Law, legal studies and public policy had been an interest throughout high school, and after meeting Emmanuel’s political science faulty at admissions events, he felt the College would be the right place to engage academically and experimentally with these interests.
During his “Strategies of War and Peace” courses with Professor of Political Science Lenore Martin, he and his classmates engaged in a four-week simulation in which they were given a state or non-state actor and were expected to negotiate the ongoing, multi-faceted conflict in Syria.
“This forced me out of my conventional and simplistic way of looking at an international conflict and compelled me to think critically and to consider the conflict from all perspectives,” he said. “My understanding of the world has continued to evolve during my time at Emmanuel and has provided me the ability to confidently articulate my own perspective.”
Through his internships in state and federal government, Jake has been able to gain insight into his career path in legal studies and public policy, experiencing politics in action and working in constituent services on a day-to-day basis.
As a Congressional intern in the office of U.S. Senator Edward Markey, Jake participated in rallies, answered phones and conducted legislative research. However, witnessing the effects of new policy initiatives from passionate constituents was the most meaningful.
“The political landscape may seem particularly divisive, given the current state of our democracy and the partisan gridlock that seems to have a stranglehold on the federal government,” he said.
“For me, it has been particularly exciting interning in Boston since the city has seen a steady rise in citizen engagement over the past four years.”
In all, Jake notes two particularly memorable experiences. The first was the announcement of the Green New Deal Legislation by Senator Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “This sent shockwaves through the country in a push for greater federal environmental reform and regulation, and it flooded our office with calls of support and appreciation.”
The second was the Boston Climate Strike in September 2019, which was held close to the Senator’s Boston office in Government Center. “When the protest ended, the whole office, including Senator Markey himself, went to stand in solidarity with the hundreds of people who stood in the sticky September heat to protest climate change.”
In addition to coursework and internships, Jake also discovered the importance of taking advantage of invaluable learning opportunities outside the classroom, including serving as a three-year Resident Assistant (RA) and as a member of the Men’s Lacrosse Team.
“Through this RA position, I was able to hone my interpersonal communication skills, facilitate a strong sense of community among residents and continue to grow and develop as a student leader and role model on campus,” he said. “Playing lacrosse has afforded me the opportunity to be able to better balance and prioritize my time over the course of the semester.”