Kenneth Gatten III

Eugene DePasquale for Congress
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Kenneth Gatten III

Liberal Arts Major(s): English
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I am working as a Field Organizing Intern for PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale's U.S. Congressional campaign in PA's 10th Congressional district, which is one of the most contentious and highly-funded elections in the country. In this role, I'm calling independent voters to persuade them to vote for Eugene, working with regional Democratic partners to arrange and manage voter registration drives, and co-leading a volunteer op-ed writing initiative, for which we train voters on how to write favorable political commentaries and submit them to local and regional newspapers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an English major, this experience impacted me academically by refining my writing and speaking skills in a dynamic, real-world, and high-stakes Congressional campaign environment, where I had to survey the competitive landscape and respond on the fly with written and verbal persuasive arguments--whether to appeal to a general audience via newspaper or win an individual vote one-on-one. As an English major who is also pursuing a minor in Political Science, this experience also furthered my academic goals of learning about the political process in a way that will prove invaluable in the future. As our communications director, Kunal, once said, "You can't do anything in the campaign world unless you've been a field organizer. Otherwise, none of it makes sense."

I have gained the experience and made the connections that will advance my career substantially in the political world.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Over the past two summers, I have worked for local and state-wide Democratic Committees, but my internship for Eugene DePasquale for Congress was my entry into politics with federal consequences. After completing my internship, I have gained the experience and made the connections that will advance my career substantially in the political world.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

It is due to the generosity of a donor who provided me with financial assistance in the form of enrichment funding that I was able to complete my unpaid, yet invaluable, internship this summer, which otherwise would not have been possible.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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