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. Molly Stoneman has been nominated by Princeton University 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.
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!
School: Princeton University
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Concentration: Public and International Affairs, focusing on Communications and Media Policy with a minor in American Studies
Role in Student Government: Vice President
Dream job: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Class year: 2016
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
The biggest challenge is turning complaints into solutions. Students are quick to complain about campus life, but less willing to offer improvement ideas. In student government we brainstorm solutions, but even then it takes a lot of hard work and coordination to implement policies and services to fully address student complaints. Students may not thank us or even notice the work being done, but my team is incredibly passionate about service and improving the campus experience to the fullest extent that we can!
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
I am definitely inspired by Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. secretary of state, which was the highest-ranking position obtained by a woman up until that point. This was a big step toward gender equality, and also a turbulent time for U.S. diplomacy. Secretary Albright was certainly tough, but also advocated for human rights and diplomacy while making strides in fair trade, labor, and the environment. I am also, of course, inspired by my mother, who has shown by example how to balance a loving and supportive home life with hard work and active citizenship.
What comes to mind first when you think about important moments in history?
At least for American history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 comes to mind. It was the result of innovative activism and an unparalleled paradigm shift in America, and since its passage has inspired more movement toward equality than any other piece of legislation.
What do you think should be President Obama’s No. 1 priority?
More emphasis should be put on cybersecurity and web privacy. Confidential documents and data must have tighter protections. Plus, with social media growing ever more popular, users need to be protected and informed about what they agree to when they quickly click 'Yes' to having read the terms and conditions. Huge tech corporations have infinite data about our lives, and with new social media constantly emerging the laws are not keeping up to protect personal privacy.
Salty or sweet?
It's got to be sweet; I'm obsessed with dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds!
Follow Molly on Twitter @molly_stoneman and Check out last week’s female leader at University of Notre Dame
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com