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Jeanie Frantz

Political Science Major in the College and Political Science Honors Programs
CCCE Undergraduate Research Fellow
Staff Coordinator Seattle Student Voices.

Jeanie writes:

I came to the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement with only a remedial knowledge of political science and communication research and its applicability. My introduction to the Center consisted of well-spent hours of exciting “grunt work” analyzing political youth websites and deciphering the way they sought to mobilize my generation during the 2004 Presidential campaign via our favorite medium: the Internet. Branching out, I was allowed to help with CCCE’s Seattle Student Voices project, where I got to witness my own peers mobilized within our local neighborhoods. I got a glimpse of how inner-city students view the political world and was inspired by their confidence in their own ability to influence decision-making processes. Their confidence, I found, was not naive. I was flattered to receive letters from state senators expressing genuine interest in meeting personally with the students to discuss pressing community issues. Through my involvement with the Center, I have been given a more acute understanding of the predicament of my generation and our unique political characteristics. In addition to Student Voices, I had the opportunity to do more in-depth research into youth involvement and civic education trends over time. The results of this were both disappointing in terms of their content and motivating in terms of the prospect for change. This perspective has given me a unique and more well-rounded perspective in my political science classes that approach the subject of civic participation. More importantly, I have become more critical in viewing daily political public activities, especially media broadcasts. I ask, “Is the way this issue is being addressed exclude or encompass my peers? How could this topic be presented to engage of the Dot-net generation?” I look forward to continuing my work at the Center and unearthing more ways that political communication research can help my peers discover their potential as engaged citizens.