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 over the course of the year. Christina McIntyre has been nominated by DICK JONES COMMUNICATIONS to represent Messiah College as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of a new series at msnbc, “Women of 2014,” these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women of 2014” is a home for all women in politics – notably those in some of the year’s most pivotal races – with newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, a Twitter trail following more than 35 candidates, and deep dives into the key conversations.
Name: Christina McIntyre
School: Messiah College
Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland
Major/Concentration: Politics and Sustainability Studies: Community & Urban Development
Dream job: Social and Urban Policy Reformer
Class Year: 2016
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
Inspiring action. The students at Messiah College are full of amazing ideas about how to make the world a better place. Our campus is full of vibrant conversations about social change, empowerment, and reconciliation. As a leader on campus, my biggest challenge is turning ideas and conversations into action. Students have many opportunities to make a difference on Messiah College’s campus, in the nearby city of Harrisburg, and around the world, but inspiring students to put their vision of change into action can be a challenge. Once students take the first steps to put their ideas into action, they are unstoppable!
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
Female activists have made incredible contributions to urban reform and revitalization. I am especially inspired by Mira Lloyd Dock, a social, civic, and environmental reformer in the City of Harrisburg during the early twentieth century. I learned about Mira Lloyd Dock while working for the City of Harrisburg. She was a dreamer and a doer who mobilized the city for transformative change. Dock launched Harrisburg’s City Beautiful movement in 1900, and she was the first woman to be appointed to the Pennsylvania state government. I also am inspired by Jane Addams, the Progressive-era Chicago activist who founded the Hull House, created a national network of female reformers addressing issues, such as public health and unfair wages, and served as an instrumental leader in the women’s suffrage movement.
What comes to mind first when you think about important moments in history?
The most important moments of United States history have been those moments that extended the right to vote. In the nation’s early days, only white male property owners had the right to vote. Now, all citizens over eighteen have the right to come together in equality before the law to choose those who make and execute the law. The story of the United States is a story of many different voices from many different places coming together to write a new story of freedom and opportunity. A voice for all, enabled by a vote for all, writes this ongoing story into law.
What do you think should be President Obama’s No. 1 priority?
President Obama’s number one priority should be poverty. Fifty years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson launched the War on Poverty, the income gap is increasing even as the market adds new jobs and suburban poverty is rapidly rising. Education, workforce development, homelessness prevention, expanding the earned income tax credit: these are all policy areas that can be powerful resources for helping Americans get out of poverty and stay out of poverty. In 2014, it’s time to re-launch the War on Poverty.
You can see all student leaders featured here
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com