Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com. Rebecca Jaeger has been nominated to represent the University of Delaware as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of msnbc’s “Women in Politics” series, these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women in Politics” features newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, and deep dives into the key conversations.
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
Name: Rebecca Jaeger
School: University of Delaware
Hometown: Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Concentration: Biology, History, Spanish
Role in Student Government: Student Body President
Dream job: Director of the FBI
Class year: 2016
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
The largest challenge being a leader on campus, and not just a female leader, is the apathy of the general student body. I care so much about making my university a great place for students to live and learn, and I want other students to have that same passion. I know that our StUDent Government Association has the resources and desire to make changes on campus, but in order for those changes to be lasting and meaningful we need the support and ideas of our fellow students.
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
I am inspired everyday by the female leaders who surround me in my daily life. One in particular is my mother. She is an incredibly strong woman who pushes me to be a better person every day. She is a teacher, and I am constantly inspired by her hard work, dedication, and passion to educate her special education students. Although my career will be in a different field, I aspire to emulate these three characteristics while working in the criminal justice system. I am also inspired by Sandra Day O’Connor. It is a huge responsibility to be the first woman to do something, as you set the precedent for the rest of the women who follow you. And I feel that she has set the bar high for women who follow her. I am inspired by Justice O’Connor’s fearlessness to take a position that had traditionally been held by men and the success with which she was able to make decisions to better the lives of the American people.
Do you plan to run for office one day?
At this point, I don’t plan on running for office. I have decided that I am much more interested in law than I am in politics (and campaigning really isn’t my thing.) I want to be able to serve the public in a different way by defending the nation against criminals and protecting the freedom of my fellow Americans.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best professional advice that I have ever gotten was from Amy DuBois Barnett who spoke at the University of Delaware Women of Promise dinner this year. She detailed the importance of doing something meaningful every day. I feel that too often I get caught up in the craziness of my daily life that I forget about the reason why I do all that I do: to make a difference. Since hearing her speak, I have done something meaningful every day and have made sure that I am not just going through the motions, but truly having an impact on my campus and in my world.
What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means being a strong woman and owning who you are. Too often women get faulted for being strong and independent and I think that those qualities are so essential in order to be successful. Feminism means yes, being a female, but being one who is passionate and driven to push for change and equality.
Check out all of msnbc's featured student leaders right here!
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com