Building Credentials in Politics at the Nevada Caucus

Hackett_MoPA_Nevada_blog Christine Hackett
Master of Public Affairs Candidate 2017

Christine Hackett was one of six Master of Public Affairs (MoPA) candidates presented with an opportunity to participate in the Nevada Democratic Caucus by their professor, Nicole Derse in the Grassroots Advocacy and Mobilization class.

Volunteering for the Nevada Caucus is an experience I’ll never forget. From waking up at 3:00 a.m., to stopping for coffee four times on the way to Reno, to seeing the snow for the first time and later finding out that it was one my cohort-mates, Jeno’s first time driving in the snow, and bonding with my cohort-mates the entire way, I can say that the trek was well worth it. Over the course of four days, we went from being a random group of graduate students from San Francisco to being celebrities in less than 24 hours.

I decided join in on this amazing journey because I’ve been actively involved with politics since my sophomore year of high school, and earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations. My involvement spans from interning with United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, California State Senator Carol Liu, and United States House Representative Adam Schiff; lobbying in Washington, D.C. for the Fraternity/Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) as well as for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. I currently work for a Policy and Government Affairs Team that is heavily involved in introducing legislation and working closely with the City and County of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

Through my involvement in politics and the classes I’ve taken thus far in MoPA, winning an election means a campaign should have a strong strategy, be well structured, and dedicated towards motivating its staff and volunteers to recruit others on board. These are all key elements of a successful grassroots movement. The Nevada Caucus experience ties into MoPA’s Grassroots Advocacy and Mobilization class perfectly because I implemented the readings and class discussions into real world application enriching my educational career with MoPA.

A few highlights of my trip included having a film crew document our experience, interviewing with the San Jose Mercury News, being mentioned in a tweet by the candidate running for the United States Senate Nevada seat, and meeting former President Bill Clinton.



Watch what happened when Professor Nicole Derse gave six Master of Public Affairs candidates the chance to put their practical training into action for the candidates at the Nevada Democratic Caucuses.

Joining my cohorts on this whirlwind of a trip was an invaluable experience that contributed to my prior knowledge and skills, and strengthened the passion I have for politics.

Donations help support students like Christine during their academic career with us. Donate today to be apart of the support system that turns students’ dreams into reality. 

To hear from more students that participated in the Nevada Caucus read Bianca’s blog. Applications for the Master of Public Affairs program close May 1apply today

*The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the Leo T. McCarthy Center or the University of San Francisco.

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