Harrison Hall in winter

Kirby Chandler

POL Student Spotlight: Kirby ChandlerKirby and Hillary

  • Senior, Political Science and Economics Double Major
  • From Houston, Texas

Why Miami and Political Science?

Coming out of high school in Texas, Kirby had the choice of Miami and the University of Texas in Austin; she chose Miami because she got to see the “classes where professors engaged with their students and formed connections.” She believes that professors “help a person grow and establishing lifelong bonds with a professor shows a student’s dedication to their work inside and outside the classroom.” Her interest in political discourse, policy, and economics led her to pursue a double major in political science and economics.

Work with the Clinton Campaign

Kirby had spent the Fall 2016 semester working for the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign where she got out the vote and registered voters across Butler County. She began her work as an intern in Brooklyn during the primary season, a position recommended to her by the late Dr. Augustus Jones of the Political Science Department who pushed Kirby to “be bold in her pursuits” and even wrote her a letter of recommendation. By the summer of 2016, Kirby had become a full-fledged staffer for the general election. In addition to Hillary herself, Kirby got to work with key figures such as Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Ted Strickland, David Pepper, and former President Bill Clinton.

From the campaign, Kirby got to do a lot of “hands-on work with young students eager to get out the vote and inform fellow citizens of their voting locations, times, and rights.” Kirby took pride in “trying to get the youth vote out and show that younger generations do care about the future, regardless of political affiliation.” Kirby stated that her greatest achievement was “registering over 3000 voters in the state of Ohio, the most by any staffer in the whole state, with Oxford being one of the only areas in Ohio that voted Democrat in 2016.”

Beyond Miami and Looking Back

After she graduates, Kirby plans on taking time to work in public policy either with a think tank or a specialized organization. She also plans on going to law school in the DC area or at the University of Michigan or the University of Texas in Austin.

From her work at the Clinton Campaign and Miami University, Kirby learned the value of civil discourse and that “the ‘us vs. them’ bubble is detrimental to conversation that could potentially affect all of us, regardless of any affiliations a person may have.” Miami’s Inside Washington program helped Kirby gain a better understanding of how policy is shaped and she now “hopes to be a part of that process someday, whether it be through campaigning or legislation and communicate to the people the functions of government in order to try and help them.”

As for advice for those still at Miami, Kirby recommends “taking advantage of every resource around you, that every professor is helpful and can point you in the right direction, learn to effectively communicate with your peers, and that Miami University will absolutely help and provide the best resources.”