When I was first notified that I received the undergraduate research scholar position at the Voinovich School, I was very excited to gain a better awareness of public policy issues and solutions. I was excited to grow professionally and most importantly, I was excited to work at an institution named after an accomplished and well-respected politician from the state of Ohio. I thought about the possibility of meeting Senator Voinovich but knew my job was as a research scholar and therefore didn’t get my hopes up.
But as I read the email inviting me to dinner with Senator Voinovich later in April, I realized how lucky I am to be part of an institution that values even the small contributors to the overall success of bettering Appalachia and the state of Ohio. Inviting undergraduate students to meet the Senator is inspiring. It reaffirms my belief that, although we all begin at the bottom, we have amazing opportunities to grow, develop and form connections that point us in the right direction to our next accomplishment.
Although we all begin on the bottom, many then rise to the top. Once there, it can be easy to get caught up with professional and personal responsibilities and forget about those who helped you get to the top. Although on top, with a successful careers as attorney general of Ohio, county auditor, Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and U.S. Senator, Senator Voinovich still seems to recognize staff, faculty and students’ hard work to fulfill the Voinovich School mission- on every level.
I look forward to meeting Senator Voinovich, not only because of his great accomplishments on political and professional stages, but also because of his personal efforts to recognize everyone who contributes time, energy and knowledge to the Voinovich School’s many achievements!