One of the defining features of the Luther political science program is a heavy focus on practical politics. As a result, many of our majors study for a semester in Washington, D.C., work on campaigns, or secure other political internships. Some get the political bug and continue working actively in the world of politics after graduation.

Julie Adams took a break from working toward obtaining a teaching certificate after graduating from Luther in 1999 to help run Rep. James Leach’s congressional campaign.  When Leach won re-election, Julie decided more politics would be fun, so she headed out to Washington, D.C., where she served for 17 months as an aide to First Lady Laura Bush, and then became the director of Administration for Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY).

Dan Christenson graduated in 2002 with a major in Political Science and earned his M.A. in Political Science from Iowa State University in 2004.  He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for USDA, working directly with Secretary Vilsack in Washington, D.C.

Jim Nussle (’83) was the youngest delegate at the Republican National Convention that nominated Ronald Reagan in 1980. After graduation, Nussel earned a law degree at Drake University and then served as the Delaware County Attorney. In 1990, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he eventually became the chair of the House Budget Committee.  In 2005, he announced his decision to leave the House and entered the Governor’s race. After running for Governor, he served George Bush as the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Currently he is president and CEO of The Nussle Group, a Washington government relations and consulting firm.

Josh Straka's internship with the PBS Washington Weekly during his semester in Washington whetted his appetite for the world of politics. When Josh graduated in 1997, with majors in Communications and Political Science, he went back to D.C. After working in the office of Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum for a number of years, he returned to the Midwest and currently serves as the district director and communications director in McCollum’s St. Paul office.