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Hofstra Students Reap Rewards of Educate ’08 and the Presidential Debate

Melissa Calderone

Butler, New Jersey


Political Science Major, Fine Arts minor. 
Honors College
Liberty/Republic Hall Council
WHRU Radio Hofstra University
Phi Eta Sigma and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies
Student Government Association Internal Review and Control Board
2008-2009 Fellow for the Center for the Study of the Presidency

I became involved in Educate ’08 after Hofstra sponsored a January 2008 trip to New Hampshire to follow the campaigns the weekend before the state’s primary election.  This trip ignited my already very political fuse, and really helped introduce me to the political science community at Hofstra, with which I had little previous involvement beyond my classes.  Continuing in the spring, my selection as Hofstra’s 2008-2009 Fellow for the Center for the Study of the Presidency introduced me to Dr. Meena Bose, who facilitated my attendance at numerous receptions, and small question and answer sessions with various Educate ’08 speakers, including David Gergen, Paul Begala, Mary Matalin, James Carville, and Maureen Dowd. 

Dr. Rosanna Perotti, my former professor and the new chair of Hofstra’s Political Science Department, further encouraged my involvement in Educate ’08.  Dr. Perotti has worked tirelessly for months, demonstrating a clear desire to improve and expand the political culture at Hofstra; her investment in student involvement is inspirational and unmatched.  Honors College further provided many opportunities for my attendance at special Educate ’08 activities.  Additionally, Educate ’08 continues to provide great opportunities and material for my radio show, Political Séance 101. 

In February 2008, Hofstra elected to send me, all-expenses paid, to participate in The Washington Center’s two-week Campaign 2008 seminar in Denver for the Democratic National Convention.  My two weeks in Denver at the 2008 Democratic National Convention was some of the most cherished time of my life.  Hofstra enabled me to travel farther than I have ever been from home, and to immerse myself in a unique political community at little personal cost.  I met an amazing array of people, from Denver natives, to political activists, to elected officials and delegates, to state party employees and more

My volunteer work with the New York State Democrats, during my second week in Denver, rewarded me on so many levels.  The staff, other volunteers, guests, and delegates were valuable assets, with some becoming good friends over the course of the convention. 

Meet Other Students Involved with Debate '08

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