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MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY: Political Science
CURRENT EMPLOYER: The Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc.
CURRENT OCCUPATION: Assistant Director of Government Relations- Lobbyist
DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER PATH:
Right after graduating from SU, I went to work in Annapolis for the Republican House Caucus and as a Legislative Aide for Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (The House Minority Whip at that time). During the 2011 General Assembly, I was able to interview for a Legislative Correspondent position in Congressman Andy Harris' M.D. Washington D.C. office. Accepting this position after the 2011 session, I would be heading to our nation's Capital. For about two years, I worked for Congressman Harris, sometimes traveling throughout Maryland's 1st Congressional District. My responsibilities were the issue areas of agriculture, natural resources and at times transportation. I worked closely with Maryland farmers and with Senator Cardin's office on the now Harriet Tubman National Monument in Dorchester County. Building a relationship with the Maryland Farm Bureau, I was made aware of a job opening for a lobbyist position for their organization. The rest is history, I've been with the Maryland Farm Bureau for over two years and just finished my third session lobbying members of the general assembly.
MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED WHILE ATTENDING SALISBURY UNIVERSITY:
I learned that first impressions and hard work really pays off. I wasn't the smartest student but I felt that my ambition and mind set to get things accomplished either for the clubs I was apart of or being engaged in a certain leadership position has inspired to get me where I am today. I also learned a lot working at the SU post office for three and half years. Customer service and being a reliable worker by delivering mail around campus, really taught me a lot as well. I can't forget my boss, Carl, who is a great person and always pushed me to reach for my goals in life.
WHAT CAMPUS ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH?
I was heavily involved in the College Republicans, were I served as both Vice President and President. I was also very grateful for being a part of the Institute of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) at SU. These two organizations took up most of my time at SU outside class and co-rec sports.
BEST COLLEGE MEMORY:
My best college memory would be when I helped organized twice the speaking arrangement of Maryland's former Governor Robert "Bob" Ehlrich. Once in the spring of 2009 with the help of PACE, the second time in the Fall of 2010 during his campaign bid. The SU College Republicans held a campaign rally for him in red square where over 300 students attended.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY?
I actually started my college career at Frostburg University, because I wasn't accepted into SU until the spring semester of 2007. I am the youngest of three brothers, and both my older brothers attended and graduated from Salisbury. I felt as if I would be breaking a family tradition, but the main reason was I found SU to be a great University was its liberal arts program and it gave me the opportunity to be close to my family as well. Besides the location, I felt that Salisbury would provide the best opportunities for me to succeed after graduating because of the helpful and encouraging faculty.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
"Empowering the future" because SU really sparked my interest in public affairs and civic engagement through PACE and I know they had other programs similar in different fields of study. These programs are really at times the real world experiences that students need before graduating and going into the "real world."
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY?
My favorite vacation spot would be Nashville, Tennessee. I've been twice since graduating, once for an annual convention, the second time for a Ravens vs Titans football game. I guess it would be the live bands, night scene, and great food.
As of right now, I'm very proud of where I am currently employed. Looking back to my freshmen days in Wicomico Hall, I would not of pictured myself to being a lobbyist in Annapolis, representing the number industry in the state. I would have to say having a number of bills passed in Annapolis and bringing the Agriculture community and elected officials together goes back to my PACE roots of political and community engagement. I'm currently in LEAD Maryland class number 9, which is dedicated to identifying and developing leadership to serve agriculture. natural resources, and rural communities. I guess I would have to say, stay tuned.
WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I have been to almost every Goodwill store in the state of Maryland. I have over 30 suits and ties, most of them in top condition and purchased at a Goodwill.
I enjoy playing soccer, tennis, and getting together with friends and family when ever I get the chance.
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