. Though the major is rigorous, it taught me how to manage a huge workload. Each professor in the department cares about your success in the major and will push you to do your best. Graduating with this major was extremely rewarding.
And here are few profiles:
Walker Davis, Class of 2015
Walker is the Deputy Research Director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW is a political watchdog that uses investigations and legal actions to hold public officials accountable for abusing the public trust. In his role, Walker assists with managing a team of researchers digging into corruption issues using campaign finance records, lobbying reports, tax documents, and the Freedom of Information Act. As a Political Science major at Lewis & Clark, Walker worked with two professors to coauthor research into campaign finance issues, giving him a foothold to be hired as a researcher at CREW shortly after graduating in 2015.
Sam Ozer-Staton, Class of 2017
I am writer and producer at Vox Media, where I spend most of my time working on Stay Tuned with Preet, a weekly interview podcast hosted by Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. I also write a weekly subscription newsletter focused on under-reported legal stories.
Every day is different, but the job usually involves some combination of crafting interview questions, writing scripts, conducting research, and booking guests. Our team’s goal is to create longform content that addresses complex issues at the intersection of law and politics. What kinds of voter suppression laws are being implemented, and how will they impact turnout in the midterms? What will the electoral map look like after redistricting? Those are the kinds of questions we focus on.
When I graduated from Lewis & Clark, I couldn’t have predicted that I’d be working in news media. Luckily, the Political Science major gave me a strong footing for whatever might come next. My professors emphasized rigor and a spirit of debate. They encouraged me to pursue opportunities outside of school, like internships with Senator Ron Wyden’s office in DC and at political consulting firms. The department’s flagship courses instilled a sense of work ethic and an intellectual framework for how to solve difficult problems. But I often think about an elective I took, “Government and the Economy,” that was a great example of why it makes sense to study Political Science at a liberal arts institution. We read works of popular journalism along with peer reviewed journal articles. We talked about the roots of economic inequality. And, in a classroom of less than 15 people, we debated these issues with not just an analytical lens but a moral one. That balance of rigor and heart is a hallmark of the Political Science department, and I’ve tried to bring it with me wherever I go.
Anna Sophia Vizcarra—Barton, Class of 2020
I am currently working as a union organizer at SEIU-USWW (Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West) in Los Angeles. Right now we are working on organizing LA County subcontracted workers like janitors, food service workers, and security officers. I love my job and get to spend my days learning other people’s stories and empowering workers to stand up and fight for what they deserve. I was lucky enough to know exactly what I wanted to do when I finished college because I was able to work with my political science professors to set up structured internships for school credit in the several different fields I was interested in. While I loved my internship at Senator Merkley’s office, it was my time at SEIU Local 49, another union, where I discovered what I truly wanted to do.
I’m excited for the opportunity to apply the skills I gained at LC to help those in need around the world.
Calling all Political Science alumni! What have you been up to since graduation? Start an interesting job? Discover a hidden talent? Used your liberal arts experience and degree to better the world? Adopt a cat? We’d love to know!