Jordan Conner (Class of 2020)

photo of Jordan Conner

  • senior double major in Political Science and Strategic Communication
  • minor in Community-Based Leadership
  • from West Lafayette, OH
  • internships with DeWine Husted for Ohio campaign and inaugural committee; Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
  • RA Senator in Associated Student Government; Resident Assistant in Bishop Hall
  • member of College Republicans; Executive Member in Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity
"Because Miami offers so many different paths for you to take, I would also say students should work on their craft even outside of class and find opportunities that can make you better at what you are studying."

Why Miami?

"I visited Miami for the first time when I was in 6th grade and my older brother was looking for colleges. It turned out that Miami was a good pick for me as well because I felt Miami would care a lot more about me than many of the bigger schools. I appreciate the attention that I've been given.

"Miami's website says 'Campus visits frequently last four years,' and after I applied I ended up visiting myself. I was blown away by the beauty of the Oxford campus, its home feel, and the campus culture."

Best Miami Experiences

Jordan Conner and Abi Stapleton (L), the only two Resident Assistants in Bishop Hall

"My first year was an exciting time of building up new friends. Most of my friends from freshman year are still the people I spend time with today.

"I applied to Miami with a political science major and added my second major in strategic communication later. I also have a minor in Community-Based Leadership. There are a lot of people double majoring in these two specific majors, because strategic communication will help me with the campaign side of politics. Communication is key for campaigns and anything political, really.

"Two Miami faculty have had a particularly positive impact on my Miami experience: Dianne Suiter, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, and visiting instructor Fred Reeder in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film. I took Dr. Suiter's class during my very first semester, and one of the topics was grassroots organizing and campaigning. This got me excited about volunteering on political campaigns, and that's how I decided to apply to work for a campaign for Governor Mike DeWine.

"I took Professor Reeder's journalism class during my sophomore year. He really made writing exciting. It wasn't something I loved doing before, but he made you think critically about what you are writing, watching, and reading and how it relates to your life.

"Because I am interested in going into politics as a career, I think my studies have made it easy for me to succeed. I've also had great internship experiences with the DeWine campaign and his official office. Miami's education is very broad and provides a lot of opportunities. I can't think of any class that didn't encourage me to expand my critical thinking skills, and I feel like those skills paired with communication and writing is what will make my career successful."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"The liberal arts exposes you to critical thinking to make you more equipped for this frequently changing world. By also utilizing my writing skills, I feel I'll be qualified for various jobs and be able to break into new areas. Even if I ever decide to pursue a different career, I can still be successful because both of my majors give me more skills than what they were designed for.

"For example, right now I am taking a public management class, which talks a lot about political institutions and agencies, but I think it is also relevant to how private organizations function and how to be a leader within those.

"One of the things that a lot of my professors accentuate is that you can take various classes and get an A in them and maybe that will get you somewhere — but what's really going to make you stand out is working on your craft and molding it on your own. It's not just what you learn in class but what you do outside of it, especially with writing, critical thinking skills, and internships. You really have to branch out, be your own person, and be willing to take risks in order to be successful."

Participating in Mike DeWine's Campaign for Ohio Governor

Jordan Conner (L) and Zach Moore (R), another Miami student, flank Governor Mike DeWine after the completion of their summer internship in the Governor's Office.

"During summer 2018, after my freshman year, I worked for Mike DeWine's campaign for governor. I got involved because he was doing a tour around Ohio announcing his campaign, and he visited Oxford since he's a Miami alum. I didn't know much about DeWine at the time, but I went to his hour-long talk, liked what he stood for, and decided to apply to help out his cause. All I knew was that I wanted to make some change in this world, and I feel that politics is the best way I can do that.

"The people in the campaign office were really impressed with the work I did, so it wasn't hard to get more opportunities. That winter, after DeWine won the election, I helped his staff plan various events for his inauguration. Then, this past summer, I got an internship in the governor's office in Columbus.

"A lot was going on in Ohio while I was there. For example, the day before the first day of my second week, Dayton had been hit by tornadoes. Many Ohioans were affected, and everyone in the office was working together to figure out how to address the issue. They were discussing how to reach out to victims, how to help these people recover, and how we could make people safer in the future.

"The same thing happened when there was a horrible mass shooting in Dayton. Despite the tragedy, it was really inspiring for me to see so many people trying to make where we live, Ohio, the best place it can be.

"These extended internship experiences really reaffirmed that I want to work in politics to continue helping people. They are leading me to future opportunities, all based on the skills I've gained from both inside and outside the classroom."

Advice to Students

"I encourage students to be willing to step out of their comfort zone and take risks. I have never failed at anything until I came to Miami, when during the first week of freshman year I ran for Associated Student Government and lost. But without having lost, I wouldn't have had the motivation to do better and learn why. I ran for Associated Student Government again two years later and I got in — so always be ready to keep trying new experiences to get what you want!

"Because Miami offers so many different paths for you to take, I would also say students should work on their craft even outside of class and find opportunities that can make you better at what you are studying."

[September 2019]