Harrison Hall in winter

Hannah Shepherd

POL Student Spotlight: Hannah ShepherdHannah and Speaker Ryan

  • Junior, Political Science Major (BA/MA Program)
  • From Elm Grove, Wisconsin

Why Miami and Political Science?

As a prospective student, Hannah was drawn to the “close connection between teachers and students” and appreciated that Miami’s faculty were approachable and eager to mentor students. Being accepted to the academic scholars program in Pre-Law and Public Policy gave her the opportunity to meet with Dr. Patrick Haney, Department Chair for the Political Science Department, who outlined that many opportunities that Miami’s program could offer her. After visiting Oxford and meeting with faculty, she chose Miami.

Work with the Ripon Society

During the summer of 2016, Hannah worked with the Ripon Society, a public policy organization that works to promote conservative ideas and principles. Her work consisted of research into policy issues and advancing solutions to the issues facing Americans. She had first heard of the internship when Dr. Haney suggested that she should apply. She stated that she was grateful that “Miami’s faculty take such an interest in their student’s success and help them find these types of opportunities.”

While with the Ripon Society, Hannah met Speaker of the House and Miami alumni Paul Ryan. Additionally the Ripon Society hosted numerous functions where Congressmen addressed Ripon Society members and spoke to important issues. Hannah was most impressed with the opportunity “to hear from so many influential people on topics that affect Americans’ everyday lives and helping to promote effective solutions to these problems.”

Hannah was most proud of an article that she contributed to that appeared in the Ripon Society’s magazine, the Ripon Forum. In the article, she chronicled the history of the Republican National Convention since the 1976 Presidential Election. She was so excited “to see it when it was printed [she] immediately sent the link to Dr. Haney.”

Beyond Miami & Looking Back

After graduation, Hannah intends to study law and attend law school in Washington D.C. or New York City. Her pursuit of a law degree stems from her interest in politics and her desire to promote intellectual conversations with the public about critical issues. Ideally, she seeks to “combine policy work with law and international affairs” and apply the skills that she gained from Miami to work with think tanks and policy organizations.

From Miami, Hannah has learned how to “talk about controversial issues while being respectful to those that disagree” and plans to use this in her career in politics, where ideas are abundant. She thanks Miami for encouraging her how to argue for her own beliefs while engaging in polite, civil discourse. To those starting their lives at Miami, Hannah says to “don’t be afraid to take advantage of the great resources around you; Miami has plenty to offer. Even talking to your professors about possible internships or other opportunities is a step in the right direction.”