ISSUED: 21 June 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A Shepherd University political science and global studies major represented the state of West Virginia during the Henry Clay Center College Student Congress May 24-28. Alyssa Nazarok of Northfield, New Jersey, participated in the virtual program with other college students from across the country.
The Henry Clay Center elects one student from each state for the College Student Congress program. Students participate in a public policy simulation and attend high level meetings with experts related to public policy. Selection recognizes students with strong academic and leadership accomplishments.
“I applied to the College Student Congress because I am a part of the civility organization on campus, the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications Student Advisory Council, and became passionate about this topic through the council,” Nazarok said. “I wanted to continue learning about how we can work together politically in this divided time. Additionally, I wanted to learn about the policy process as I want to work in policy one day.”
Nazarok was able to participate in a discussion with Jon Meacham, writer and presidential biographer; participate in a diplomacy simulation with a policy expert; and have conversations with Alex Azar, former U.S. secretary of health and human services, and Alexander Vindman, former director for European affairs for the U.S. National Security Council.
Nazarok was also able to ask questions of Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., and John Yarmuth, D-Ky., participate in civility training, and work with a group to create poverty policy and present that policy to a panel.
Nazarok said being able to interact with those political figures was incredible and participating in the College Student Congress has benefitted her greatly.
“I feel as though I can better compromise with members of the other side from the skills and tools I learned at this conference,” she said. “It showed me that working in policy is truly what I want to do in the future and gave me great insight as to how the policy process works and what it entails.”
Nazarok especially enjoyed spending unstructured group time networking with other students from across the country.
“It was motivating and encouraging to speak to so many people my age about the issues and problems that exist in the U.S. and world and how each of us wants to help in some way,” Nazarok said. “It gave me hope for a great future with so many people wanting to make a positive difference in society.”
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