Alexandra Snodgrass, a junior economics major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, will represent Nebraska this summer as one of 50 college students participating in a unique educational program dedicated to identifying future policy leaders. The Omaha native, who is also earning a certificate in gerontology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will join 49 of her peers in Kentucky June 19-25 for the first collegiate class of the National Student Congress, organized by the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.
“Alexandra is thoughtful, bright and hardworking and even takes time to help tutor other students. She cares about their success and is an amazing example of a CBA student. She is very deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Laurie Miller, assistant professor of practice in economics, who taught Snodgrass in Principles of Economics and Intermediate Economics.
Selected to participate in the program after writing a pair of essays, she focused on the funding of social security.
“I explained why it is quickly becoming the biggest financial issue facing the United States in the coming years and no one seems to want to talk about it,” she said. “My studies in gerontology and economics have helped me understand the problem in a unique way and driven me to seek out solutions.”
The week-long program includes presentations by national policy makers and an opportunity to practice policy debates similar to those that occur on the House or Senate floors and learning about the center’s namesake.
The program will be administered by the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy & Administration. Alumni of the program have gone on to serve as staffers in the United States Senate and House, in state governments, top law firms, NGOs and leading U.S. corporations.
“I’m most excited about meeting other like-minded students from each state,” Snodgrass said. “I want to know what they are doing and how we could benefit from those ideas here in Nebraska.”
The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was formed in 2007 to honor the American lawmaker known colloquially as the “Great Compromiser” and teach the skills of public dialogue and leadership. Between 1808 and 1852, Clay served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and as U.S. Secretary of State for John Quincy Adams.
Following graduation, Snodgrass hopes to continue her education with a master’s degree in public administration and work with local organizations to provide a voice for the elder community in public policy decisions.