Amy Cain and Josh Mannery, Political Science Student Ambassadors
When she’s not nailing her poli-sci classes or learning Russian or volunteering on political campaigns, Amy is busy collecting awards and writing her honors thesis in political philosophy. She’s the recipient of the 2018 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Politics, the 2019 James and Cecelia Lawhead Award in Philosophy, and a bronze medalist for the Post-Secondary Russian Essay Content.
Why did you decide to major in political science?
In high school I started to have more and more questions about our government and foreign governments. The more I dug into this area and started to discuss politics and news with those around me, the more I felt connected to the mechanisms of actual change. After volunteering with a few local campaigns, I decided that political science was something about which I was passionate and wanted to study at UM.
Have you had a lightbulb moment in a class?
I took a seminar discussion course that really challenged a lot of the way that I think about American politics and my role in it. The professor encouraged me to challenge my assumptions and to look past the easiest and most comfortable answers. By addressing our problems head on, we are more prepared to find the best possible solutions.
What’s an experience that made you feel empowered as a student?
In an Honors 102 class, I wrote a paper on a complex topic, and I felt truly productive for completing it. I found an answer for myself that had genuine implications for the way I see the world and live my life.
Have professors at UM mentored you?
One of my professors picked up on an interest I had in philosophy in his political science class. He encouraged me to take some intro philosophy courses, and I am incredibly grateful that I did because it led me both to a new major and to a professor who will be coaching me through my capstone project. UM is an ideal place to study political science and philosophy because it offers a wide range of expertise from professors and the class sizes are small, so there’s a lot of interaction between professors and students.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I will be joining Teach for America and then I plan to go to a Ph.D. program in political philosophy and become a professor.
What’s your favorite meal in Oxford?
A tofu, rice, and cheese burrito from South Depot with chips and queso (of course).
An orientation leader and entrepreneur, Josh is an outstanding student in the Honors College. As a member of the Associated Student Body, he serves as a bridge to the decision makers on campus make sure that students are well represented.
Why did you choose to major in political science at UM?
I knew going into college that political science was going to be one of my majors, but what really made me secure in my decision was the first day of class in my Constitutional law class. Professor Armaly Professor Armaly, gave us a pop quiz on what constituted as a right or a liberty. Through that quiz , my mind was blown at the things we take for granted that aren’t actually guaranteed by the Constitution. From that moment on, I have had a constant hunger to learn more and more about laws and their origins!
Go-to meal in Oxford?
Country fried steak from Ajax Diner!
What are you binge watching?
The Office, Parks & Rec, and Stranger Things
Has UM provided any leadership opportunities?
I’m an orientation leader and an Honors College Peer Group program director. I conceived of this group and organized it. It’s designed to provide guidance and stability to freshmen as they transition into life as citizen scholars on the UM campus.
Have you had an opportunity to create an independent organization or business?
I am the founder of Anybody Can Be President. It’s nonprofit focused on the empowerment of Mississippi youth in the hopes of nurturing the next generation of leaders.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to be someone who is a political leader.