Student Spotlight: Alexa Fitzgerald C’20

Alexa Fitzgerald C’20

 What attracted you to Drew?

I was attracted to Drew because of its size and location. I knew that I could thrive in a small community and classroom environment that would allow me to make connections with my professors and peers. I liked the access to the globalized world via New York City and study abroad opportunities that could broaden my horizons and teach me to communicate with diverse groups of people. Most importantly Drew felt like home.

What draws you to Political Science?

I am drawn to the complexity in political science and that it is constantly transforming into something new. I like the challenge of trying to understand the underlying motivations of the government and its electorate and the fight to balance their diverse interests for the public good.

Have you done any internships?

During the 2018 Midterm Elections, I interned on the Mikie Sherrill for Congress Campaign in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district for seven months. I supported the field operations team with volunteer training, door-to- door canvassing, and phone-banking. Currently, I intern in Congresswoman Sherill’s district office, where I help the staff address constituent concerns and conduct research. Both opportunities have shown me the value in listening to those around you to create effective and lasting change.

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECS or have you studied abroad?

In Fall 2020, I did the Semester on the United Nations, it was the most challenging academic semester I have completed as a student. It taught me something as simple as the importance of a routine and as intricate as finding and dedicating yourself to a purpose in life. The paper I wrote on how the United Nations uses football (soccer) as a mechanism for development, through its 1999 partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was my favorite experience from the semester.

In January 2020, I went on the Ireland in the World: Peace and Social Justice shortTREC to Ireland and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. It was intellectually challenging and culturally immersive as I explored the multicultural dimension of Irish identity and its effect on political and social conflict during The Troubles. The most important lesson I learned was people with privilege and power need to either start the difficult conversations or just listen to the oppressed groups because they do not have the liberty to suppress them into agreeing with their viewpoint. My favorite memory was climbing the cliffs in County Donegal, the views were absolutely beautiful.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

My favorite memory while at Drew is the trip with the women’s soccer team to Europe, when we traveled to six countries (Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, and Monaco) in twelve days. The entire trip was a phenomenal experience that nurtured relationships and acquainted me with new cultures. I played soccer in the valley of the Austrian mountains, listened to a Mozart concert that was surprisingly entertaining, had fun at Germany’s largest beer garden, and enjoyed an Italian winery. The highlight of the trip was attending two 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup games in France.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Heather Robinson, Director of Campus Experience, was an influential support for me. She has mentored me throughout my time in admissions and taught me the value of being accountable for my actions, maintaining poise in unanticipated situations, and always being authentic.

Professor Patrick McGuinn was another mentor. He is my internship supervisor and his Congress class set me on the direction I have gone in terms of looking at reforms that target injustice in the electoral system.

Christa Racine, Director of Athletics and women’s soccer coach also simultaneously advanced my passion for soccer and encouraged me to always pursue my academic and career goals.

What world issue are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about fair elections and making sure that everyone who wants their voice to be heard is heard. It begins with those in power giving up complete control by reforming campaign finance, eliminating partisan gerrymandering, and ensuring voting rights are protected for all.

Any fun facts you would like to share?

I’m part of a set of quadruplets. My brother, two sisters, and I each followed our own trajectory and interests to four different universities, but our experiences have strengthened our bond. When we’re all away at school my favorite activity is to group Face Time with them.

What are your career plans? Dream Job?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

My plan is to go to law school but I’m keeping my options open in terms of practice areas. I hope that whatever I pursue in my career I can help suppressed groups gain an equal voice in our society.

What advice would you give to first-year students?

Slow down and enjoy the moment. Make sure you take time to relax and focus on yourself because your college journey will be punctuated by self-discovery. Welcome the changes that come because they set the foundations for how you will actively define your life story.

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