Elizabeth Dagostino '07: Growing the Grassroots
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Prior to graduating from the liberal studies program in May, Elizabeth Dagostino '07 already knew where she was headed: to New York City in pursuit of a master's degree in American politics from New York University's Graduate School of Arts and Science.
This wasn't her first entrance into the political scene. While at Medaille, Dagostino "worked very closely with Amherst Council Member Bill Kindel on his campaigns for (Amherst) Town Board, as well as numerous fundraising events . . . (and) had the opportunity to work with Amherst Town Attorney, E. Thomas Jones, on his campaign run for New York State Supreme Court Justice."
Currently, Dagostino works for OnPoint Advocacy, a grassroots public policy firm based in Washington, D.C. In her role at OnPoint, she works with lobbyists on high-level issue-based campaigns. Dagostino says, "It is amazing to watch the campaigns I work on take shape through the democratic process. It is here where I find the position to be rewarding; it's the sense of accomplishment that one feels when they see the work they do making a difference in others' lives."
For the past seven years, Dagostino "worked very hard to pursue a Liberal Arts degree, work full time, and spend weekends working with local politicians to help manage their campaigns." An internship with Professor Ted Pelton at his independent printing press, Starcherone Books, also gave her experience managing mailing lists and planning events, which are critical components to political campaigns.
As a self-described "very motivated, energetic, idealistic optimist," Dagostino will take another step towards her dream job of managing a presidential campaign in spring 2008, while completing an internship through her graduate program.
When asked for advice to give to the Class of 2008 as they begin their final year at Medaille, Dagostino offers, "Study hard and have fun! Listen to your professors and give them the respect they have earned. Medaille is fortunate to have many talented professors and to take that for granted would be a shame. Dare to dream and believe that you can achieve more than you ever expected."