From student leadership to study abroad, Kevin Delaney '17 has participated in many of the experiences and opportunities available to UMassD students.
Kevin Delaney '17 has participated in many of the experiences and opportunities available to UMass Dartmouth students: from athletics to honors research, internships to study abroad.
So he’s well-prepared to serve as Student Trustee, representing the student body at the UMass Board of Trustees, the governing body of the UMass System.
"I advocate for the students’ interests and serve on the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs and the Committee on Administration and Finance," he said.
Vital skills in leadership and management
Kevin has been involved in campus organizations since freshman year, as a member of Habitat for Humanity and as vice president of the Outdoors Club.
Subsequently, he has served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and as a student senator for Student Government Association, representing the College of Arts & Sciences. From there, Kevin was appointed to the Administration & Finance Student Advisory Committee and successfully ran in a special election to become recording secretary on the Student Government Executive Board.
"Serving in student government has been an extremely rewarding experience," Kevin said. "I’ve learned vital skills in leadership, team management, and the necessity of compromise.
"Working in student government lets students be part of the decision making process within the university. Student government distributes resources to other student organizations on campus and collaborates with administrative officials so that student voices are heard. Through student government, I was able to learn the importance of accountability in managing our budget and the necessity of proactive and inclusive planning."
Getting out the student vote
Last spring, Kevin led UMass Dartmouth’s "Get Out the Vote" campaign through an organization called UMassDVotes.
"In addition to advertising registration deadlines and hosting events, I coordinated programs from different departments and organizations to better synchronize registration efforts and promote election information in a more efficient way," he said.
"Using TurboVote, an online voter registration application, UMassDVotes was a tremendous success," Kevin added. "We were able to register 5 times more students in 2016 than in 2014. We also invited Rep. Joseph Kennedy and Rep. William Keating to discuss the election with students and hosted presidential debate watches for the student body and the local community."
World events, local effects
A dual major in economics and political science—with a minor in international business—Kevin is a Commonwealth Honors Scholar and a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society and Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.
"I was shaped by the events that occurred around me when I was growing up," he said.
"My cousin serving in the Iraq War, the Great Recession, and the election of Barack Obama all contributed to my curiosity to learn about public affairs and the context for why certain events happen. Majoring in economics and political science has given me the knowledge to interpret world events and break down how they affect the local community."
"For my honors thesis, I’m doing research on the effects of variation in state level campaign finance laws. Some states have strict laws whereas others are more laissez fair. My research is looking to see the effects of these two approaches within the states and their elections."
Internships with a focus on government
Kevin served as a district intern for U.S. Congressman Keating.
"Working in Rep. Keating’s office in New Bedford, I was able to see firsthand how federal policy affects people at a personal level. I assisted constituents in securing Social Security services, veterans benefits, and immigration services.
"The experience I gained in the Congressman’s office gave me the qualifications to intern at United Technologies’ government relations office in Washington, DC. My internship put me in the center of national politics: attending congressional hearings and meeting with Congressional staff."
Kevin has also served as a marketing intern for Clean Harbors of Norwell, MA.
Profound impact: study abroad in Portugal
During the spring semester of his sophomore year, Kevin studied abroad in Portugal.
"I lived in Lisbon for six months and was able to visit five other countries," he said. "I have countless memories from my experience there and made friends that I will never forget. Living outside the U.S. gave me a different perspective and allowed me to concentrate on what my goals were. It gave me the confidence to trust my judgment and my decisions. I can honestly say studying abroad has had a profound impact on my life. I’d recommend it to anyone who is considering it."
A range of student experiences
Kevin has also been a writing tutor at the Writing & Reading Center, helping other students in the areas of political science and economics. He ran cross country for several semesters, departing due to the time constraints of his New Bedford internship. And he participated in an alternative spring break service project, traveling to Guatemala to help indigenous people install water filtration systems.
A future in public service
After graduation, I hope to work in the public sector or a nonprofit in a public relations or public affairs role. Taking what I've learned at UMassD, I hope to bridge the information gap and develop better ways to communicate complex economic statistics to the general public. After working for a few years, I’d like to continue my education by earning a Master's Degree in Public Administration or Public Affairs.