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Political Science

Alumni Profiles

Walker Davis, Class of 2015 — Research Associate at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

“I am a Research Associate at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington where I find and analyze information about lobbying and campaign financing at the federal level. If I see something fishy, then I consult with our legal department and with the Research Director to see whether we should either report that a candidate or officeholder has violated the law or write about the issue for publication on our site. It is a great job, and I am lucky to have it. I was a successful applicant because I had experience researching campaign finance law as a POLS student. After my sophomore year, I co-authored research on campaign finance law enforcement in the states with two political science professors and one other student. The topic interested me, so I then wrote my senior thesis on federal campaign finance law enforcement. Besides making me a more competitive applicant, my experience in the political science department helped me develop skills that I employ every day at work: summarizing complex information and analyzing text for example. I would recommend the major to students interested in having a rigorous and rewarding academic life.”

Maya Gold, Class of 2014 — Communications Assistant for Demos think tank in New York City
“I work at Demos a progressive think tank in NYC. I’m an assistant in the communications department, where I take all the fabulous reports/campaigns work/litigation our staff does and, on successful days, get the world to pay attention to them. I mostly focus on traditional media relations—strategy, research, pitching—but I also dabble on the digital side of life, diving into the fascinating and terrifying world of SEO and Twitter analytics. 
Lewis & Clark’s Political Science department was invaluable in preparing me for this job, first and foremost because two of my references were PoliSci professors! The PoliSci department taught me how to interpret and articulate complex concepts, which is extraordinarily important when communicating fiddly policy nuances so they’re not only understandable, but relatable. The department’s ethos of open communication—that students learn from professors, professors learn from students, and students learn from students—gave me the confidence to voice and listen to ideas based on merit, not age or prestige, which has been very helpful when working with policy wonks many years my senior.  It taught me the quantitative and qualitative skills that allow me to wear multiple hats with relative ease, and its departmental mandate of well-researched debate taught me how to ask the right questions to get the right answers. (Or the left answers. It is a progressive think tank, after all.)”