Alumni Success | Kent State University

Alumni Success

Heidi SwindellHeidi Swindell
Government Relations Liaison, Summit County Engineer

Inspired by an assignment from Dr. John Logue to volunteer for a campaign, Heidi graduated from Kent and pursued her MA in Applied Politics. Heidi went on to work for several campaigns, and she currently works as the Government Relations Liaison for the Summit County Engineer. As part of her work, Heidi tracks legislation on the county, state and federal level, writes grants for federal funding, lobbies on the state and Federal level, as well as handles all of the press and media relations for the Engineer. She also teaches college students as an adjunct professor. According to Heidi, "whether it is on the campaign or government side, the possibilities are endless for a political science major."

Katie FechkoKatie Fechko
Budget Section Chief, IRS

Katie Fechko graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State in 2005. She majored in Political Science and minored in Communication Studies. Katie went on to receive a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University in 2005. Since finishing her education, she has moved to Washington, DC where she now works for the Internal Revenue Service as a Budget Section Chief. Katie provides oversight and guidance for the IRS's real estate and security budgets.

Jamie PenticoffJamie Penticoff
Eligibility Technician, Alameda County

Jamie Penticoff, graduated in 2006 with a major in Political Science with International Relations concentration. Jamie is a full-time civil servant, working as an Eligibility Technician for Alameda County's Social Services Agency. She helps impoverished families gain access to public assistance such as food stamps and California Medicare by interviewing clients, processing, and maintaining their aid applications

Phil EckenrodePhil Eckenrode
Attorney, Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP

Phil graduated in 2005, after completing his last semester on the WPNI Program in Washington, DC. He went on to law school at the Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, graduating in 2008. Phil currently works as an associate attorney in the Columbus office of the Cleveland-based Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP. Phil's practice focuses primarily on corporate litigation, representing a wide variety of large and closely-held companies in both state and federal courts.

Adrianne BrakefieldAdrianne Brakefield
Paralegal at Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

After graduation in 2005, Adrianne attended George Mason University for a Master's in Political Science (international development focus). From 2006-2008 she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania primarily working with youth focused NGOs. Adrianne currently works as a Paralegal at Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram in Washington D.C. Her responsibilities include preparing transactional documents, assisting corporations with necessary filings in addition to working with the litigation team during discovery and trials.

Patricia SeitzPatricia Seitz
Campaign Finance Director

During her time at Kent State University, she participated in the Political Science Department’s Columbus Program. There she interned at a State Senate office and learned the inner workings of Ohio state government. After graduation, she was hired as a Legislative Aide for a State Representative, and then went to work for various campaigns, including now Congresswoman Betsy Markey, and the campaign consulting firm EMILY's List. In November 2009, Patricia was hired as the Finance Advisor for US Senate candidate David Hoffman, of Illinois. According to Patricia, “the chances for advancement in the business of campaigning are endless, especially in the world of political fundraising.”

Leah BettonLeah Betton
Account Manager, DCI Group

Leah Betton graduated in May 2010 with a major in Public Communication and with minors in Writing and Political Science. She spent her last semester in Washington, DC with WPNI 2010 as an intern with the public affairs firm, DCI Group. Before her semester in Washington was finished, Leah was offered a full time position at DCI Group. She is currently an Account Manager for two client teams.