"I've been so blessed with not only one, not two, but three mentors at UAlbany. I want to play the same role for inner city kids one day, to be that optimistic influence in their lives."Read More
Jacob Crawford, '09
A Dedicated Student of Politics in Action
As a high school student, Jacob Crawford held a passion for politics and a desire to experience the process of state government. It was natural for Crawford to be drawn to the University at Albany's top-ranked Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, where internship opportunities abound.
“For me, UAlbany is a place where I can really create my own future,” said Crawford, a Syracuse native, studying to complete his master’s degree in public administration in December 2009.
As a UAlbany sophomore, Crawford secured his first internship with the New York State chapter of the AFL-CIO, working on the union’s legislative issues. In his junior year, Crawford was accepted into the New York State Assembly Internship Program, where he interned in t he office of Brooklyn Assemblyman Alan Maisel. Crawford learned a great deal about the process of crafting and moving bills through the legislature.
“With Jake, you get a clear sense of his commitment to public service, a commitment that comes through in the classroom,” said Victor Asal, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, who was Crawford’s undergraduate advisor. “He’s dogged in pursuit of understanding issues. And while he’s very interested in state politics, he also has a broad interest in studying the world beyond.”
Crawford also carved his own political path through the State University of New York Student Assembly, where he was elected president in 2008. It was through this role that Crawford became the student representative on the SUNY Board of Trustees, and with it the responsibility of helping to select SUNY’s 12th Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher.
Crawford’s dedication paid off when he was selected by the chair of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee, Senator Toby Stavisky, to serve as a policy analyst for the committee. The job required Crawford to resign from the SUNY Board of Trustees, but opened new doors for him to be involved in developing state policy.
“I look forward to a career in public service and UAlbany has prepared me well,” said Crawford, who received a bachelor’s degree from UAlbany in 2008. “There’s no better place than UAlbany, in New York’s state capital, to study politics in action.”
See You Tube video of SUNY Chancellor Zimpher talking with students, including Crawford.