Young Alumni Award

Jennifer Marsico feels very lucky – she is doing exactly what she wants to do.  She not only has an absorbing career, but it is what she hoped to do when she was a student.

When her high school counselor recommended Drew, Jennifer thought Drew’s atmosphere, size, location, and reputation for political science made a winning combination.  Commuting to her home in Wyckoff, New Jersey, did not prevent her from being involved in campus life, where she was a leader in the Drew College Republicans.  Nor did it prevent her from achieving academically:  she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and to national honor societies in both history and political science.  In political science she has wonderful memories of classes and working on her undergraduate thesis with Joseph Romance and Philip Mundo, and research with Carlos Yordán.  She cannot say too much about Perry Leavell’s courses in history, or Fred Curtis’s in economics.

Participating in the Washington Semester in her junior year gave Jennifer a taste of living independently, and in D.C. she found her interest in public policy.  After graduating summa cum laude from Drew with a major in political science, minors in history and economics, and honors in political science, she elected to go directly to graduate school.  At Georgetown University she pursued an accelerated program which allowed her to graduate with a Master of Arts in American Government in August 2008.  The Georgetown experience gave her an appreciation of “think tanks,” and a connection to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) in Washington, where she has worked since September 2008.

Jennifer appreciates having a challenging job at a time when so many young people cannot find satisfying employment.  Her work as a senior research associate is very flexible, and she finds her mentors exceptional.  She conducts research for political and social policy, participates in interviews with television, radio, and print outlets, assists in monthly newsletters, and plans events for the AEI’s Political Corner conferences. As a part of the generation that was in high school during 9/11, Jennifer is particularly interested in planning for governmental continuity, and enjoyed being assistant director of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission.  She has contributed to recent studies on Supreme Court continuity, as well as voter registration modernization, and civic participation in the digital age.

Her position allows Jennifer to write freelance articles, which she especially enjoys doing as this election cycle progresses.  The number of her contributions, in both print and online publications, is unusual for one who has graduated from college so recently.  As she reviews the last five years and compares her educational experience with that of many of her peers, she is keenly aware that her years at Drew have been vital to her progress so far.