Bachelor of Arts
American Public Policy
What do you do at the state Capitol?
I serve as legislative assistant to State Senator Mike Nofs who represents Calhoun and Jackson Counties. Currently I'm responsible for legislative research and committee preparation as well as fielding constituent contacts.
How did you become involved in this business?
I have always been fascinated by the policy process and began volunteering on campaigns as a teenager. Thanks to the WMU Capitol Internship Program, I was offered my first full time position in the legislature shortly after graduation in the office of the State Representative I'd served as an intern the previous year.
What do you like best about your work?
The unpredictability that comes with each day in the Capitol. The work environment never gets stale because of the constant influx of diverse ideas, and it's always fun to have a front row seat for the drama of the state legislature.
What challenges do you face working in the Capitol in 2013?
One of the most frustrating aspects of working in the legislature is the growing divergence between ideologies. There is definitely a "if you're not with me, you're against me" attitude that seems to be a badge of honor for some groups. This has made the job of consensus building incredibly difficult.
What is your advice for citizens who want to advocate for an issue in the state Capitol?
Come to the table with solutions. Legislators receive a daily barrage of terse responses to policy proposals. To stand out, it is imperative to have a well-researched and succinct opinion that exhibits a depth of knowledge that makes your input valuable.
Favorite campus activity or Bronco memory?
I probably enjoyed my entire WMU experience more than I should have, but my favorite memory would have to be the entirety of the 2003-04 school year living on Bellevue Place next to the football practice field. The atmosphere of that neighborhood and the daily mischief we got into made every day memorable. Of course, meeting my wife while living in Zimmerman Hall is also one of my favorite memories despite the fact we didn't exactly hit it off at first.
Any inspirational faculty or administrators at WMU that influenced your college career?
Dr. Susan Hoffmann had a significant influence on my WMU experience as both a professor and advisor. I always appreciated her matter-of-fact demeanor and insistence on fact-based decision making.