Campbell studies public policy at summer boot camp

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By Amber Friedrichsen

Julia Campbell, senior in agricultural business and economyrecently attended the Hoover Institution Politics Summer Boot Camp (HISPBC) in California. This immersion program gives students and recent graduates insight into different aspects of US public policy. It is designed to teach participants to think critically about national and international issues and formulate evidence-based solutions.

The Hoover Institution is located at Stanford University and was established by former President Herbert Hoover in 1919. What began as a library of World War I documents and materials, the Hoover Institution has since transformed into a foundation for bipartisan research on economic and personal prosperity. freedom.

Since arriving at Iowa State, Campbell has been a prominent leader on campus. The former student body president resonates with the values ​​of the Hoover Institution and is an avid listener to the organization’s “Uncommon Knowledge” podcast. Therefore, she was eager to apply to HISPBC for the opportunity to learn from Hoover Scholars and witness first-hand the operations of the institution.

“I’ve always had an interest in politics and understanding how decisions are made, what information is taken into account and who makes it,” Campbell said. “The economic and political approach to decision-making that they teach at HISPBC really caught my eye, and I thought it would be fascinating to go there.”

After arriving on the Stanford campus on August 14, Campbell spent the next four days attending sessions led by world-renowned scholars and researchers. The program followed an intensive schedule to cover a wide range of topics, including military policy, intellectual property protection and cybersecurity.

In one of the sessions, Condoleezza Rice, director of the Hoover Institution and senior public policy scholar, spoke about our country’s international relations and global hotspots. Rice, who previously served as US Secretary of State, analyzed the war in Ukraine from an economic and humanitarian perspective. Campbell was impressed with her take on the situation.

“Director Rice is fabulously articulate,” she said. “It was really impactful to hear from her what it might look like for the future of this war as it relates to agriculture, such as rising wheat prices and soaring prices for chemicals and chemicals. fertilizer.”

Another lecture that had an impact on Campbell was given by HR McMaster, senior researcher at the Hoover Institution. He suggested that decision-makers reflect on our nation’s history in order to effect positive change for the present and the future. Campbell said this concept, along with the importance of using data to guide decision-making, were two of his biggest takeaways from HISPBC.

In addition to learning from the speakers, Campbell also learned from his peers. Each evening, HISPBC participants broke into small groups led by teaching assistants to debrief the sessions held earlier in the day. With over 100 people from all over the United States and places like Denmark, Mexico and China, these groups were very diverse and many topics were discussed. Campbell found the activity inspiring.

“There was no hostility in these debates, but rather a sharing of views that we based on our own lived experiences,” she said. “The best thing that came out of the week was being able to engage in these respectful and thoughtful conversations.”

While most of the conversations at the conference focused on national and international public policy, some touched a little closer to home. Campbell, who grew up on a seventh-generation farm near Dewitt, Iowa, was one of the only HISPBC participants with an agricultural education. She saw this as an opportunity to share her story.

“One evening at dinner, I was lucky enough to show my table pictures of our family farm, like my dad driving our combine,” Campbell said. “It meant a lot to me to offer them my perspective of agriculture and to speak on behalf of the industry in this space.”

Campbell also thought it was special to go to HISPBC from the same home state as Herbert Hoover. The institution maintains the original mission statement that Hoover declared in 1959, and Campbell hopes she can demonstrate her commitment to improving public policy and the human condition in her own career.

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