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UChicago Politics  An extracurricular program at The University of Chicago designed to nurture in students a passion for politics and public service.

For this week’s #studentspotlight, we were able to sit down with Ashton Hashemipour while he was in town from his year long direct enrollment program in Paris! Ashton is currently involved with The Gate, UChicago’s political review. While he started off as a staff writer, for the past year and a half, he has been a co-editor of the publication’s World Section. Additionally, he has been a part of the Fellows Program, International Policy Program, and New Americans.
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“The Gate has allowed me to explore my favorite political topic (Iran) and just write about it in a supportive environment, which I’ve really appreciated. The research that I’ve been able to conduct—whether through interviewing experts at think tanks or just reading commentary—has further given me a strong foundation in both my Political Science and NELC majors.My internships the past two summers have also been through the IOP. Through the Summer in Washington, I’ve been able not only to work at really cool places but also to go on amazing site visits of organizations like the World Bank and Huffington Post, all while surrounded by similarly-minded students.”
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Book, show, or podcast recommendation?
“Given my interest in Middle Eastern politics, I’d recommend Middle East focus, a weekly podcast put out by MEI (DC thinktank). For those looking for an introduction to the various conflicts in the Middle East, internal political coverage, or cultural phenomena, it’s a great start, as the hosts break down complex issues into 20-25 minute segments.”

Crystal and her crew on her final day at the IOP! We’ll miss you!

Exciting news! We have just announced a live taping of "The Axe Files" with former President Barack Obama. Link in bio to read more.

This week in #studentspotlight, we sat down with Joseph Donahue, a third year in the College. Joseph is currently working with the Fellows program as a team leader for Roberta Jacobson, the former US Ambassador to Mexico. Last year, he was involved with Bridging the Divide, served as an Events ambassador, and was part of Fellow Nneka Jones-Tapia’s team in the spring. On campus, Joseph is a staff writer for Bite Magazine, which covers the Chicago food scene.
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“The people that make up the IOP - both students and staff - are so passionate and fun to be around. Bridging the Divide was one of my most interesting experiences at UChicago because I was given the opportunity to explore how issues looked from dramatically different points of view; our cohort watched two focus groups take place and both were eye-opening. This past weekend, our team met with Roberta and her husband and went to Pilsen to see the National Museum of Mexican Art and have a giant lunch afterward.”
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Book Recommendation?
“The Making of a President, 1960. The book tells the story of JFK’s election, but is also a seminal piece in the canon of American political writing; the way that we write and speak about elections today is still influenced dramatically by Theodore White. It’s one of a group of early political books that uses contemporaneous American culture as a lens through which to view candidates.”

Come join us at the Reg, room 122 for our election watch party! Swag & photo opps (like this great one right here of Scott & Jake) available. Cereal bar and donut wall to come! #uchivotes

This week in our Student Spotlight series, we sat down to talk with Shalini Chandar. Shalini is the current co-chair of UChicago TechTeam, a civic engagement group that provides tech training to students of all backgrounds and assists local government and nonprofits in developing digital tools (like websites and apps). Aside from being involved with TechTeam since her second year, Shalini is also a member of UChicago Bhangra, which is a Punjabi folk dance team that competes nationally.
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“I've been involved with the IOP and TechTeam since my second year, and it has been so rewarding to be surrounded by people who are passionate about public service and who want to do work that has a tangible impact. I've always been interested in tech but was searching for a community where I could apply my skills in a meaningful way, and the IOP gave me the opportunity to engage with other students who shared a passion for tech and politics.”
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Book recommendation?
“One book recommendation for IOPers: JD Vance's memoir "Hillbilly Elegy". In the current political climate, it's so easy to feel scornful of people with opposing political views. I think reading "Hillbilly Elegy" helped me become less resentful and more empathetic.”

A massive congratulations to the wonderful team at @ballotready. Totally well-deserved. And, yes, we’re proud to say we go way back.
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#Repost @ballotready with @get_repost
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We are honored be the 2018 the Chicago Innovation Award winner for Social Innovation! Thank you to @chi_innovation for a wonderful night and to our BallotReady team for all their hard work and dedication.

IOP Fellow Paul Tewes and his fellow ambassadors took a trip up to Milwaukee for Obama’s GOTV rally!

This week in our Student Spotlight, we sat down to talk with Sarah Wasik. Sarah has been an IOP fellow ambassador, received a UPReP stipend for her internship with Congressman Brad Schneider, and was an SIW IOP intern with the State Comptroller. Currently, Sarah serves as the co Editor-in-Chief of The Gate.
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“As I became more involved with the IOP, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of like-minded students who were passionate about the same issues as I was. Not necessarily the same political leanings, but they were passionate, and they wanted to be engaged. The IOP really gave me hope and gave me an opportunity to keep going with civics and government.”
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Favorite book? “Dark Money by Jane Meyer. You understand how ideology, and therefore policy, can be manipulated.”

Thank you Tiana Epps-Johnson for coming to the IOP to lead the “Alleviating Barriers to Voter Turnout” workshop!

Have you had a chance to attend one of IOP Fellow Maria Ramirez’s seminars? Don’t miss it!
Next one is this Wednesday at 3:30 PM. The topic? Social media platforms & new tools— are they friends or foes?

Student Spotlights are back! Heather Weller is a second year Public Policy major from New York Mills, MN. This quarter she is a Fellows Ambassador for fellow Maria Ramirez and is also serving as the Director of Public Relations and Special Events for the Maroon Veterans Alliance, the External Affairs Coordinator for the Chicago Peace Corp. She is also a member of New Americans and the UChicago Democracy Initiative! // “When I was learning about UChicago and decided to attend here, I learned about the Institute of Politics and found that it was the perfect place for me. I love the IOP's dedication to civic engagement and giving back to those around us. The IOP provides such a wonderful platform for students to get involved and make a change, so that is what drew me in. And now the IOP is like my second home!"

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