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Behind-the-Scenes Work Gives Students Unparalleled Experience

February 04, 2016

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

Through the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), Saint Anselm College offers students numerous opportunities for political contributions and interactions with well-known political figures, global leaders, journalists, pollsters, and leading academic scholars.

This primary season, New Hampshire's 100th, has been no different. With presidential candidates stopping by the NHIOP daily, two national political events hosted by the college – the Dec. 19 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate and the Feb. 6 Republican Presidential Primary Debate – and several major media organizations setting up shop on campus, this New Hampshire primary season has given students unparalleled access to first-in-the-nation politics.

In the last six months alone, students have met every presidential candidate from both parties, and even some lesser-known candidates. In November, nearly 200 students watched MSNBC's Morning Joe interview Donald Trump live from the college's coffee shop while another group assisted as runners.

In preparation for the face-offs between presidential candidates (Democrats in December and Republicans this coming Saturday), Saint Anselm students assisted ABC News staffers with groundwork. And on Tuesday morning, students waved to Governor Jeb Bush on the way to their 8:30 a.m. classes.

Finally, as the New Hampshire Primary arrives on Tues., Feb. 9 and the state becomes the nation's political epicenter, Saint Anselm students will continue to be in the center of the political buzz. They're working as interns and workers for Fox News and ABC News (who are broadcasting from campus), as well as for CBS News and NBC in Manchester.

President Steven DiSalvo notes that hosting the candidates and national news media and assisting media personnel offers students a unique and memorable educational experience.

"There is no better way to learn about the process than to be a part of it," says Dr. DiSalvo.

And they are certainly part of it. Sophomore politics major Andrew Shue met Hillary Clinton in a bookstore, escorted Jeb Bush into Saint Anselm College's video studio for an interview, and had conversations with Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Chris Christie, and Governor Martin O'Malley.

In addition to meeting various candidates at the NHIOP, Clare Robbins, a sophomore politics major, worked in the media room during Jeb Bush's Politics and Eggs event, worked for MSNBC's Morning Joe during their live broadcast from the coffee shop, and was also a runner for ABC News during the December debate.

"My experience with politics and media through the Saint Anselm and its role with the New Hampshire Primary thus far has been incredible," says Robbins. "I'm gaining hands-on experience here at Saint Anselm that I would not be able to get anywhere else."

Philosophy major and Student Government Association Class of 2016 Council president Karen EjioforSenior Karen Ejifor with Hillary Clinton and Louis D'Allesandro has had a number of brushes with well-known political and media figures via political activities hosted by the NHIOP. (Ejiofor is pictured here with NH Senator Lou D'Allesandro and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.)

"I took a selfie with Jeb Bush that now serves as a political ad on several social media sites," says Ejiofor. "I've also met Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who is the nicest person you will ever meet."

Ejiofor not only gave the opening address at the largest Politics and Eggs event ever to be held at the NHIOP (featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), but she also gave the student address before the Democratic debate.

"The amount of political exposure the NHIOP has given me is truly incredible. As a 21-year-old college student, I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities through the Institute, experiences that some people may never have in their entire adult lives," says Ejiofor.

During the upcoming Republican Presidential Primary Debate on Sat., Feb. 6, students will be on hand to help the candidates and ABC with logistics and other tasks including picking up supplies for staffers, serving as ushers for ABC employees, and acting as stand-ins for the moderators, anchors, and candidates during debate rehearsals.

For more coverage of Saint Anselm students, follow social.anselm.edu.

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